We’ve got a lot to say about dev life. So, picking up where we left off and launching Part 2 of the Technology Team Roundtable, with an emphasis on the inspirations and successes of our developers.
Enjoy! And, if you haven’t checked out Part 1, “What Makes a Software Developer Tick?” Go check it out now.
How do you get "in the zone" when you are working on a hot project with a tight deadline?
Jon, Chief Technology Officer: Close my messaging apps, turn on some classical music, and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist.
Josh, Web Developer: I think it's easy to get in the zone just by thinking about solutions for the project but staying in the zone amidst distractions is the bigger challenge. Even just getting up to grab some coffee can put the mental brakes on a hot moment. I try to shut out all possible distractions (with headphones and ambient music if needed) and make sure I have all my creature comforts prepared for an extended stay in the zone!
Leigh, Technology and Development Operations Manager: In the zone? Spotify playlist, caffeine, water.
Ben, Senior Application Developer: Get every answer needed to completely finish the task at hand in a single communication session. Be direct and to the point when responding to non-critical/related communications. Listening to the Zelda Ocarina of Time Shop Theme 10 Hour loop on YouTube.
John, Technology Manager: Queue up my favorite Spotify playlist (Alternative or Metal) and block out all distractions.
What one thing do you enjoy most about being a software developer and why?
Josh: Software is a very malleable tool for solving problems. Working with software — especially code — feels a lot like having a magic tool where you can change its shape as if it were made of silly putty. Imagine working on a car where you wish you had a longer wrench, or one with an oddly bent shape so you can get just the right angle, so you simply stretch or bend the wrench however you need and continue working. Being able to change the code of a program is like being able to change the shape of a tool on demand to solve any problem. The only limit on the shapes you can make using software is your own creativity!
Leigh: Am I really a software developer? I do much more than that from day to day. I like solving complex problems. Empowering co-workers and clients to succeed but on a project and individual level. Seeing how things “fit” together.
Ben: Learning about and eventually becoming a low-level subject matter expert on limitless array of industries that we ultimately service. Learning and implementing new technology and approaches that continuously reinvents and refines how we solve real world problems and watching those implementations get reused across the world.
John: I like how every new project can be very different from the last. Each is a new challenge to solve a unique problem which keeps my day to day work interesting.
Jon: I love the satisfaction that comes from solving a difficult problem. This profession presents us with new difficult problems every day.
What do you think makes YOU a successful software developer?
Leigh: With my longevity and breadth of experience, I’ve encountered a lot of different scenarios and exercised a variety of skills and implemented a plethora of technologies. This not only creates a wealth of direct knowledge but also a heuristic approach to new situations by logically expanding upon prior knowledge.
Ben: Having a philosophy that everyone ultimately seeks the same success, and delivering open communication to help achieve that goal. If someone asks you to do something specific, and you notice something else wrong, never shrug it off or ignore it; always include it as a side note to deliver with the primary deliverable. A mutual desire for success is the key to long lasting partnerships.
John: Paying attention to detail and taking notes! People joke with me about the meticulous notes I take, but when I need to recall what happened on a past project, I can plainly see what I did instead of guess what I did.
Jon: Find a job doing what you love, and you'll never work a day in life. I've enjoyed software development for as long as I can remember, going back to writing programs in BASIC on an Apple II as a kid. I think this love of programming and technology in general is an important factor being successful.
Josh: Tenacity is a bigger part than I want to admit. In those critical sink-or-swim moments, the main deciding factor is usually my own decision to either give up or to keep pressing on, so I simply made it my personal policy to never choose to give up. If I encounter an obstacle that is bigger than me, I change course and try to find a way around it or focus on other obstacles I can tackle which may help me see how to hurdle the big one. Eventually, I'll find a way that works.
Thanks for reading!
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