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Debugging is one of those tedious, but necessary aspects of any software engineering team’s work.

Before sending a product to market, you want to make sure it’s error-free.

Granted, there’s a balance to strike between writing clean code and delivery. Perfect can quickly become the enemy of shipped (for more on that, check out this article about avoiding unnecessary performance optimization).

But to create a quality product, debugging will have to be part of the process.

We sat down with Mitch Pirtle, VP of Engineering at Morning Consult, to delve into the significance of debugging. …

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Unit testing. It’s one of those situations that every engineer faces.

If you’re dealing with a downstream dependency, you’ll want to keep your unit test fast, self-contained, and reliable.

It can be daunting when you’re new to a language or framework.

We talked with Kyle Yost, a Software Engineer at CB Insights, who’s been working with Go throughout his career. His team emphasizes testing so they can have confidence in the code they ship. Along the way, Kyle found that Go provides all the tools they need to achieve mocking and accomplish their unit tests.

While third-party solutions were an option, he discovered that Go’s mocking techniques were the best route. …

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The cloud is everywhere, and it’s continuing to grow.

According to a 2019 Cloud Report by Flexera, 90 percent of companies practice cloud computing.

As efficient and cost-effective as the cloud may be, managing cloud spending and cloud governance is proving to be a challenge across companies and workloads. Cloud costs are slowly exceeding original set budgets and cloud compliance is harder to achieve as companies look to scale or increase in complexity.

As easy as it may be to underestimate these issues, a local startup in Fulton, Maryland,, …

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Product companies and engineers are making their way into the DMV tech arena. We spoke with VP of Software Engineering at VBrick to get some insight on what it really means to work at a product company, with a focus on the security realm.

VBrick is a cloud-based enterprise video management software product company. As a startup, they stay up to date with cutting edge technology like machine learning, AI, and serverless.

We interviewed Shailesh Lohiya, VP of Software Engineering, to hear about his experience working in a product company. …

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They have different responsibilities and workflows, but focus on one common stakeholder: the customer.

To learn more about the best strategies for collaboration between Product and Engineering, we spoke with Brock Wilcox (VP of Engineering) and Catherine Colwell (Senior Director, Product) from Framebridge.

The conversation below has been edited for length and clarity.

What is Framebridge?

Catherine: Framebridge makes custom framing easy and affordable. We have an online experience as well as retail stores.

Every frame we deliver is unique in some way and each one is hand built in our factory in Kentucky. …

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Daniel McGrath is the Director of Engineering at Truebill, the DC-based fin-tech startup famous for canceling unwanted subscriptions. In this three-part series, we interview him about how he balances technical debt and product development while building a popular consumer tech product with a growing user-base.

  • In Part I, we talked about what technical debt is and how you can tackle it (or better yet — avoid it). Daniel provides tips for tech teams to pay off technical debt without getting bogged down by it.
  • In this part, we talk about how tech teams can avoid wasting time on premature optimization. Daniel shares advice for tech leaders to strike the right balance between perfection and delivery, without sacrificing the quality of the end-product. …

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Engineers around the globe are utilizing their tech skills to solve new problems brought about by COVID-19. We spoke with a local engineer at Upside Business Travel to get a pulse on how their team has adapted.

The Coronavirus pandemic is causing mass disruption for individuals and businesses alike. In the tech world, teams are using their coding expertise to solve previously nonexistent problems.

For example, one local DC startup that works in the travel industry, Upside Business Travel, has been impacted by the decrease in business related travel.

Their team quickly sought new revenue generating projects and pivoted to support these goals. …

We interview two women in tech and share new data about tech salaries for women.

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From 2016 to 2019, the hatch I.T. team collected data from 1,365 software engineers in the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area. We compiled the results into the 2020 DMV Software Engineering Compensation Report. Our results showed differences between male and female developers’ salaries in the DC Metro area, and revealed some opportunities to level the playing field.

Armed with this data, women may be able to negotiate better salaries. Our dataset revealed that on average, women look for a 5% salary increase when applying to a new position, whereas men look for a 7% salary increase.

For example, a male senior developer would expect to go from $160k to $171k, while a female senior developer in the same position would seek to raise her salary up to $168k. That difference might not seem like much, but compounded year after year, it leads to the local gender pay gap that is close to 10%. …

Part 2 of the hatchpad series on moving from individual software developer to engineering team leader.

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Transitioning into a technical leadership position can come with a steep learning curve. That’s why our team interviewed technical leaders who rocked the transition. Alex Mitchell is the Chief Product Officer at ICX Media, Ashley Bryant-Baker is a Lead Data Science Analyst at Amtrak, and Jon Lounsbury is the VP of Engineering at Silectis.

During the first part of our conversation, we asked about the key lessons they learned while transitioning into a leadership position.

But we also wanted to know if they had any tips for those who are currently stepping into that leadership role. Here’s what they shared.

The conversations below have been edited for length and content.

Are you interested in writing for hatchpad or featuring a technical insight, startup, project, or event?

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So you’re interested in contributing to the hatchpad community — that’s great news! We’re here to help. hatchpads are currently available in the DC, Maryland, Virginia metro area and Raleigh, North Carolina area.

There are a lot of great ways to use hatchpad to connect with the local tech startup community, whether you’re a founder, executive, or engineer.

hatchpad is the brainchild of Tim Winkler, founder and CEO of DC-based startup hatch IT, but you don’t need to work with hatch IT to join the community or get featured on hatchpad.

Projects and Startups

We have sections for both projects and startups.

Projects can be almost anything you’re building that you want to share with the DC tech community. Check out the projects on our community page for examples. You don’t have to have a complete product. Many of our current projects link to github repositories. Sharing a project on hatchpad is great way to get new users, testers, or contributors. …


Tim Winkler

Entrepreneur. Startup founder. Global traveler. #DC #DCTech Community-Builder, Meetup Organizer #Startups #DMV

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