Programming for Non-Programmers — Week 1 (Homework): Developer Interviews
I interviewed two developers at my company, both of whom I work with and alongside quite often from week to week. It was really interesting to hear about their different backgrounds: one had been learning programming from a young age, while the other only learned when he was in college. One is a back-end developer, while the other is more focused on front-end, yet they usually tackle numerous projects and bugs together, and it’s really cool and interesting to witness the harmony and, well, general awesomeness when they combine forces.
One aspect that really stood out to me was that they both expressed and stressed the importance of not getting overwhelmed by all of the languages available out there, and to focus on the problem at hand. One of them in particular noted that it is essentially a “ mental exercise”, and that coding is more about thinking through a problem step-by-step, and that the “typing and ‘coding’ comes second”. The other developer mentioned that the best thing to do when getting overwhelmed is to simply “Pick a language, pick a problem, and try to block out the cacophony outside of your narrow little problem space/scope”. I thought it was a great confirmation, considering we’ve been focusing this week on making sure we know and identify a problem/need, and then take on the “coding” part of it — rather than the other way around!
While working with them over the past year, I’ve come to learn/notice that both of them are very patient and intentional in their work, and through this interview, they noted that they look for the same in others when working with coworkers or if they were to hire for a company one day. Curiosity and someone who is willing to practice were also among the top qualities they mentioned were important, as it takes both to be able to tackle a problem and to know how to appropriately deal with them (ie. using the correct language, being persistent at solving the issue).
Overall, I learned quite a great deal from my interviews with them. I gained some really valuable insight and advice that I’m thankful to carry and refer back to during this course (and after!), as well as when applying it in my daily work life!