How to Achieve Success as a Software Engineer — 3 tips to follow

3 nuggets of wisdom from Steven Hepting, Senior iOS Engineer at Airbnb

Make School
Nov 12, 2018 · 3 min read

Last week, we were lucky to have Senior iOS engineer Steven Hepting come from Airbnb to talk to students about the experiences he’s had during his career as a developer. The following are three important things we learned from Steven when he was in the building!

1. Staying up to date on new technology, and watching trends in the industry, is important while being a software engineer.

Steven started out as a QA, Applications Engineer for a microchip simulation software company. But he noticed quickly that mobile devices were consuming people’s lives and he watched the trends that showed that iOS engineers were becoming more and more in demand. So he taught himself how to develop for iOS and built an iPad app. This led to him joining Yammer and eventually Twitter to help build the Twitter SDK. His advice is to continue finding ways to learn new things. Attend lots of meetups and stay up to date on the newest technology features.

Steven Hepting

2. Build things! It looks really good on your resume and shows companies that you have experience building products.

Having a portfolio is important to validate your skills and abilities, even more so than where you went to college. Even when you’re at a job, make sure you’re always building things. Working on new projects will definitely help you build skills for the future, but it will also help you be useful to your current employer. Steven is always excited to meet other makers like him. He believes that employees who are passionate about building new things can inspire colleagues and build a lot of value for the companies they work for.

3. Choosing a company that has the perfect culture for you is important.

It’s not worth working at a company or with a team that you don’t work well with. You spend more time with your colleagues than you do with anyone else, so make sure you enjoy spending time with them. You will be more energized, inspired, and excited to achieve your best and learn new things. For Steven, his work friends are some of his best friends. He’s learned a lot from being with them and it has helped him be a better developer. When you’re choosing a company to work for, make sure you investigate how much they invest in events to help employees create lasting bonds with each other.


A huge thanks to Steven for coming out to speak to us! If you want to continually be in the room with mentors like Steven, we encourage you to consider applying to Make School. Our early action deadline is on November 18. Apply now.

This piece was originally published on the Make School Blog.

Make School

A collection on technology, startups, and the future of education.

Make School

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Make School offers a Bachelor’s in Applied Computer Science to prepare students of all backgrounds for jobs at companies like Facebook, Google, Apple.

Make School

A collection on technology, startups, and the future of education.

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