April 27, 2018
Have you ever wondered what it is like to work in the tech industry? Have you applied for a job at WATTx and would like to know more about the culture? This is exactly why I want to share my experience in working as a developer with you today.
I am Fran and I have been working at WATTx for more than two years. I started in marketing but rapidly switched career paths to learn more about the tech world, you can read my full story here. Now, I am a proud member of the tech team, working as a developer.
When I first thought about writing this article I didn’t really know how to describe how I work. At the end of the day, what I do is writing code on my computer - just like every other developer does. I hope that by sharing my learnings I will help you understand what you can expect the work to be like here.
Do not get me wrong here: for sure, knowledge is key. At least most of the time in your life it probably is, but - allow me to use a metaphorical image here - it won’t always be the only premise to open the door. Sometimes you might find a door with a lock you never faced before - and you will need to make a choice: Do you want to learn about the new locking system because you really want to know how it is working and what is behind, or do you prefer leaving it locked and, therefore, never know what it enveloped?
Most people at WATTx, if not all, would go for the first approach. Because we find it fascinating to learn. Because we love to learn. Because we give us time to learn. And here is where passion reaches its full power: if you are passionate about what you are doing or what you want to achieve, you will achieve it. Yes, it will take time, it will take effort, it will reveal a learning curve that you might not have expected before, you might have heavy downs, but you will achieve it. This is what passion is about, at least for me.
Having this is ultimately important for being a developer or any other (tech) person, since the tech world is moving at a pace that sometimes is hard to keep up with - to stay in the image, you are facing many doors with many unknown locking systems. The difference between a passionate and a non-passionate:
The passionate most commonly will deliver a more valuable outcome that will fit into your project, since he is intrinsically motivated to put time and effort to find the best, well-suitable solution in short, but as well in long-term perspective. The non-passionate, at least this is my perception, rather tends to be already satisfied with the simplest working solution without having the will to critically reflect on his or her work.
The ability to learn is an important companion not only in our work, but also in our lives in general. If you are not able to learn, or to adapt to new circumstances, you definitely will have a hard time working in the dynamic and ever changing WATTx environment. At WATTx, you typically won’t do the same thing today that you dealt with yesterday. (My very own perception: Yep, because it is boring.) In none of our project teams. The reason for that lies in the way we work: projects are changing for all of us on average every 3 to 6 months, new environments need to be explored, new clients and / or partners need to be get to known, and often you will team up with colleagues that you maybe haven’t worked with before. This time frame allows us to deep dive into one specific topic but also to explore new areas quickly. This is really rewarding.
If you are not able to learn, or to adapt to new circumstances, you definitely will have a hard time working in the dynamic and ever changing WATTx environment.
In the last two years, I found myself exploring the beautiful world of tech and learned a lot about microcontrollers, kernels, networks, databases, backend, frontend, languages, programming paradigms, principles and libraries. I also understood how to explore multiple ways of achieving the very same thing before deciding which one is the best.
For each new project, at first, you need to familiarise yourself with the new topic. That usually means for me that I need to have a dedicated research phase, and depending on the complexity of the given topic, it will range from one to five days. I need to get to know the big picture, as well as the technical architecture, in general the used technology stack, and, lastly, the colleagues that are also working on the same project.
In this regard, what helps a lot is to pair up with a co-developer that is more experienced than me. This is something that people do a lot at WATTx and that I find really helpful. For instance, since my work is very frontend heavy at the moment - it’s all about ReactJS, D3 & co - I found a mentor in the very talented and experience person of Rafal. For sure, even without pairing up there is also always the possibility to ask someone in the team whenever there is something blocking you. But working on the same project reveals the possibility to really discuss new approaches, functions, and the project structure on a way deeper level. Our ways of working together range from discussing ways-to-go, to providing help, to reviewing code, and to comment on actual pair programming that we sometimes do when facing more complex or difficult challenges. In addition to that, working in such a setting is not only helpful, but also inspiring, since the way you are thinking is most probably not the way your counterpart does.
All of this, the passion-embracing environment, the drive to learn, interaction within the whole team and the way of learning from each other will result and help you in developing you as a person, not only in terms of technical knowledge, but also in social, communication, collaboration, and organisation skills.
Naturally, the learnings listed above are only excerpts of my personal reception with working at our company WATTx. But they are some of the most important ones that I, luckily, face and feel every day.
Was I able to spark your interest or help you make a decision in working with us? Then go ahead, check our open positions, and apply!
WE ARE WATTX
Properly executed user research and design can save you money and make your project timeline...
WE ARE WATTX
WATTx and Cornell Tech are collaborating to tackle the challenge of personal data privacy and...
WE ARE WATTX
Building WATTx to propel an almost 100-year-old industrial powerhouse into the digital era.