Growing with a software product

When I first learned how to write code and started working on the Web I immediately wanted to start my own business. I knew enough about Web hosts, domains, PHP and MySQL that I felt like I could solve problems for businesses ranging from Web presence to custom application development. I still have that same drive. But today I have more skills and the experience to be more effective. And also after fourteen years I am more realistic in what I should be committing to both in quantity and in breadth of focus. I am not a graphic designer, internet marketer, or brand developer no matter how well I can use Photoshop 7 that I torrented in 2004. And I am also not a Web or UX designer no matter how well I can use the latest version of bootstrap.

Improved build quality over time

As my career developed and I was able to have a handful of multi-year stints on product development teams. Of course, day-to-day was still spent working on smaller projects. Except that all projects were for the same product and usually related by some shared entity in the business domain or some infrastructure code. Over time as I developed more of a complete understanding of the product and the customers the projects I perceived a better organic flow in project completion from my teams. And better decisions could be made from the engineering side because the team (myself included) understood which technical debt was worth tackling based on current backlog.

…more to come

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Mentoring my first software engineering intern

I recently had the honor of mentoring a software engineering intern, Ben, for my employer from the local university’s Computer Science program. At the first mention of the program earlier in the year I was eager to get involved as I absolutely love teaching and learning from others. After the nine week internship I have zero regrets. And I did come away with some notes for the next go-around. I made sure to ask for an honest, no hard-feelings review from Ben.

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Realized benefits of programming in grade school

I was fortunate enough to attend a vocational high school that offered Computer Science curriculum as a first-class citizen. Years 2002-2006 included general IT (A+) and networking (Cisco networking), C++, Java, Oracle SQL and some Web design training along with traditional math, English, etc. In addition, I spent my nights learning PHP and MySQL-based Web development. By the time I started college I felt like a mid-level developer. I wasn’t, of course. But I felt like one. This early introduction to software development yielded several benefits that helped in high school, college, and in my career today.

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