Oct 12, 2022
Part 2 - What does a Senior Developer at Denovo do?
For the second interview of the series, we, Bernhard Waidacher, Senior Full Stack Developer at Denovo, answered questions about his daily work and his job. At the end, he even gives tips for future developers.
How did you get into programming?
My interest in programming started in my school days, when I chose the branch EDP and organization at HTL Kaindorf. There, I was particularly enthusiastic about the clear focus on software development.
At what age did you start?
I took my first steps in software development at the age of 14 in the HTL and haven't moved away from it since. "That's also about when the iPhone first appeared in Austria, and with the App Store, an infinite number of possibilities suddenly opened up for developers."
What was your first programming language?
Back then, the first programming language I learned was Java.
What exactly is your role as a Fullstack Developer all about?
First and foremost, a developer takes care of implementing user stories. But often it is not only about the realization of projects, but my work starts already in the planning phase. My technical knowledge is already needed at the start of new projects, which means that I sometimes take part in the conception and provide technical input in the development process. I can also support our junior developers with my experience, which is something I really enjoy doing.
"By the way, we have a buddy system that has already been successfully tested. It helps new employees get started and there's always someone to talk to if you have any questions."
What do you particularly like about your job?
I particularly like the fact that I have a lot of freedom to make decisions regarding technologies, frameworks and libraries. Also, at Denovo we work on projects in different industries, such as the circular economy, audiology, health, lifestyle, or manufacturing. Therefore, we always deal with different topics and working with our customers remains exciting. Our projects often meet my personal area of interest and I can always enjoy the creation of a new product.
What challenges do you face in your job?
Most of the time, projects run rather smoothly. Only sometimes do difficulties arise, such as user stories not being entirely clear in their first version in terms of actual implementation. But since we rely on agile software development, the Scrum process ensures constant communication here thanks to daily meetings and direct project-based agreements in the Slack channels. This way, no information is lost.
What are your preferred technologies?
For iOS apps I use SwiftUI and Swift respectively, and for the web backend GraphQL and Typescript.
Windows or Mac?
Definitely and without further comment Mac. No, kidding. At Denovo we develop entirely on MacBooks and work with the latest hardware and peripherals. Over time, I've come to really appreciate the excellent interplay of this ecosystem.
Do you have projects outside of work?
My passion for coding leads me to work on my own projects every now and then in my spare time. Currently, though, I'm 100% focused on the job at Denovo.
How do you keep yourself up to date?
Most of the time, the emergence of new challenges in projects results in the need for further training. During the search for the right solution and the research for it, you always come across something new.
"The employees at Denovo have the opportunity to take advantage of classic and hybrid training courses at any time."
For example, "Udemy" offers interesting courses on various technologies. There is also an Apple developer conference every year. I like to attend these to keep up to date. But browsing through various Reddit forums also helps.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In general, I feel very comfortable in my current role as a senior full stack developer. Then for the future, I see myself doing even more mentoring. I like to take over the training of junior developers and would also like to take on more responsibility.
Tips for beginners
How do you start programming?
It is best to find a problem that you have always wanted to solve. Then you have to try to implement this idea and learn a lot of new things. So just try it out and don't give up!
What personality traits do you need for the job?
The most important thing is probably logical thinking and understanding of problems. This is needed to find the right solutions. In addition, a structured way of working is absolutely essential. A developer should also be willing to learn and always open to new technologies. One should also not be afraid to take responsibility for one's own work. This goes hand in hand with the freedom to make decisions that you have in the job. Since the applications you develop should also be pleasant for the user in terms of usability, you usually work closely with designers who develop the UX design. For this, imagination for visual implementation is important. Another very important point is, contrary to the prejudices against programmers, the willingness to communicate. For a successful project, regular consultations and meetings with product owners, customers and all developers involved are essential.
What kind of education do you find useful for the job as a full stack developer?
In my opinion, it is not important which education someone has, but which skills the person has acquired. It doesn't matter whether these were learned at school, in university or self-taught. It is also possible to build up enough technical knowledge in one's spare time to be able to work as a Developer, in addition to working in a completely different profession.
"More important than school or academic degrees are references and experience."