Experts talk

1. What does it mean to be a specialist in your area?

It means to be concentrated and responsible on a daily basis. Paying attention to the details in correlation with the big picture. A specialist in my area will find balance between delivering quality software and delivering it on time by avoiding overdesigning or rushing.

Did I mention soft skills? Being able to keep your calm in tense situations is an important trait. Not only will it help you maintain professional level, but it will also rub off to your team with the same positive effect.

2. What are the major challenges for you?

The biggest challenges are the design of the software solutions (obviously) and the communication with the domain experts. Design is more important than coding when working on legacy systems. In such case, it is crucial to identify the least obtrusive way to introduce a change, otherwise you may face unforeseen consequences sooner rather than later.

Knowing the exact intention behind a requested change is a related challenge. Sometimes domain experts and software engineers fail to speak common language, which leads to unclear requirements. When it happens, do not shy away. Rather press the matter and get things clear.

3. What does a day in your life as an expert look like?

I usually come to office as early as possible. This gives me an hour or more to concentrate on important tasks before the buzzing of the workplace takes over the room. When I am stuck, instead of pressing on I usually get up and walk around the office to talk to colleagues, make a drink or simply gaze at the beauty of the cityscape. It is important not to overload as in my experience this always lead to poor performance.

KWhen I have less to do, I sometimes love to discuss new ideas with my teammates or simply learn more about what they have done in the last few days. This is also a good opportunity to read some articles on new technologies and get inspired for your own solutions.ear.

4. How can I become a specialist like you?

If you are new to the world of programming, you should invest around a year of dedicated studying just to get started. If you love what you do, progress comes naturally. When you actually start working, try to find a motivated group of people that takes genuine interest in the job. In the first few years pick a place where you will develop rather than prioritizing for money. Become part of the community and form realistic expectations by learning from more experienced people.

Reading and improving in the off hours is important, as job often becomes a chore eventually. Try to push yourself ahead of what you are doing at the office. Of course, do not let your personal life fall behind. Find some measure and make sure you have different sources of happiness.