Reflecting on 10 years of Software Development

March 2, 2017   

Reflecting on 10 years of Software Development

I’ve been at Omnitech Inc for 10 years on March 1, 2017. Before that I did some PHP development in college for the Center for Small Towns which was a great job and learning opportunity. I’ve been very blessed to work Omnitech all these years. I highly respect our owners and my co-workers. They’ve been supportive and taught me a lot. It’s been great to see Omnitech grow in people, culture and knowledge. We’ve come a long ways and there is so much more to learn improve on.

Changes

I’ve seen a lot of things change in the last 10 years in technology, but also in myself. When I started .Net 2.0 was relatively new, but I still was able to work on some PHP sites. Visual Source Safe and WebForms were our main tools. I knew next to nothing about .Net (we had done Java in college) and using JavaScript was avoided. jQuery wasn’t even out yet :-). I was on a Windows XP desktop with 2GB of RAM (maybe less) and Visual Studio 2005.

There were several developers that were earning Microsoft Certifications and I decided I could do that as well. I got through the full set of .Net 2.0 tests which lay a solid foundation for my future.

I’ve learned that learning a little often adds up quickly. I spent a lot of lunches studying for certifications or watching Pluralsight videos. I studied for a WPF certification and then I was able to do “real” work using it to create a few applications. Learning MVVM for Silverlight helped me learing KnockoutJS (Who said Silverlight is dead? The ideas live on!). Watching John Papa’s Pluralsight video on KnockoutJs ended up being time well spent. It wasn’t too long after that I was using Knockout in a “real” project.

seeing the bigger picture

Highlights

  • Many Heartland Developers Conferences (HDC) in Omaha, NE
  • Watching the Spotify culture videos as a team 4-5 years ago was eye opening on how larger development teams can work as “squads”.
  • Books
    • Art of Unit Testing
    • Pragmatic Programmer
    • Specification By Example
    • Don’t Make Me Think! Revisited - Steve Krug - UX book
    • Clean Code - Bob Martin - I didn’t read it myself, but the interns did with other devs and gave a good overview presentation
    • Continuos Delivery - Jez Humble
    • The Phoenix Project - Gene Kim
    • The DevOps Handbook - Gene Kim
  • Presenting at SD Code Camps (2016, 2017) and NE Code in 2017.

Lessons Learned

Be honest, humble and open.

Learning a little consistently over a long time adds up to a lot.

Never stop learning.

Let others teach you new things.

Helping people is usually more important then just focusing on your own task.

“Improving daily work is more important then daily work” ~The Phoenix Project

Automate all you can (tests, builds, releases)

Remember to focus on life, family and faith. Don’t ignore those for the sake of career or learning technology.

I was going to fill this out more, but you’ll have to look at my blog posts.

Future Goals and Challenges

  • PWAs
  • Focused learning
  • helping others get DevOps culture and tools working
  • Mentoring


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