A Budding Software Developer

This was my entry into the world of professional software development. I got a job at DatStat by convincing the good people there that I’m a quick learner! They made me put my money where my mouth was with a project-based interview. That project was my first exposure to SQL databases, MVC architecture, and C# (which I don’t care for too much these days, more on that later). I rose to the challenge and had a great time doing so!

Initially I had pretty bad imposter syndrome working at DatStat, being the youngest person in the office and only having taken two computer science classes (one of which was in highschool almost 4 years prior). These fears were regularly quelled my boss each time we did performance reviews. Inbetween reviews the fear kept me vigilant. I kept a list of “stuff you don’t know that you should know,” containing tools, phrases, concepts, or anything that I would hear around the office and not know. (These days I keep this list for all projects, calling it SYDKBYSK). Each night I would study the items on the list with the little time I had between homework and the million other things that I tried do while in college.

Being able to apply the concepts I learned in school directly to my work at DatStat was a tremendous way to cement them in my mind and also learn their significance in the industry. Before long I found that my coding proficiency and my ability to contextualize the theoretical world of academia with the practical world of software development exceeded most of my classmates.

Work and Experience

Working at DatStat had me building out custom reports for various clients, as well as integrating their hardware and/ or software with our platform. I also saw the company build two products from the ground up in an attempt to replace an existing product providing invaluable experience from an architectural and business standpoint. Later in my time there we underwent a massive operations overhaul. Seeing our internal process restructured and fine tuning that process was similarly educational.

DatStat’s software stack was mostly Microsoft-based (which I do not prefer these days, but I’m no hater). The more important lessons learned from working there were higher level: how to architecture practical software, how to navigate legacy code, how to triage issues, and how to allocate time among the constituents of a software development team.