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Software Engineering Unlocked on Smash Notes

Software Engineering Unlocked podcast.

February 26, 2020

In this show, I open you the doors to companies and thought leaders around the world. With my guests, I discuss software engineering best practices and pitfalls, and how they strive to build software people love.

Episodes with Smash Notes

In this episode, I talk to Diana Mounter, the Director of Design Infrastructure at GitHub. Diana traveled the world and lived in many different countries – even continents. She started as a print designer and spent some time in government before she got into web and design. Now, she leads the design systems at GitHub.

We talk about: - what design systems are and why we need them, - how GitHub deals with legacy code and refactoring, - how the designer role interplays with other roles at GitHub, - how and why designers do code reviews, - and how GitHub strives for inclusive designs that make everyone feel like an expert.

In this episode, I talk to Emma Bostian, who recently started as a software engineer at Spotify. And Emma is the kind of person, that not only applies and interviews for jobs, but at the same time writes a complete book about her interviewing experience hunting for this dream job. This book sold so well, that she could pay back all her medical debt. Before joining Spotify, she worked for LogMeIn, and IBM. She won competitions and moved countries several times.

We talk about: - her interview experience with Spotify and Google, - her experience moving countries during a global pandemic, - what makes for a great onboarding experience and - how we can take action to make sure workplaces are friendly and welcoming.

In this episode, I talk to Chris Biscardi, an independent software consultant about how he became successful through open source and community building.

We talk about - how he niched down to only work with open source companies - how he build the Party Corgi community by showing up and leading by example - and what he thinks it takes to start your own successful software business in 2020.

In this episode, I talk to myself. Yeah, to celebrate the one year anniversary of the podcast, I tell you about my own journey into tech, and my experiences working at Microsoft and Microsoft Research. I share with you the turning points in my career and also how and why I started my own business.

I talk about: - how I got into tech without any previous computer knowledge,  - how my dream of becoming a researcher in the industry became true, - and why I transitioned to remote work. - Finally, I talk about starting my own business because of the need for more flexibility to combine family and work.

In this episode, I talk to Kent C. Dodds, a software engineer, and teacher. Before starting his entrepreneurial journey, Kent has been working for PayPal. He is a major open source contributor and also the creator and maintainer of the widely used open-source testing-library.

Code that he writes is used by millions of people around the world, and he also teaches thousands of engineers how to test their JavaScript systems, and how to work with React.

We talk about: - best practices in testing modern software systems,  - the testing pyramid and it's "successor" the testing trophy, - why integration tests might be more beneficial than unit tests, - how you should avoid testing implementation details, - and how testing sentiments have changed over the last 10 years. 

In this episode, I talk to Angela Andrews, a solution architect at Red Hat. Angela is a curious learner who has worn many hats over the last +20 years in the tech industry.

We talk about:

- her experiences as a sysadmin, - how she learned to program, - and how she transitioned into becoming a solution architect at Red Hat. - She also shares why she has a wall of different certifications, - and started a bunch of different learning circles - and communities that help people learn to program and reach their goals.

In this episode, I talk to Jigyasa Grover, a machine learning engineer at Twitter. Jigyasa is my first data engineer, and so it's great to learn from her about what her day to day work entails. But in addition, she is also very ambitious and tells me about her successful career path through internships and research projects.

We talk about: - what a machine learning engineer does,  - how to get started as a machine learning engineer, - open source and Google's summer of code projects, - and her role at Facebook combing data and software engineering. 

In this episode, I talk to Amir Salihefendić, CEO and Founder of Doist, the company behind the widely successful productivity app ToDoist. Amir shares with me his entrepreneurial journey and talks with me about the company and engineering values lived at Doist.

We talk about: - bootstrapping from idea to market leader, - how asynchronous communication helps create better products, - why he believes in the vitality of recharging, - and how to get a job at the remote-first company Doist.

In this episode, I talk to Tudor Gîrba, CEO and co-founder of Feenk, a software consultancy. Over the last 10 years, Tudor researched new ways to develop software – called moldable development. In this interview, I did deep to understand what that exactly means, and how he started to work on a novel IDE that enables moldable developments.

We talk about: - how reading code slows down software productivity, - building developer tools, - starting your own software company, - transitioning from consultancy to product company, - and applied research.

This episode is part 2 of my interview with Cher. In this part, we deep-dive into her interview experience at Apple and how she worked her way up to a Staff engineering position.

We talk about:

- the hiring process at Apple - the tasks and responsibilities of a Staff engineer - mental health, and bipolar disorder - and how the "disability" box can be a life-changer when it comes to getting accommodations for your special needs.

Check-out also part 1 of this interview, in which Cher talks about how she overcame poverty and hardship. 

In this special episode, Cher shares her inspirational story about she overcame hardship and poverty, and worked her way up to now be a staff engineer at Apple. Cher has incredible strength in her, and bravely shares her struggles dealing with mental health issues publicly. She also regularly reminds people that they belong in tech independent of their education or background. I am impressed by how she openly shares her vulnerabilities and encourages and lifts up others.

In this episode, I talk to Trisha Gee, who is the Lead of the Java Developer Advocacy Team at JetBrain. She is an expert for Java high-performance systems, and developed software for a variety of industries, such as finance or manufacturing.

We talk about: - how she got started in tech, - why it’s harder to read than write code, - how it is to work at JetBrains, - her hiring experiences, - and how she overcame imposter syndrome and started to feel confident with her competences.