PyConKe attracts experts from all kinds of companies (see the PyConKe 2017 sponsors here) that use python or python technologies in their products. It was an honor to get the chance to hear their advice on issues and questions that we often ask ourselves as growing developers.
On the second day of the PyConKe event, we had a brief panel discussion by (from far left of the feature image) Dylan Fried CTO and Co-Founder at Lendable, Sam Kitonyi Director of Engineering at Jumo, Samuel Gikandi CEO and Co-Founder at Africa’s Talking, Nemo Samret Co-Founder and CTO at Gro Intelligence and the moderator of the session Kate Kimani Head of Engineering at Lendable. Within this 30 minute session we had the chance to ask these amazing experts questions and here is their advice to developers.
Q. What do you consider when hiring in terms of who or what makes up a good developer?
Readiness to learn and adapt to new technologies: every day the tech field is undergoing constant change, therefore, it is a dynamic field. Very often, it is not about how much you already know but how much are you willing and ready to learn. A good developer adapts quickly to new tools and is current.
Open to change, flexibility: a good developer is not stuck in his/her ways. There is always a better or different way of accomplishing a task or creating something. Also, requirements change, policies change and technology changes, sometimes amidst a project and other times after its accomplished. In such a dynamic field, a developer cannot help but be flexible.
Be able to get things done, be productive: this quality manifests itself in a couple of ways. Software development is a field that comes with deadlines. Thus, productivity may not only present itself as the quality of work you do but also the ability to keep up with and meet deadlines.
Smart: an impressive skillset goes a long way in ensuring that you get hired. It is not just about three years of C# or one of Java, it is about the quality of projects you have undertaken, personal or otherwise.
Seeing the vision of the company or startup: it is important to understand and be in line with the vision you are working towards.
Q. Would you advise developers to work at startups?
It is advisable to work at startups because they are rewarding opportunities for growth. Startups are rewarding not in terms of pay but in terms of skill. Yes you may not be paid your worth or your degree but working at a startup offers a different kind of reward, incentive-based system on skills and opportunities seized rather than money.
Your work is easily recognized (as well as failures) much easier than at a corporate job. This, therefore, presents greater opportunities for growth. Teams are small. The flipside is that failures are easily seen. The advantage arising from this is that you do not slack and that keeps you focused, makes you keener and thrusts you out of your comfort zone.
It is an opportunity to meet new people. Startups often involve many developers or individuals who come and go thus giving you an opportunity to socialize and meet new people.
Q. How do you choose the company to work at?
Research about the company, find out if the field and solutions they work on interest you on a professional or personal level.
This was the advice to developers imparted at the PyConKe 2017 event.