I am the lead developer of the Heroku team, which consists of six Python developers working on websites and products that don’t run on Salesforce. I make sure deadlines are met and everyone delivers good code. When working on larger projects, I make sure communication between the Salesforce team and project manager goes smoothly.
In my job, no day is the same: I spend 50 percent of my time coding and am taking care of things the other 50 percent of the time. This differs every day. Most days, I go through my e-mail and assign tasks for that day. Then I start work on my own tasks, which can be a project I am working on at the time, taking care of support questions, meetings, validating poule requests or helping people when are stuck. I don’t spend my entire day behind a computer screen.
I think it is most important people want to work here as a developer and finished a study in software engineering. That way I can be certain they know something about Object Oriented Programming and databases. It also helps if people know something about PostgreSQL for databases and knows the jargon, this makes talking a little bit easier. We write in Python, so knowledge on that language is also required.
We will never ask candidates to write a piece of code on a whiteboard. We give them an assignment, one we would do in our own spare time, and take a look at how someone gets to a solution, and which technique he uses. To me, the most important thing is that programming is your passion. A real programmer goes home at the end of the day to continue programming.
The best thing about working it Gen25 is how quickly we grow. When I started five years ago, there were only six of us, whereas now our team consists of more than 50 people. This growth ensures all kinds of challenges. Clients keep getting bigger as well, which means every project needs another solution. To me, this makes things very interesting.
We work on the Heroku-platform, which I think is very beautiful. You can focus on the development of your application and never waste time on managing networks or servers. Heroku works with containers with limited memory, so we are always looking for ways to make our code as efficient as possible. This requires creativity. If something works very well, it really cheers me up. Sometimes, I keep refreshing a page because it loads quickly.
The atmosphere at Gen25 is nicely informal and very cozy. We have a lot of days off-site with the team, and together with Selsa I arrange our yearly survival trip. During those getaways, we really see each other as friends, as more than colleagues. That is one of the reasons people like to stay at Gen25 for a long time.
There is a nice atmosphere, but we also strive to keep learning. For example, we go to congresses together. Last year we went to the PyCon conference in Cardiff. If you want to try a new technique, you can just start on a Friday afternoon. This freedom is nice, and it offers you the chance to develop yourself the way you want.
At Gen25, we try to only do projects that we really like. We feel very privileged to be able to do so. This ensures all kinds of new challenges, which means we are able to push our limits and always do what we like.
We eat lunch together, in two groups. In our last office, there was not enough space to place everyone in one room. That is why we developed a bot, sorting everyone into two groups and sending emails when they could go and have lunch. This way we made sure you were talking to other people every day.
My policy is very strict: I don’t discuss work during lunch. We are talking about all sorts of things. Some people go and play pool or foosball, but I like to talk to people about movies, series, or the news. The latest season of Game of Thrones is always a nice talking point. And when I have lunch with the Python team, we always talk about technical stuff.
Sometimes during lunch, we go and work out in the gym down the road. This gives new energy, a bit like resetting during the day.