The next step after attending a Code School Bootcamp is finding a job. As someone that's been in the industry for a while I often get asked for pointers, tips, and just general ideas for starting a career in programming. These are my thoughts and four key pieces of advice on about how to get started.
Building software for humans is hard. One might think the increasing importance of computing in an average persons life would make the job easier on UX designers and engineers. In fact, the opposite is true. New software's success rests on its builders creating it to be easy to understand. One of the most important ways to accomplish this is illustrated by one of my favorite design hacks: the always open Mac Finder.
The Atlanta Tech Village is a constantly buzzing startup space with a coffee shop, kegs in the community room, ping-pong tables, and a few hundred dedicated startups. The companies inside range from a founder, a laptop, and a dream to VC backed orgs with seven figure run rates. Irrespective of the state of your company, there's someone there that's been there before and done that. Early stage companies need to be careful to not allow this benefit to become a distraction.
I can easily picture the scene. A conference room filled with top executives are digesting the message from the CEO. He wants VW to be the #1 auto manufacturer in the world by 2018, which cannot be done without breaking into the hyper-competitive and well served North American market. The question for the executives is what can be done to differentiate the brand and attract customers to the showrooms.
The marketing guy hits on an idea, the American is saturated in everything except diesel vehicles, an area where VW already excels in. The engineering head expresses concerns, the American emissions standards are very strict. Meeting them would negate the performance benefits. But then he remembers one of his engineers boasting that they could tell if a test was done on the road vs in the lab based on sensor data alone. It was gamble, but a plan was quickly hatched to put in the hack to test if there was a viable market for selling diesel passenger vehicles in the USA.
In a recent conversation with a local VC we both commented on how the VC-backed software industry places a premium on ex-management and executive talent from large West Coast firms, but considers individuals that reached the same status in Atlanta as detriments. These are my thoughts on why that is today and the changes on the horizon that will improve that dynamic.