March 15, 2018
As a technically-focused business and one that's led by a Product Architect, our developers really are the heart of Squared Up, playing a critical role in ensuring we build awesome software that fixes real issues for our clients and does so with the minimum of fuss.
Our team's made up of an eclectic mix of developers from an array of backgrounds, ranging from interns up to lead developers with many years of experience.
To give you an insight into what life is like as a developer at Squared Up, we're pleased to share an interview with Wayne Plummer, Lead Developer. Wayne is one of our most experienced developers and is infamous for his dad jokes! Check out what he has to say about working at Squared Up, development as a career, and how much it has changed since his first job.
I’ve been in software development for 38 years, my first job was for Honeywell Information Systems in 1980.
I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a “guinea pig” in a demonstration of the suitability of the language LOGO, lead by the inspirational Seymour Papert of MIT at Exeter University in the summer of 1972. It involved six weeks of learning to program with robotic turtles with touch sensors, solving brock mazes or drawing on the floor with a pen. There was also a four-channel polyphonic music box, which was like science fiction come to life back in the 70s!
Just coming up to two years now.
I'm the lead developer on our exciting Visual Application Discovery & Analysis (VADA) feature. VADA pulls live connectivity data from servers which are being monitored by Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and uses it to build up a topological diagram of the architecture of a deployed application. It's a really cool feature and one which we're investing heavily in for our vNext release, with tons of new functionality coming soon, so it's a pretty good gig.
Seeing Richard Benwell demonstrating the product that I work on every day live on stage at major conferences, like Microsoft Ignite, is always a highlight for me. It gives me a real buzz to see how well he demonstrates how the software can solve real problems and to see how positively his audiences respond.
Squared Up is my fourth job; my first and third jobs were with very large companies and my second and this current job with small companies. Armed with many years’ experience in both types of company, I can say that I far prefer small! I relish the absence of cumbersome processes that would otherwise result in wasted development time. The development process at Squared Up is just what we need – if something changes and the process we’re using is no longer ideal for the new situation, then we change it without any fuss. Also, having a small development team located within a single office enables effective communication, avoiding the possibility of wasteful blunders (which I have seen happen on several occasions in larger companies!).
I would say that the big changes were, firstly, the introduction of email and other more modern collaboration systems for improving communication between developers and, secondly, internet search engines for massively improving access to reference materials. I cannot imagine ever going back to how we used to work in my first job!
Seeing a challenging problem solved well is definitely one of the most rewarding parts of my job. As for the downsides, it can be frustrating when something I've developed isn't working and it's taking time to work out why.
If you're passionate about software development, just do it! In my experience, it’s the aspiring developers who are already spending their spare time doing software development as a hobby who flourish in the profession and end up having the most rewarding careers.
Want to get in on the action and join our awesome development team? Great, you're in luck - we're looking for talented developers right now! Check out the vacancies here.