Here is the third installation of my Prodigy Developers interview: Sara Chipps – You can find her at GirlDeveloper.com. I highly suggest you check out her site. You will find some links below. She is loaded with energy, intelligence and a great thoughts on advancing your career as a developer.
Who: Sara Chipps:
Employer: MakeOver Solutions Site = DailyMakeover.com
Connect: Sara is open to comments and questions - sarajchipps [at] gmail.com
Sara has a realistic approach to communication in the work place and how to interact with others (in work or in the tech community) to learn and grow. She is not afraid to really push herself into uncomfortable areas, then using that experience to succeed and grow. She is very courageous and confident (although she may say otherwise).
Here is the Q&A with Sara.
Production Note: (Each link will take you to just that question/answer)
- Sara’s Background: Who What Where When: (2:40) .NET Developer at MakeOver Solutions - DailyMakeover.com, Speaking, Writing, very involved
- Sara on Continued Education / Training and the Community: (2:19) She uses training events, user groups, writing and connecting with other developers to force her learn. “People that really get involved keep each other educated.”
- Sara on being a woman in software Development Industry: (2:53) Gender is not an issue unless you make it an issue. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Many resources out there for women developers (technical professionals). ***Side note: Here is a related article Sara wrote for Datamation on Girls Considering a Career in IT.
- Sara on Importance of Communication (4:34) Most important non-technical skill is “Communication.” You must hear what they say vs. what they mean. She answers the differences in communicating with Developers, Users and Leaders.
- Sara on Strengths and Weaknesses (1:13) Good developer knows strengths and weaknesses
- Sara on Growing through the use of social media and benefit for asking Good Questions (2:09) “Ask questions all the time” always have someone to contact to help out with an problem. “There is such a thing as a dumb question” – do some research first, be prepared.
- Sara on Most Enjoyable part of being a developer and Balance (2:07) Love all of it. I do what I love. Choose what part of your craft you are good at, do it well.
- Sara on Reaching out to Community and her WAN Party (3:02) Do more with the community, speaking, WAN Party forces her to learn more.
- Sara on Mentoring (2:08) Most important thing to do when you start out is find a mentor. Find someone that thinks like you, but better. Find multiple mentors.
For reference here is Sara’s latest VLog: Girl Developer the News
Again I think you will see a similar thread here with others I’ve interviewed. In addition to their technical skills, hard work and passion they’ve had a good return on their investment by getting involved in the developer community. In Sara’s case she is everywhere; writing, speaking, blogging, vloging, answering questions, asking questions, creating her own WAN parties. She is not afraid of doing the uncomfortable for a personal / profession gain.
What are you doing to get involved in the community?
How have you put yourself into uncomfortable situations to help you grow (knowledge and career)?
Are you learning new things by interacting with other developers.
Do you have a mentor?
Do you really know your Strengths and Weaknesses?
Are passionate about what you are doing?
What are you doing to sharpen your communications skills?
Decide to do at least one thing to increase your value to your employer. Today is the day!