This post was originally published as part of the Joblift Blog.
Meet Ellen, a developer and one of the “oldest” Joblifters – she has been part of the company since (almost) the very beginning and supports the tech team in Hamburg.
What is your job title and how long have you worked at Joblift?
I’m a Software Developer and started in December 2015 as a working student. After finishing my Master’s thesis in cooperation with Joblift, I joined full-time in October 2016. So, it’s been almost three years now, which is a pretty long time for a startup employee. In fact, my boss once called me a “Joblift dinosaur”.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Software Development is a very fast moving industry. What is valid now may no longer be in a couple of months. In my line of work, it would be more appropriate to say “state of the moment” than “state of the art”. On the one hand, constantly leaving your comfort zone is a big challenge, but on the other hand this is what makes Software Development such an interesting field: there is always something new to discover.
Another challenge is bridging the gap in perspective between users and developers: What seems intuitive to you as a developer might be the complete opposite for someone else. Finding out what end users want and transferring that into a usable feature that works from a UX perspective is a problem that will always pop up.
Besides that, we (as a company) are facing the typical challenges of a growing startup: At first, it was quite easy to keep track of what happened in the company, what features were developed and which parts of our software architecture were responsible for the corresponding functionality. Now, with nearly 20 developers, this has become nearly impossible. As a consequence our daily work must be done in smaller teams and structured by processes. Additionally, knowledge and information have to be actively distributed.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A hot cup of coffee! Or two.
What did you want to be when you were a child and to what extent does your position at Joblift match this idea?
As a child I never had a concrete plan as to what I wanted to be, but I had lots of different ideas – none of them lasted long. Indeed, studying Software Development was more like an “accident”, but it turned out I really enjoy it, and can even find some aspects of my childhood dream jobs in my current profession. For example:
- An interpreter, as well as a developer, needs to learn lots of different languages: Each programming language has its own kind of grammar and syntax.
- Who didn’t want to be Sherlock Holmes as a child? Well, I did. And sometimes when hunting, finding and fixing a bug, you somehow feel like a detective. And you’re never truly complete without having good team members like John Watson!
- And last but not least: architects or cabinet maker. Of course, as a developer, you do not design buildings or furniture – but designing software architecture and planning how to build it is a big part of your job. Based on an idea or feature request you create a concept, and then implement and test it. After providing it to our users, we can see the results on our website and how exactly it is used.
If you were a Disney character, which one would you be?
Cheshire Cat – a bit weird (hopefully in a funny way), sarcastic and accommodating.
What do you like best about working at Joblift?
I like the atmosphere at Joblift: It’s a young and evolving company. The youth is for sure based on the fact that Joblift was founded just a couple of years ago, but we’re also quite young from a demographic point of view. This means that we might have a higher turnover rate, but at the same time there is constantly someone bringing in fresh ideas.
As I already said we are facing some normal organisational challenges, but this gives you the chance to influence processes, collaboration and company culture. For me, this is very valuable because one does not always have the opportunity to shape the company you work for.