Working With Today's Young Developers

Working With Today's Young Developers

04 Oct 2016 12:12 by Jan Andersen, CEO of StoreGecko

With the advancement in technology each year, it becomes more complex and more and more specialized. This kind of growth means that the number of people, skills and expertise that you need to have access to in order to make any product come to life is getting crazier and crazier and harder and harder to reach to. 


Combine this with the fact that we are in a supply and demand situation where the number of enough smart developers is far fewer than the number of hungry startups that need them.
 

6 lessons, warnings and just crazy experiences from working with today’s young developers

And as the one older dude running a crazy, eager and young startup these days I can say I’ve had some crazy experiences with today´s young developers. I’ve picked out some of my lessons, warnings and thoughts on the subject.

No patience

What I’ve noticed is … and don’t get me wrong, I don’t know if it’s because I am getting old, but young developers do not have the patience to learn the way I did when I was their age. They want to get to all the cool stuff after being only 6 months on the job. And I am trying to teach them everything I can in their early days in order to respond to this impatience.

A cat with a ball of yarn

I learn now how easily distracted the youth is by new cool stuff... and by basically everything. This generation has information thrown at them each passing second and they feel the need to undertake “cool” stuff all the time during their work.

The evolution of technology is happening like a flash of light and it drives them to want to be included in everything new, jumping to the next thing way too fast. But I am turning this into a positive thing because I can answer to their enthusiasm with clear expectations and they can answer back with new knowledge.

Disregard for wisdom

I’ve worked with a lot of developers in Ukraine, Pakistan and now in Bulgaria. What I’ve noticed and what is part of my thoughts about them is that they are always sure they know everything, which makes them disregard the value of experience so much more. But I can find the positive side of this. When people think they’re that smart, it makes them so much more courageous to risk and try to develop something that no one has before.

Tunnel Vision

As a manager and as a person who has the idea of a whole product in his head, I have my challenges with making developers see the bigger picture, beyond the code on the screen this very moment. And not just about the StoreGecko concept, it is about everything. They look at the world through a sniper scope. But this single mindedness is just one of the things you have to get used to and turn into an advantage.

Introverted

It comes bundled with that strangely wired brain of theirs, doesn’t it? Developers are mostly lone wolves and unless you are extremely lucky, nerds bonding inside of teams is rare. It’s a shame. I hope to show my current coders how to work more together and respect each other in order to get better at what they do. I think coaching is very much needed, much like coaching a sports team and I am definitely going to implement this in the company.

Where are the girls - seriously?

This is my biggest frustration - why aren’t there more girls doing coding? Ladies, there is a lot of money, respect and career opportunities in this profession. And you will cause a team of young guy developers buzzing like a bee hive. You have nothing to lose - try it, please!


As a CEO of a tech company I have come to learn and appreciate that this is not the time to imitate Don Quixote and you cannot change the reality that you live in. It is my job as a CEO and as a leader to my startup to put myself in the heads of the wonderfully weird, curious and impatient nerds because they are the wizards creating the foundation of any tech startup.

4 totally random and personal thoughts that otherwise keep me sane while running a crazy ass startup with a bunch of young peoplе

 

Apparently Kanye West is cool?

New thought - I need to learn pop. Or at least everything trendy right now. I am surrounded by young people who convince me that I have to put Kanye West’s new video in a client's e-mail campaign. For the curious … yes, I did it.

Oh my god, leverpostej

I found a Danish leverpostej in Sofia and I have been feeling so close to my roots ever since.

I need a vacation

We are in a development sprint at the moment - refactoring StoreGecko all summer. But after it’s over, I am going to go visit my family and friends back in Denmark. A well deserved time-off, I’d say.

Go Broncos

The NFL has finally started. Go Denver Broncos - 3 and 0 even without my main man Peyton!

 


Everything these days is in tens, but what if you don't have ten - so I have settled for six and filling up with four - and six/four just happens to be my birth year, right? 

Much like how my thoughts on some matters I can’t be without some random distractions to get me through the day.

6:4

This is going to be a series of blog posts, written by our CEO. ’64 is the year he showed up on this world and ever since he had his head full of ideas. One pattern, two numbers - 6:4. 6 deep thoughts straight out of the boss’ experience and 4 funny thoughts he has on the subject. Starting from ’64 up ’til now…

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