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Sara Software developer
Sara Software developer

19. May 2021

Sara, Software developer

Sara is a Junior Software Developer at CHECK24 in Hamburg. Read on to learn more about her start and her tasks at CHECK24!

Hi Sara, tell us who you are and how you got into Software Development.

Hi, I'm Sara, 32 years old, and I've been a software developer at CHECK24 in Hamburg for a year and a half. I got into the IT industry as a career changer, through the IT bootcamp "neue fische" here in Hamburg. There I learned the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript with the framework React. As a final project, I built an app, with which I then also applied at CHECK24. Two months after the bootcamp, I started at CHECK24. So I'm still relatively fresh in software development.

Why did you decide to join CHECK24 and what particularly excited you?

I was excited by the technologies we work with. CHECK24 introduced itself at our bootcamp and mentioned that I could work with PHP as well as Javascript, and thus not "only" in the frontend, but also in the backend. I found that very exciting. When I had my trial day at CHECK24, I got the chance to see how they approach software development and I got my expectations confirmed. Additionally, there was a great vibe in the office. In the beginning, I was able to do a new starter project to get familiar with the new technologies. After that, I was given easier and progressively more difficult tickets and was slowly integrated into the daily work. The onboarding was very valuable, especially for me as a career changer.

What is your job at CHECK24?

As a software developer, I work together with my colleagues on both the frontend and the backend of our comparison. As a junior, I still get support, but there are also many areas I can work on alone. Tasks, such as new features for the site, are described by our product managers in tickets and we developers then work on them. We try not to make the tickets too complex, so on average you spend one to three days working on one ticket. That means everyone usually does several tickets per week.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

I'm get up early, so I'm usually one of the first in the office, or at the moment at my desk in the home office. But by 10:30 at the latest, all my colleagues are there for the morning stand-up and we discuss who is currently working on which ticket. After that, I continue working on my tickets. I'm constantly in touch with my colleagues. Even in home office, you don't feel alone at all. Twice a week, we discuss future tickets and estimate their complexity. And every Friday we plan the next sprint, i.e. the next week.

Is working as a developer the way you imagined it?

I used to think that developers just stare at the screen all day, typing away silently and lonely.

But that's a misconception of what everyday work is really like. Everything we do is always a team effort. We talk a lot about our code, think together, exchange ideas and look for solutions together. It's always very lively in our office. Fortunately, we've been able to transfer that to our home office time quite well.

Why software development?

I really like that my job is so diverse and that I really learn a lot every day. I especially enjoy it when, for example, I don't understand a bug at first. Then I ponder the problem and when I'm no longer expecting it, I've suddenly found the solution. Then I sometimes have a little "aha" moment, but it feels to me like the twist in an exciting thriller. You then have a real Sherlock Holmes moment, which I always find great.

Sara Software developer

What is your favourite technology and why?

Frontend is easier for me than backend, that's why I'm having more fun with it. I can discuss my solutions and defend my code in review. We work with Angular on the frontend, which I just learned and like a lot. We get our code very clearly structured with it and can make our site faster and faster. Also, Angular itself is always evolving and it's exciting to see how Javascript and Angular grow.

What exciting project are you working on right now?

The great thing is that my work is very versatile and diverse. I'm constantly working on new exciting projects and it never gets boring.

Right now, my team has restructured our entire comparison track. To do this, we copied our old track and rebuilt it over several weeks. I expected several months of work to implement it all, but we were really fast!

The last thing I did was to work on our automated tests for this new track. This was a completely new topic for me, and found it very exciting. Now we can quickly see again after deployments if anything has broken.

What can you tell us about your team?

At the moment my IT team consists of 11 developers, plus 3 product managers with whom we also talk every day. Everyone is very nice! I was and still am in need of a lot of help and everyone is immediately willing to answer my questions or explain contexts, so I am really grateful.

Joint team events are very important for us. Before Corona, for example, we went stand-up paddling on the Alster or often had a barbecue on the roof terrace. That's not possible right now, of course, but we always meet up on Friday afternoons for a virtual drink and toast the week and chat a bit.

What do you wish for your future at CHECK24?

When I started at CHECK24, I was a complete beginner. Now I'm doing very well and I'm very happy with how much I've learned in the last year.

The codebase is so big and the tech stack so complex that I'm sure I won't get bored anytime soon. I think I will continue to learn a lot and build knowledge in the next year.

What would you like to give women for a career in IT?

Before I did the bootcamp, I would have never seen myself in IT. It just wasn't on my radar that I could be good at it and I had a stereotypical idea of the profession. Working in IT means problem solving, pondering, logic but also creativity and communication. Above all, software development is so multifaceted that there is a place for everyone. I would therefore motivate women to at least take a look at whether programming could possibly be the right thing for them. I was surprised that it was such a good fit.

And for all the women who are already thinking about going into IT: Definitely do it! We need more women in IT.

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