Binary code

To celebrate National Coding Week, we took some time to chat to some of our developers for an insight into the world of programming, debugging, and everything in between. 

Luke is one of our most experienced developers with over 15 years of code review and testing.  

Oskar is an apprentice who joined Unique IQ in March 2018. Oskar’s main focus is our IQ:careplanner software which he works upon with our other apprentice, Bruno. 

Coming from a background in chemical engineering, Bruno chose to take a jump into the world of coding in March 2019 when he joined our team.

Scott has been with us since 2013, working his way up from apprentice to product manager, overseeing thousands of lines of code throughout this time. His main focus is the IQ:timecard system. 

What got you into coding?

Oskar: I’ve always been interested in learning how software works and its relationship with hardware, thus beginning my career in coding. 

Luke: I have been playing around with computers since I was a kid and back then, not many did! I was always interested in Linux and had a great passion for tinkering with it. Programming slowly came over time, as I went further into the computing rabbit hole.

Scott: Ever since school programming has fascinated me; I’ve always liked the idea of being able to build something from scratch which will make your own life / other people’s lives easier.

Bruno: The love of creating something logical, that I can control the outcome of got me into coding. Coding gave me the chance to create something out of nothing, that can have and serve a purpose. That freedom feeds my creativity and I’m very happy doing it.

What coding type is your favourite?

Oskar: My favourite coding language has to be either C# or, mainly because these are the languages that I have started learning and object-oriented code, I find, is a lot easier to understand.

Luke: I don’t have a favourite as such, but have always like the LAMP stack, which is a combination of Linux, Apache, MySQL Perl/PHP/Python. In some ways this type of environment is old hat compared to the newer enterprise solutions, but I enjoy it and that’s what counts to me.

Scott: My favourite thing to do in programming would have to be performance optimisation; there’s something very satisfying about taking some existing code, painstakingly debugging it line by line, and making a small tweak resulting in performance being drastically improved.

Bruno: Probably C#, because it is so widely used nowadays, although I don’t have favourites. 

What coding type is your least favourite? Or the one you find most dull/challenging? 

Oskar: My least favourite language has to be HTML as I find it extremely boring to write and debug. 

Luke: Anything that is out of date, languages that should have died a long time ago but you have to maintain legacy applications still being built in them. You may find legacy code using a language you don’t mind, but it’s so out of date and is missing all the cool functionality of the new versions.

Scott: I would have to say writing UnitTests is my least favourite part of programming; although they are absolutely essential to maintaining a stable code base and preventing regressions. I always prefer creating new features / fixing bugs as these provide more tangible value than tests which we only ever run internally.

Bruno: HTML, although it is not really a programming language. But the fact that it doesn’t have any need for a logic though behind it, feels a bit dull.

If you could give advice to someone looking to enter the world of coding, what would it be?

OskarCoding may seem confusing and complicated, but after you learn the syntax of the code (how it’s meant to be written) it gets a lot easier. After this it’s a lot easier as most things that you have to work with (such as controls) have a lot of code that is similar to each other, making it a lot easier to understand etc.

Luke: Only pursue a career in computing if you’re naturally interested in it; it shouldn’t be like your hitting your head against a brick wall. You should be enjoying the challenge and appreciate slowly acquiring a deep knowledge of it all. Programming isn’t for everyone!

Scott: Don’t be deterred by failure. There are a lot of times when you first start out programming that you find yourself banging your head against your desk after looking at the same line of code for hours, thinking that it’s simply not possible that your code is behaving the way it is. It’s very easy in these moments to start thinking that programming isn’t for you, but the great thing about computers is that there is always a reason for something happening, and if you dig deep enough you’ll always be able to work out what’s going on, even if it does take you thousands of Google searches and a few grey hairs to get to the bottom of it! In my experience it’s these situations which you learn the most from and make you a better developer going forward.

Bruno: Doing something you love to do is half of the way, because you will be able to spend more time with a higher attention spawn on it. The rest is lots of practice and I would also suggest to learn a language that has lots of support online and that is widely used in the industry like C#, C++ for example.

Finally, is the matrix code real?

Oskar: It’s totally very real.

Luke: It will be, it’s in the making #IOTA

Scott: It’s a sushi recipe right?

Bruno: If this refers to the code in green passing on the displays, no I don’t think so. If it refers to us being in a “Matrix”, well just by probability alone it is probable that we are a simulation than the real thing. Also some experiments in quantum physics seem to be very in line with what we call “rendering of objects”. For example, the position of some particles is only determined after someone actually checks for it (check online for double-slit experiments – it will blow your mind).

If you’d like to find out more about what our coders have been up to lately, check out our blog post ‘Solving human problems through code’.  

Interested in working for us?

Check out the current vacancies in our engineering team.

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