Tag Archives: software developer

So Many Different Things Learned

We discussed in class why some of us had problems opening the file we created for homework last week. We needed to make sure that the PHP is opened in the server not in the browser. We also discussed the agile development process and the concept of waterfall. The concept lies in the idea that different teams work together at different stages and the work flows between the channels. However, there were many issues with that methodology. The agile manifesto came about to solve the problem occurring in the waterfall methodology. They created a  way of how software should be developed. The most efficient and effective method of sharing information and development of a team is face-to-face conversation. This goes against the new trend of tele-work and how agile does not work within that trend.

The double diamond concept of design was also discussed in class. Usually we look at the first problem then get solutions, but we should look at both diamonds and look at every angle before coming up with solutions. When we work on one thing, we delve deep into it and forget to look at the overall macro level of the project.

I finalized my developer profile. I enjoyed working on mine and getting to know a person in the web development field. I also learned that you can start and get yourself into this field whenever and it is never too late. It is also important to try something out before assuming you will not enjoy it or be good at it. In the case of my developer, he had no idea he would be interested in software development and after taking a random course, he realized that it is where his passion lies and what he wants to do in his life. I also got the chance to read other profiles and learn more about other developers. 

The tutorial about command line was descriptive. Programs are made up of layers which result in the final nice looking version. It is a very cool way of handling things and documents on your computer. You give your computer demands, which are passed on to the computer system to run. We can navigate through our computer the way we use Finder on Mac. We should always be careful of any commands we can give because we could mess up our computer system or wipe it out with one simple command. 

Midterm Developer Profile

I was introduced to Mutsm through a friend because he thought Mutsm had a unique and an interesting path. He was born in Amman, Jordan in 1994. He grew up bright with so much potential and future ahead of him. During my conversation with him, he opened up about his background and family and how it shaped the man he is today. Both his parents are engineers and most of his family members were either engineers or doctors. There was a lot of pressure on Mutsm to take either route. According to his parents, it would have been a waste of his abilities if he decided to go another route, different from the scientific field. He did well in school his whole life and his parents were always very proud. When he got to high school, his parents made him take all math and science courses and advanced courses, in order to end up in a scientific field in college.

Mutsm got accepted into a Biomedical Engineering program at Johns Hopkins University, which is among the United States’ very best. He learned about Johns Hopkins from a mentor at his high school and then he came across the program when he did more research about it. He realized it was a very competitive program and could offer him a lot of opportunities. He decided to apply because of the potential this program could offer. It seemed interesting and had a great network. He also did not know what he wanted to do with his life, so it was an opportunity to explore options.

His first couple of months at the school were not as exciting. He was not as happy and his classes were not fulfilling his hunger for knowledge. He, then, remembered taking an Alice program during his senior year of high school, which he loved. He decided during the second semester of his freshman year at university to take a coding class for biomedical engineering where he worked with Python and Matlab. He really enjoyed it and did really well. This is when his interest in coding was first sparked. The following summer, he started doing coding on his own and learned how to solve problems on Project Euler. He also started taking more classes like Data Structures and Algorithms at university. He started applying programing into his biomedical engineering major. He wanted to switch majors, but he would have lost his scholarship and his parents opposed such a change. He agreed to continue doing biomedical engineering, as long as he got to work in the software development field after. During his senior year of college, he decided he wanted to do more coding and less biomedical engineering. He started applying to jobs in that field and doing his own projects, such as building an Android app to do note taking.

After college, he moved back to Jordan because he wanted to make a difference in his home country. He took a job at a startup called Mixed Dimensions, that built a marketplace for 3-D prints from games. He did not like the work or the little impact it had on the Jordanian community. He decided to join the new Expedia office that opened in Jordan, where he currently works as a software engineer, contributing to the expansion of US companies in Jordan.

Mutsem is starting a master’s in computer science at Georgia Tech this fall. The program is online, so he will be participating in it while still living in Jordan. The reason he joined the program is that he thinks it would help to have a structured approach to learning that he was not able to do on his own. Doing this degree would offer him discipline as he aspires to gain as much experience as possible.

His most recent work is doing open source projects. He created an Alfred workflow to get keyboard shortcuts for applications and websites. He actively maintains an open source project with 27 stars and 3 other contributors on GitHub, incorporating requests for support for more apps from active users. Each app and its shortcuts were stored as a Python dictionary and merged into a Pickle file to optimize for performance. The workflow was customizable so users could add their own apps locally and override default shortcuts. He worked on Firefox Open Source Contributions, where he increased Jest test coverage for Firefox Debugger by 2.5% of lines in React.js. He fixed UI issues for Firefox Content Server in Backbone.js. In terms of MeteorJS Open Source Contributions, he fixed issues with frontend miniMongo database to closely match it to MongoDB behavior. He also fixed backend authentication issues.

He has been extremely happy with the decision he had made in taking the software development path. He is now a mentor at his high school to help young students interested in software development and figure out their passion at an early age.


Healthcare and Computer Science

Jessica Jacques

Entering this class, I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to web development. Prior to this class, my only knowledge of any form of web development was making websites on Weebly. I was unaware that people had careers in constructing the code necessary to complete various projects.

I had the opportunity to speak with Jessica Jacques. She was born in Manhattan and  relocated to the suburbs of New City, N.Y. during her elementary school years. She graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Neurobiology Physiology. Working with computers was never really an interest of Jessica’s during her younger years. Jessica was a pre-med student and had plans to “go through the medical track.” She recalled that during her time in college there weren’t “too many blacks or Hispanics” in her program. After graduation, Jessica worked as a research student until she would soon find her career in a completely different field.

In February 2018, Jessica was hired as a software developer in the IT department for Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. She was able to incorporate her passion of working in the medical field with her new career as a software developer. The role of a software developer is to “create and maintain computer programs.” Her department is Healthcare IT and her major role is to create new and innovative ways to configure the software to fit the hospital’s needs. Jessica focuses on enhancement, solutioning, and troubleshooting. The hospital uses pre-developed code from their vendor Epic. Epic Systems is a healthcare software company that is privately owned. The hospital uses it to manage their medical records. The company is popular amongst the healthcare community because “hospitals that use its software hold medical records of 64% of patients in the United States and 2.5% of patients worldwide.” The coding language that Jessica primarily uses is MUMPS cache and its mostly utilized in hospitals and banks. She also uses SQL as a healthcare database. The program is used to “get a broader picture of medication adherence, patient demographics, where patients are, and population analysis.” It can inform hospitals about common diseases found in particular areas of a town. By working with the database, Jessica is able to provide the hospital with statistics, analytics, or whatever information the hospital deems as necessary. Her career allows her to continue to be involved in the medical community while keeping up with technology.

I wondered what factors led her to stray from the path of being a medical student to working behind-the-scenes with computers. After graduation, Jessica was a research student and was interested in applying for an open position as a research assistant at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. On resumes, you have to advertise yourself as the most qualified candidate. Jessica wasn’t very proficient in coding or computer software other than an elective computer science class she took in college. She listed that she had a computer background and immediately stood out to her employer. Mount Sinai hired her in 2011 and her career in IT began. Although she never had the intention of working in IT, Jessica enjoys her current career as a software developer and says she hasn’t left since she started. While diving into a new territory, she faced some challenges with some programs. She described Python to be the most difficult and its currently still a struggle at times. That program is her least favorite.

As we move forward into the future, being literate in technology is necessary. “I think definitely now the way technology is going, I think it’s important that people are at least exposed to minor coding and so on,” she said. “It’s just a good skill to have.” The starting salary for most programmers is around $79,000 and, although software developers will see a decline in job growth due to jobs being out-sourced, there is an expected 27 percent  growth in web developers over the next 10 years. She spoke out about the lack of women in the computer science field. College Board found that men outnumbered women by 4:1 on the AP computer science exam. In society, our technology is advancing at a fast pace, and there is a dire need for individuals that can maintain the programs used to perform tasks. At Montefiore, Jessica became part of a more diverse team, and she says that diversity plays a factor in a healthy work environment.

Overall, Jessica provided me with a view into a world I knew nothing about. I’ve always assumed that software and web development were mainly used in the communications field or for engineers who create robots and such. We fail to acknowledge the developers behind the technologies that improve our everyday lives. I also admire her ability to be successful in field that she didn’t expect to work in. Life may not always work the way we expect it to, but it’s up to us to adapt.