At 3Ci, we take pride with building strong relationships with both our applicants and partners to create the perfect fit between the two. We think the tech, creative, and digital experts we work with are pretty incredible. In this series, we’re shining a light on the community of professionals who make our work possible.
Meet Austin. He’s an Atlanta-based back end developer with some awesome advice for his fellow software developers. His main word of wisdom? Never stop learning!
What’s your current role? What are your responsibilities?
Backend developer. My main responsibility is to translate business requirements into backend code. Working on the backend you need to make sure the data is durable, fault tolerant, and performant. Data comes in from the outside world, and we must ingest it and store it for future retrieval.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Professional baseball player, ha!
How did you get here? Tell us a bit about your professional background.
At 18, everyone is sort of forced to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Luckily, I had a Myspace in middle school, so I was already used to programming. I coupled that with my strength in math from high school and landed on Computer Science as a major when I enrolled in college. The learning curve was difficult starting out, but over the course of the degree I secured two internships that eventually landed me my first full time SWE role. I realized early on that the learning doesn’t stop once you leave the classroom. You have to be a constant student in this field to see gains in your craft. I’m now on my third full-time position out of school and am working on what I consider my most exciting project to date!
Why do you love software development?
When I was 12 years old, I remember my uncle saying something profound to me. He said, “Austin, there are two types of people in this world: people that work with their hands and people that work with their head.” I always wanted to be the person that worked with their head. I was never into tools, building forts, or even making sandcastles. But the caveat to this is I didn’t want my career to feel like fluff. I wanted to produce tangible things that people could use. Software development is the perfect intersection between that and working with your head.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?
In the micro, it’s always racing against the deadlines. In the macro, it’s keeping pace with the changing tech. None of what my web development professor in college taught me was relevant when I got in my first job. Now, some of the things I learned in my first job aren’t even relevant today! It’s a constant moving target. You have to devote a fraction of your leisure time to staying up to date and learning the latest stuff. Otherwise you’ll wake up in five years and realize the skills you have aren’t the skills that are needed anymore. As they say, yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.
Any advice for all the job seekers in your field right now?
Never stop learning. Invest in valuable courses, even after you’ve got your degree. This will keep you relevant. I pay $30 a month for Pluralsight—something 3Ci actually exposed me to— and it’s a tremendous ROI in my opinion. Secondly, learn by doing. There are some great textbooks out there that can teach you fundamentals. I’m a big textbook advocate. But the one thing that I see tech interviews vetting more and more as the years roll on are not what you know but what you’ve built.
What do you like to do for fun in Atlanta?
My girlfriend and I are always trying to find new and interesting things to do for dates. We sample a lot of good restaurants around the city, go on walks around Piedmont Park. The Chattahoochee River was fun over the summer, and the Beltline is a kaleidoscope of everything.
Anything to share about your experience working with 3Ci?
It’s all been overwhelmingly positive! And even though I’ve only been to the office one time, it was a very modern set up in a great part of town.