National Coding Week — What it Really Takes to be a Coder

There’s a lot of stereotypes and myths about developers and coders, some of them pretty negative. Naturally mathematical, introverted and rare levels of genius are all absolutely necessary, right? Wrong! (Well, maybe apart from the last one apparently…)

To celebrate National Coding Week, we spoke to our technical team at Verse about their coding journeys to show there’s a lot people don’t know, but should, about being a developer. Let’s break down some stereotypes…

Suneet, you’re first up as our Senior JavaScript Developer.

Why and how did you first get into coding?

I can’t really play a musical instrument all that well, and I’m absolutely hopeless at drawing but, like everyone, I have a creative side of me. I’m ok at solving problems and coding has been the only thing that I’ve tried where I’ve been able to flex that creative muscle and not felt horrified at what I’ve produced!

My wife (then fiancée) encouraged me to pick it up. I talked about it all the time but I was afraid to take the leap because of preconceived misconceptions about being too old, or having never studied maths etc… She found a bootcamp in Manchester called Northcoders, encouraged me to apply and I never looked back! I was hooked from the first day.

Also, developing software is loads of fun. I love learning new things and every day as software engineer, that’s exactly what I’m doing. That and building stuff.

What’s your favourite coding language?

Most probably JavaScript/​TypeScript. This is probably because I have the most experience with them over Python, Kotlin, C# and a few others that I’ve tried, but it’s mostly because the ecosystem for both languages is vibrant and inclusive and there’s lots happening in the space at the minute. It’s an exciting time to be a JS/TS developer!

What do you like the most about coding?

There’s a few things, but I think it’s probably the people that I like the most. Being a developer has given me the opportunity to spend time with some of the loveliest people I have ever met. It’s brought me to Verse, something I’m thankful for every day.

Stereotype broken: that you must be a genius mathematician! Coding is about so many skills, and creativity is key.

Now Matt, let’s turn to you. 

You’ve been a developer for eight years and bring so much experience to the table, through a slightly different career path.

How and why did you get into coding?

I started off my career as a designer creating user interface design working in a small company. During projects I’d want to make changes to the way the site looked when it was developed. So, rather than pestering our only developer with lots of changes I tried my hand at making those changes myself.

I quickly realised that creating these small CSS changes in the code was very similar to designing, and I could iterate my designs quicker in the code and see them as interactive elements at different screen sizes. These small changes then grew into whole pages and then quickly progressed into creating full websites.

What’s your favourite coding language?

I enjoy many languages but I think my favourite is JavaScript.

What do you like the most about coding?

Being able to bring a design to life with interactivity and add personality by writing some words in a document really fascinates me. At times coding is really challenging and there are some days where you’re completely stuck on one bug, but the sense of accomplishment you feel after resolving that issue is great!

Stereotype broken: it’s all about rigid rules. In fact, being resourceful means designing your way out of a problem.

Now, Haroon! The second-newest team member, and our Junior Fullstack Developer.

How and why did you get into coding?

I wrote some HTML when I was 14 and really liked it but I wasn’t hooked into coding, yet… I was hooked when I left school and starting learning more complex technologies during the summer holidays. I learnt to code myself from home and went into an apprenticeship instead of the university route.

What’s your favourite coding language?

It used to be Python. Now it’s JavaScript because of the open source community including very large companies developing some amazing frameworks and libraries around it which makes it easier to develop web apps, mobile apps and even desktop apps.

What do you like the most about coding?

Being able to develop something that others can use and just being proud of it. It allows me to be creative in and outside of work.

Stereotype broken: that there’s only one route in. In fact you can succeed on various pathways and different backgrounds.

And last but by no means least — Andy, our newest team member and Senior PHP Developer.

How and why did you get into coding?

I started modding for old games including Duke Nukem 3D and Half-life because I liked the fact that you could change something and improve it in some way. Then I started coding in Visual Basic as that is what my dad used to make applications. I have always found it interesting making something from nothing.

What’s your favourite coding language?

I am enjoying JavaScript at the moment but this changes a lot.

What do you like the most about coding?

Creating an application, website or game which someone finds useful and enjoys.

Stereotype broken: that coding is an isolated job. Absolutely not — it’s all about people, and communicating across languages to create memorable experiences. 

Happy National Coding Week — find out more about the project and it’s work here https://​cod​ing​week​.org/

Ready to take the leap? Let's go