Cameron's Notes

Cameron Miller

CS 476

Speaker: Chris Rees



Worked for startup companies to enterprise

Local and global teams

Became team leader

Cover my meds

First job in industry 2012 Urbancode downtown Cleveland

Developer number 8

Worked on UrbanCode Build

Acquired by IBM conversion from small company to big company

IMB Dev Op services - worked on team that built up their engine

-worked with widespread team across the globe, Sweden

Urbancode Build - added three people from CHina to maintain as a team

-time difference was a challenge, working from other countries

-had to work and ask questions at crazy hours

-worked as Developer, support, team leadership, scrum master for a while

-had to plan out things 6-18 months in advance

About a year ago he left because he didn't want to keep doing the same thing/ wanted to see what else was out there

Now works at covermymeds for about 8 months

-healthcare IT

-helps around 50 million people get their medication a year

-does back end code with his team

-Transitioning to team called integration

-keeps tams smaller because it is easier for communication

Things i wish i knew before i graduated

-if you have a chance to do co-op do it

-helps in the hiring, helps to have experience

-you can learn a lot from the professionals

-side projects are a good thing to do to prove concepts

-colleague who got hired because of side projects

- when he wants to learn a new project he would remake projects in a language he knew already

-put projects on your resume

-you're going to feel like you know nothing

-imposter syndrome(feeling like you're not going to be able to contribute)

-4 years at UrbanCode didn't really feel like he could contribute and he was team leader

-find a company who is willing to help you

What it's like to work for Start-Up

-first job in industry

-25 employees

-hardships with gambling software, they couldn't pay people

-started out by working with a new product

-worked close with his CEO

-strategy to write code- write 25 min, throw away, repeat

-startups lack tooling and consistency

-may not have style yet if early enough

-UrbanCode did not have code review for first 3 years he was there

-Company will change a lot, start making sales, new customers, code style

-smaller companies can move a lot faster but more room for error

-you can find really old, free software

-a lot of code he worked with was 10+ years old

-he also worked with code that was brand new



-employee #350 8 months ago

-can do what they want during the day as long as they get their work done

-Cleveland and Columbus offices have different feels/atmospheres

-not restricted to working with certain teams, can ask questions to different teams for

different problems

-learned there are a lot of tech companies in Cleveland

-culture is more important than you think

-can do what he wants at work, makes him happy

-example play board games at lunch

-keeps developers happy, stay longer

-hire people that fit the culture because it is fragile

-find a company that fits the culture you want

-dont be afraid to ask questions that sound dumb



•Q: How much time do you spend programming with each company?

◦UrbanCode - programming all the time

◦IBM - 50% or less had to lead teams, more responsibilities

◦Covermymeds- 80%-90% depending on meetings and things like that

•Q: Did you have any classes that taught about scrum and what were your first impressions.

◦Closest class at UCF processes - project management, never used any of it

◦Knew about waterfall and agile programming

◦Did not know about scrum

•Q: Do you think you should ask an employer if a company does code reviews?

◦It shouldn't make or break your decision but it is important for the company and an important thing to know

•Q: How important was a masters degree in computer science

◦Hired because of skill set, getting masters after the fact did not matter

◦Wanted to get masters for a pay raise

◦They left as equals, degree does not make people treating you differently

•Q: When switching in companies, what were some of the trainings these companies gave you?

◦urbanCode threw him into the fire, he liked it that way

◦Covermymeds had training for 6 weeks, ruby work

◦Had a guy meet with him to see how he was doing

◦Always someone there to help, channel for new hires to ask questions

•Which would you prefer to start out with a startup or a bigger company?

◦He likes Startup

◦Likes small teams, startup feels more open

◦Biased but he would do it again

•What is your experience with Software patents?

◦Bigger companies like IBM and Apple a lot of energy spent on patents

◦They want ways to make money

◦Write out their idea, try to find other similar ones, change up theirs from others,

•Do you own patent or company?

◦Owned by IBM his name on it, 2 names on it

•Do you get royalties?

◦Initial bonus but no

•What was the biggest thing you learned transferring from a small to large company?

◦Every situation is different so it depends

◦Every company has their own ways of doing things

◦You are going to have to learn new ways too

◦Larger companies use their own products while smaller ones may just use free stuff

•Did you have any background or history with healthcare? What challenges did you have?

◦Did not know much about healthcare it when he joined covermymeds

◦No prior knowledge, did not know what the business did

◦Just wanted to work on something different

◦There was a lot to learn and there will always be a lot to learn

•What do think has been more helpful, learning new language or tools?

◦New languages are not that hard, once you know one you know them all, syntax

◦Tools are interesting but did not benefit him that much, just gave him a bigger skill set

◦Showing you can go out to learn something is a useful

•When you talking about training for a company what would that consist of?

◦Covermymeds, going through exercises

◦Getting help with doing certain things

◦Pairing up and working with others

◦UrbanCode gave him a real problem to work on, ask others for help

•Do you have a go to place to learn a new language or approach?

◦Take a program he wrote in one language and learn to write the same program in another language - Learn new languages bunch of different languages and do one exercise at a time for other languages

•How expensive is it to rewrite code from scratch as opposed to using pre existing code?

◦A lot of different factors play into it

◦Have to fill out risk assessments

◦Do you have customers?

•How often do you learn a new language?

◦A lot of it is he gets bored

◦More than having to learn for job

◦He wants to more

•How do you find out about new technologies and languages?

◦Hears from other colleagues

◦Wanting to learn new languages

◦Going to conferences

◦Hearing from company

•Have you had any programming related questions in interviews?

◦Brain Teasers / problem solving


◦Reversal linked list

◦Covermymeds 8 hours wrote web application

◦Sitting down with developer fixing bugs/pair programming

•What languages or tools do you recommend looking into?

◦.NET for around the area

◦Learn what interests you and find a job that fits that

◦Web frameworks

•How does all employees across the country stay in touch?

◦Video conferencing

◦Teammate, they can write code together on the same screen

◦With big time differences, need to give colleagues as much information as possible so they can help solve problems

•Did you practice any sort of code structures and things like?

◦Yes they had structure in place already and if code was not in it they would have to redo it

◦One project had chinese comments had to redo

•Learn big on one thing or learn less on many things?

◦Suggests learn a little on more

◦Always keep learning

•In interviews do you think it would be more beneficial to go to college or learn on your own?

◦Depends what you want to do

◦Would not want to work for someone who cares about where you came from instead of what you can do

◦You want people with different mindsets is always helpful