Kyle from at State Industrial Products

Speaker: Kyle
Graduated 2016 from JCU and works at State Industrial Products since last June, 8months on monday

Discussion:
- Hired as an analyst & developer
- Job: Figure out problem and fix it once you say what it is
- Company: Sells soap across 3 different countries & different kinds of cleaning products
o Does water treatment at JCU
o Does all the cleaning supplies for the Winking Lizard in Cleveland
- Day to Day:
o Checks for support tickets: typically report or .Net issues
- Interview Process:
o The interview wasn’t technical but was hired anyway just because they liked him
o Had gone to technical interviews: broke under pressure
- After interview
o Trained in .NET development courses& SQL there
Questions:
- How hard was it getting into it?
o The main job is continuously building on the .Net program they already have. He originally used to upload them outside of the framework, but eventually he fixed that.
o He learned how data flows from the SQL database
o Stuff comes in on SAP (business software) for orders and stored here. Overnight things are processed in SQL. Then the .Net framework pulls it in.
o He works in an unorganized environment with only 12 people. They are still working on unifying different names and variables to get everyone on the same page. They are still in the process of organizing and that was the number one issue.
o Getting familiar with your environment will be your number issue anywhere you work.
- When handling large amounts of data do you hire outside for consulting?
o There are 2 consulting teams they sometimes see. One for .NET and one with SQL
o When they have questions they sit down with marketing and then plan out and sometimes after that ask the consultants if it’s possible and go on from there.
- How often do you guys use design patterns?
o Depends, sometimes with hierarchal stuff. For instance for .NET but not so much for SQL
o He personally uses the environment already there and generally inherits for the new projects.
- What was your biggest fear going into the job?
o Going in and worrying he was going to be the biggest idiot there. He even asked the guy that hired him why he hired him when he felt like an idiot. The guy told him he didn’t ask questions because he knew he didn’t knew anything, but he knew he’d have to learn anyway.
o He looked like an idiot for the first 3months, and eventually got better. His boss told him he’d look like an idiot but eventually you’ll stop being an idiot.

The Environment: How to keep from blowing up
1. Development: Development starts with marketing and then it moves to QA.
2. QA: Sit with the users& designers and find out what they want. If they want it then they deploy a smoke test.
3. Production: After that they send it to mass distribution.
4. DD: back up of the production system. If something is blown up, then they fix it.

*Always be professional and ASK QUESTIONS. Asking questions helps you learn. Also volunteer to do stuff, this will also help you learn more. *
*Be patient with end users. *

Is there a specific class that helped?
- Network development
- Data analysis
- Logic classes are important, because there will always be a time when you don’t know something but need to figure it out.
What frameworks and tools do you use on a day to day basis? Have you ever used that at JCU?
- He works with JQuery and JavaScript mostly.
What standards do you use that weren’t encountered within an academic setting? Like are there best practices that are different from academia?
- He never constantly used a certain standard. But he came across code one day at work and then saw something and realized things need to be standardized since there are so many people that have worked on it. Right now his team is 3 people processing 400 employs worth of stuff.
- He is now working on commenting “the crap out of your code.” You may have to drop a program for something else suddenly, go back and realize you forget what you were doing.
What is the relationship of maintaining vs doing new things?
- 60% maintaining and 40% new things
- This is a lot more new development now
What is the biggest contribution or challenge you’ve had to overcome?
- Day 2. He was faced with a distributor sale product that they don’t technically do the sales for.
- QA testing has been the biggest part
- This project was a quarter of sales every year
- They simply try to log what the contributor is selling
- He now knows how the whole project works. He just finished today.
- He uses a hosted FTP site, files gets dropped then get puts where else. Its in a .Net framework so the user can drag and drop. Then it goes in is stored then converted into another usable data type.
Do you do all the testing yourself?
- The testing is put on then, after they say it’s all good.
- End users will aggravate you but you can’t blame them.
- They put it out to the customer and asks them when they want to go live.
How does it feel being a small company?
- Big company: Analyst finds the product and the developer then fixes it
- Small Company: Finds problems and then finds the solution
o Benefits: He learns a lot. He doesn’t just stack overflow his job
Do you single or double quote stuff?
- Double Quote in JavaScript.
How is upward mobility in your company?
- His manager just got a pay raise. He will also probably be the next VP.
- There is always a possibility to make more money at a bigger company (ex. Progressive), but he is learning more and could possibility move up faster.
- He is looking to hopefully move up to become a manager in the next 3-5 years or end up leaving for a better paying company.
- His main focus right now is learning.
Did you have any technical experience outside of school before?
- No, he wrestled for JCU and did homework instead of focusing on internships.
- He interviewed with no internships.
- In his non-technical interview he was asked about his favorite Indian player.
- He only interviewed at 2 other places, one that would make him work from home (not something he wanted).
What type of environment do you work in?
- Web forms
- He uses methods from way long ago, this makes things easy. New things he may try something new (like a different html or tool).
- His coworker Mark that had been there longer got to learn a new language that took 6 months to work with it.

How do you decide what environment to work in?
-The VP will tell him to make it up all the time. The customer will tell you what they want and may one day ask you to change it. Sometimes it’s a business decision.

How do you work?
- A lot of time waterfall thinking in .NET.
- There is agile thinking is sometimes needed. It depends on what the project is. In vision sometimes with sales they need more agile thinking for when things go through QA.
How often is it paired programming?
- Whenever there is a new project, then it’s about 2 hours a day.
- If there is an old program/ method, then he’d base it off of that.
Since 8 months ago how are your stackoverFlow and Google skills?
- 10 x’s better.
- There are always problems that can be helped sometimes be helped with StackOverFlow, right now he’s trying to figure out an issue with browser issues.
What happens with deadlines?
- Yes, there are deadlines. They have a lot of moved deadlines. Deadlines are basically imaginary, you work the 8 hours a day and do your best. You get the work done as fast as you can.
How necessary is unit testing?
- Not important in his company. They document most of their stuff but unit testing is on the customer.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned?
- Learning how to adult. Making sure he gets his clothes are clean and well ironed and also making sure he has food. Some people are better at it than others.
- He also is working on talking to end users without sounding like a dick. For instance they don’t remember stuff from 2 days ago. You have to be nice to them. It’s like, “raising a child.” You have to get them where you’re at and they’ll help you know what you want.
What do you contribute to all your growth?
- He was accountable for himself. It wasn’t until his senior year that he started being held accountable.
- It’s 75% getting himself to hold himself accountable then his girlfriend.
How terrible is HR?
- His boss is awesome. He’ll fight with HR since they might stay up late working overtime and then take a half day the next day. His boss will talk to HR.
- His company is small with only 3 HR people, so they haven’t needed any huge sexual harassment classes.
How much time goes into security& hacking?
- Not a lot, most of it is actually through infrastructure.
- But he is also careful to make sure only the proper users are allowed to see certain things.
- Actual security is someone else to go against security risks.
Have you been in a position where fixing something has gone against what the business wants?
- Yes, the IT people in his office are able to access a lot of people’s social security. The business doesn’t want to amp security cause that sounds like too much work.
How do you handle source control?
- The company just tells him what they want and he just does it then and tells his boss he’s done it.
- The only issue is that consultants from vision sometimes screw up their environment and putting things in the wrong place because that’s what people tell them to do.
Do you ever look at previous code and see glitches/ security things that should/can be fixed?
- No, he’s not that nerdy. He does see really good work sometimes in previous code and uses that kind of code in different projects.
- He saw someone’s code and found a wayyy easier way to do something and can fix things faster.
Are coding conventions generally disorganized or is this just a small team problem?
- He wouldn’t know but assumes a small team also has smaller issues. Big companies need more standardization since there is more going into the environment.
- The smaller the team the less likely it will be to have it disorganized.
- He is now working with an acquisition from a year’s worth of coding by one guy and then standardizing it within his company.
How have the core classes impacted you professionally?
- “Hell no!” He then said maybe they helped make him more tolerant. He enjoyed the religious courses.
- It’s a solid 75% no, and 25% yes.
What was the least helpful CS class?
- Video gamed design, but it was,”so much fun.”
- “No class was worthless. Because it’s not.”
- “I’m just happy I’m not getting filmed.”
Do you use VB or C#?
- Depends on the day. Now it’s more C#
- VB does help him in C#. But honestly going forward you need to know C#
Do you use language integrated query?
-Yes, they are in libraries.
How big are your systems and how long did it take you to navigate it?
- It took 3 months to figure out where to put things correctly for projects.
- He didn’t know how big his system is in comparison.
Dr. Palmer explained that a previous student explained navigation as he transitioned from National City Bank to Cleveland Clinic:
National City Bank  Cleveland Clinic : The guy felt it took a year to understand the system for talking.
How often do you spend programming?
- He spent 2 hours today, but right now he’s working more with analysis.
- Over all his time, he’d say he’s done 15% .Net, 15% SQL, and the rest is analysis work.
Do you have to do a lot of prep work for the job or did you just kind of jump in?
- He went in and kind of just jumped in. He was given a big handbook on how the mobile app worked.
- He learned 2 environments and found there were a ton of different languages.
Are all your databases connected?
-No idea, he works with some and knows the flow of data for what he works with. Navigating can sometimes be a, ”horror show to navigate.”
What’s the typical rate for getting a job?
-He wasn’t sure. He just took the first job he was offered.
-He, “faked it till he could make it.”
- The guess of how much people start off, about $50k to $60k. There are people that make more or less.
-He’d like to be paid more.
What do you think about the most polymorphism or inheritance?
- Generally he tries to use inheritance. It works easier for him.
- You should be thinking about organization constantly.
What was your most major problem?
- Probably deployment. He missed 2 views in the SQL environment. He then spent 3 days looking through multiple databases to find where he’d messed up. His boss told him he had to figure it out quickly since it was due.
What was the worst coding you’ve seen?
- “//WTF IS THIS”
- Write as much as you want or can, it makes looking back at code easier once it’s coded.
**He works with the Microsoft team, there are other teams, but he has no idea what they do. He communicates with his manager a lot. He asks questions of his manager a lot.
- He is told not to create silos. Communication is key. His team meets 3 times a week. Once to see how far they’ve come, and once over goals.
Do you enjoy working on so much by yourself?
- Sometimes no, because he stays late working on things by himself while other people can go home early since someone else didn’t finish things they needed to do.
What’s the most advanced programming concept you’ve had to utilize?
- Recursion. He hadn’t really figured it out til graduated.
- He figured it out then decided he wanted to use it forever.
Do you ever have to choose between arrays or lists?
- A lot of times it doesn’t matter. His most complex work is javaScript when working with a calendar. He tends to use arrays more.
- He once worked with both arrays and lists in one project and realized that was bad.
- Just decide which you like more and use it.
Are you allowed to listen to music at work?
- IT used to be in a corner and allowed to have fun secretly.
- Now his desk is between his VP and manager. His VP is one of the people that can fire people, sometimes even sings. He doesn’t yell at IT but instead to someone else in the business.
- It’s very professional setting, which he feels he needs or he’d probably be slacking off. He is forced to work due to his seating, “I actually can’t fake it till I make it now.”
Do you have advice for people that work with a large older set of coworkers?
- No matter what, everyone is your co-worker.
- These older individuals kind of helped him adult and can get perspective on future goals.
- Plus, if there were people his age in the IT department, “He wouldn’t be getting anything done.”
In your discussion about SQL have the words “second normal form” ever come up?
- Nope. Things are super standardized just yet. There is 10 years worth of shifting to go through. It’s sort of too high level to change, because to change something you’d have to look through 7 databases. Standardizing can be very time consuming and expensive.
- “IT is a money spender not a money maker. “
If you had to hire one person in the room what would you look for?
- A willingness to work and the idea of IT culture for today.
- They are working towards people that are smart enough to do the work. His VP started in accounting and then worked his way up. “I don’t know how he did it. I guess he googled his way to victory.”
- Learning has to be one’s number one thing, because technology is constantly changing.

Post Discussion:
-He stated that he had a tip for life. You should have 3 hobbies: your job, something for fun, and fitness.

Questions:

Would life have been easier if he followed the practices actually used & taught in class?
-Dr. Palmer

"A lot of problems could have been avoided if they had."
"There is a vary wide range of adherence to professional practice."
"The clinic is very rigid of adhering to software practices."
"The company isn't interviewing you, even though it feels like it. You and the company are interviewing each other."
"All you had to do is ask what kind of things would you be doing for them."
"An internship is a theoretical position in which you can do little or no wrong and could be good for the company and helpful to the intern."