Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring Develop Camp Cohort 1 participants and their mentors.
Adrian Spanu is a Software Engineer at Square.
Current Position & Company
Software Engineer at Square
How did you become a developer?
I learned to code properly in high school before doing a bit more of it in college as part of my engineering degree. I first learned on a language called 'Turing', which was made specifically for teaching people. This was in the early 2000s, so the amount of tooling that existed at the time was much worse than what we have now. Software engineering is my 3rd career and it was only in grad school that I really considered picking it up. Although I had done some coding in my other careers, it was more tangential and informal than a real software engineer.
What has been the biggest challenge you've faced as a developer?
Imposter syndrome. I have frequently felt that with my background, I didn't really have the skills necessary to be able to contribute technically. I think that this is something that a lot of people struggle with. It just takes time and self reflection to realize one's importance on technical projects.
What advice do you have for moms or dads who are pursuing a career in web development?
Be comfortable and accept struggling. The process of coding is very much the process of problem solving, so accept that sometimes problems are hard to solve and that one will need to struggle to solve them. The struggle isn't something to run away from though - that's where the best learning happens. It is frustrating at times, but there's no shortcut for understanding how to code. Accept and savor the struggle.
What has been your greatest professional accomplishment?
I get to work every day on reimagining the infrastructure behind a company like Square. It's incredibly rewarding and impactful, which gives me the feeling of professional accomplishment.
I chose to volunteer as a Develop Camp mentor because:
I believe that general public access to tech careers is a moral issue, and I believe that a lot more people have the ability to code than believe that they can. I also think that we need a lot more software engineers than we have now, so I'd love to see a lot more people considering this as a career.
I am most looking forward to the future because:
Small changes can create big impacts and we accomplish a lot more in 5 years than we believe that we ever can.
Connect with Adrian on LinkedIn or Twitter