Introducing Chris: Developer

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My first 5 months at Wallet.Services

Hi, I'm Chris – one of the developers here at Wallet.Services.  Like the rest of the dev team, I did not start out as a software developer; after initially studying a degree in Forensic Biology I moved in to a career as a bike mechanic.  In my down time I love riding my mountain bike but the novelty of fixing other people’s bikes soon wore off.  This led me to look for a career change through CodeClan's 16 week software development course. 





For me CodeClan was an amazing experience which made me fully realise this was the industry I wanted to work in.  During my final weeks at CodeClan we were asked to test all the skills we had learned to date and build something of our own choosing.  I had recently seen a presentation by Wallet.Services and became interested in blockchain technology so I decided to code a ‘blockchain cookie clicker’ game.  I approached Wallet.Services and Matthew met with me a few times to discuss my ideas and help keep my project achievable within the time I had. 


As it happened, when I graduated from CodeClan, Wallet.Services were hiring and after a couple of interviews I was offered the job.  Fortunately (or unfortunately!) I also had offers from other companies at the time and so I had a decision to make!  On reflection I think I chose Wallet.Services as they appeared to provide a combination of great team centred ethos, interesting technology and the opportunity to work across the entire tech stack.  These things were important to me and I think I was fortunate to find a company that offered them all. 


Another reason I wanted to work at Wallet.Services was that it is a small start-up (growing fast now!) and so by getting in early I would have the opportunity to grow with the company.  When I started, the only other developer was Matthew who is also a CodeClan Alumni.  For the first two weeks we spent all our time pair programming on a brand-new project.  This gave me the opportunity to see the codebase from the very beginning and ask questions along the way.  It’s a few months later now and I have a good knowledge of this project and I am pairing with our latest team members to get them up to speed. 


We are now a team of 4 developers and even this small expansion has required us to look at how we organise ourselves.  We have a very experienced Chief Product Officer and CTO but they chose not to dictate exactly how we should do things.  Instead they have pointed us roughly in the right direction and let us figure things out for ourselves.  We have spent long hours thinking about everything from branching strategies to “Definition of Done”!  This may sound like hard work but, as a result, we have gained a much deeper understanding of what makes a dev team tick.  We have also come up with solutions that better fit the way we work than if they had imposed a structure on us that works for them. 


It has been a tough journey so far but I’m a strong believer that figuring things out and making mistakes yourself is one of the best ways to learn. Having said that, we have never been allowed to stray too far down fruitless paths when looking for solutions.  Most importantly though, it has been a lot of fun and incredibly rewarding working in a team that I have been actively involved in building from day 1!