For this month's Rangle Employee Spotlight, meet Deidre VanWynsberghe, Software Architect at Rangle. They have been with the company for 1.5 years, working with clients to reach their goals.
What’s your favourite part about being a SA at Rangle?
At Rangle, I am able to both reinforce expertise and continuously learn by applying current skills in varying environments where it’s also necessary to explore new domains.
I recently read an article debating the merits of being a ‘Jack of all trades’ or a ‘master of one.’ In software development and in many roles, it’s not likely an either/or scenario. Personally, I’m striving to be a ‘Jill of many trades’ and a ‘primary of some,’ taking on new challenges and keeping one or two main threads running through the years. Rangle is supportive of matching projects and personal goals, and this goes a long way to enabling this vision.
It is also professionally satisfying to join projects where our goal is not to foster a dependency on outsourcing developers but rather to help clients reach their objectives. This means that in our day-to-day dealings and our integrated teams, we all share a common goal.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Coffee and questions, coffee and answers, coffee and writing code, or writing about code. And then, later in the day, I’ll switch to tea. There is always a team standup or touch point at some point in the day – this is how we can all stay in the loop, and we’ll sprinkle in huddles, meetings, and chats designed to support one another and provide deeper discussions regardless of our physical location. A perfect day also includes a nice chunk of focus time and good weather for walking the dog.
Why did you become a developer?
My initial career plan was to pursue physics or fine art, but that path to becoming a developer started with computer science courses, and I fell in love with it. Looking back and thinking about myself in the present, I see why that was. I love to solve problems, enjoy learning, and at the end of the day, creating or building something is rewarding for me. In software development, it is possible to experience all of this, and if what you create adds value to society or improves someone's day, it is the cherry on top.
What attributes and skills help make a developer successful at Rangle?
At Rangle, we may change projects and working groups frequently, so we really benefit from collaborating and communicating with our co-workers effectively. Developers love to wrangle with problems, dive in, and come up with a solution, and that is our bread and butter, but it is equally important to surface daily to discuss the project, everyone’s tasks, and any blockers. This does not mean one has to become an extrovert if that is not comfortable but be willing to show up and share openly with your teammates and be supportive of your co-workers.
A valuable attribute to focus on is courage. Be courageous and raise your hand for a task – not just when you’re confident that you know how to do it, but especially if you want to know how to do it. This is a great way to learn new things. Follow this up with honesty – say you’re unfamiliar with this, but you want to help and are willing to learn. In this case, you can either take it on or provide support, whichever is most effective at the time.
Use this same courage to reach out when you need help – Rangle’s culture values curiosity and mentorship and actively recognizes those who provide support and guidance.
What advice do you have for people looking to move into a software architect role?
Moving into a software architect role is facilitated by experience, by gathering experiences and being able to draw out the bigger lessons – the common threads and concerns that impact all sorts of software systems and then seeking out those threads in each new system. So, gather up those experiences and be sure to ask questions about the bigger picture. If you join an in-progress project, ask about the pros and cons that led to a particular tool or what motivated an API or data model design.