In this weeks Artisan Files I’m happy to introduce you to Sara Bine.
Can you tell us about yourself, how’d you get into development?
I’m 25 years old and live in Denver, Colorado with my awesome boyfriend and my puppy, Sudo.
Unlike many people in our industry, I regrettably wasn’t exposed to computers much as a child and didn’t get into programming at all until I was 17. A friend showed me an mIRC bot he had made and I was absolutely fascinated that a computer could respond to any command you could dream up.
I spent the next 4 years working on my own mIRC bot which led me to PHP for scraping websites and consequently introduced me to web development. I had gone to college to major in Spanish, but thankfully realized I could actually make a career out of programming and transferred into Computer Science.
I was lucky enough to get my first job at an iOS game company through a career fair at school. My boss was Chair of the IGDA and had come to speak about starting his own game company. He opened by announcing that he was not hiring.
When he sat down we started talking, and since there was no risk of blowing a job opportunity I (for some reason) felt comfortable telling him that I hate games. Thankfully he thought that was funny, and after clarifying that I dislike most popular game genres but want to find games that I like, he ended up offering me an interview. Although I’m no longer in the game industry I learned a lot from him and am grateful for that experience.
What are your three favorite open source packages you use?
Laravel, of course :) since I’m the primary web developer on my team I have the privilege of choosing our web technology. All of our legacy applications were built on CodeIgniter; one of the first things I did was port them to Laravel and I think everyone agrees it was a worthwhile endeavour.
We also recently switched from MySQL to MongoDB so I’ve started using the great Laravel-MongoDB package for Mongo-backed Eloquent models.
Last but not least, I’ve made heavy use of the Datatables plugin for jQuery in our in-house apps and it has saved me countless hours of work.
Honorable mention: Jeffrey Way’s Laravel Generators package which has greatly streamlined my “new project process”.
What are your “must-have” desktop and mobile apps?
- Sublime Text
- Sequel Pro
For mobile (I use Android):
- Twilight (like F.lux)
- Reddit News Pro
Do you have any hobbies outside the computer?
I love to read and am currently working my way through A Song of Ice and Fire (no spoilers please!)
After getting tired of canned and packaged food, I recently decided to learn how to cook and have been trying out many of the vegetarian recipes on Yummly.
I also like to sing, snowboard, lose at fantasy football, and play with my puppy.
Do you have any tips for people that are interested in making a career out of programming?
Try to learn one new thing every day. Build projects around things that interest you. Don’t feel obligated to keep up with every new language/platform/package (especially in web development this is exhausting).
As far as career advice goes, while I’m not far into my own career I’ll pass on the best advice I’ve received so far: it’s not up to you to decide if you’re qualified for a job, so don’t be afraid to apply.