Starting at Novoda

I started writing this in September but I haven’t had a chance to post it. It was too long so I cut it down!

Novoda logo

I started my new job as a Junior Software Craftsman at Novoda on Monday, a company I had my eye on for a few years when I first started Android development. A few months before the end of my MSc, I sought mentorship from an ex-Novodite, Gonçalo, who was extremely generous with his time and helped me get on track for an interview. Needless to say, I was all like

Kid saying oh boy

Novoda is a relatively small team of Android developers based in London and Berlin. They have a good reputation in the Android community (with regards to their collective expertise and attitude toward software craftsmanship) and they’re known for starting the Londroid Meetup in 2007 and also organising (along with WIP and SkillsMatter) Droidcon UK, an annual conference for Android developers from 2010 onwards.

I joined in the last few months of the Tesco Groceries project, which we worked on along with the launcher on the Tesco Hudl tablet. From Monday to Wednesday, I sat with almost all the devs in the London office; everyone’s pairing style was different, and it was interesting to see how they all approached tasks and problems – it’ll be even more interesting next year; I’m planning to pair a lot more and I’ll be able to see if their approach is different now that I’m a bit more caught up on working practices, and more familiar with everyone.

Thursday was spent looking at Novoda’s ImageLoader library, trying to familiarise myself with the project by looking to identify the cause of two bugs. Did I fix them? I can’t remember. One of the short-term goals I had when starting at Novoda was to get more involved in a couple of the open source libraries, and I think I’ve achieved that with my activity on ImageLoader. I’m working on a personal project (a client for the image hosting website Imgur) and this could be used to further iron-out some issues with the library. Sometimes when I’m reading it, I’m all

Confused child face

but recently, it’s been more like

Tyler Durden saying: I get it, that's very clever

I’m getting there. I think the basic idea is the same as in any environment:

  • be receptive to advice and critiques
  • ask for help when you need it
  • demonstrate your worth through active contributions
  • keep learning and practicing to get better

I’m not saying I’m the prime example for all of these, but I’m working on it. I came in with high expectations and I’ve not yet been disappointed. I’m getting paid to learn something I love learning about!

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