Our “Day in the Life” series takes an insider look at a variety of Skylab’s roles – today we are meeting with Karp, one of our software developers. Developers usually work on identifying areas for modification in existing programs and subsequently developing these modifications and writing and implementing efficient code.
Michael Karpinski, Developer for Skylab
WHEN DID YOU JOIN SKYLAB AND WHICH PRODUCTS HAVE YOU HELPED DEVELOP?
I joined Skylab 3 years ago – I’ve worked on several projects for clients such as International Table Tennis Federation, Sports Publications, England Athletics, International Floorball Federation, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and Swimming England.
I’m a self-taught web developer – without higher education.
WHAT GETS YOU INTO THE RIGHT FRAME OF MIND FOR THE DAY?
I start my day with a big breakfast, a walk to work, Yerba Mate, and some polish hip hop – this sets my day straight.
ARE THERE ANY SITES THAT YOU CHECK EACH DAY?
I will usually look at Reddit at:
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
My daily routine changes based on what is on the agenda, but usually, I start my day by checking emails and slack. Then I pick up the development tasks that are assigned to me and work on them. There are usually some meetings throughout the day that I need to attend.
WHAT’S THE BEST PROJECT YOU’VE EVER WORKED ON AT SKYLAB AND WHY?
The most interesting project I worked on was a redesign of Sports Publications and moving it to our newest platform – Chameleon. There were interesting challenges regarding performance on the website, that I really enjoyed solving.
HOW DO YOU STAY FOCUSED THROUGHOUT THE DAY?
Whenever I need full focus, I put my headphones on with music that have little vocals (anything from Classical music to Skrillex). Every now and again, I take five minutes to unwind, then I will usually talk to some of my colleagues or browse the internet for a couple of minutes.
HOW DO YOU UNWIND AT THE END OF THE DAY?
A long walk home helps me unwind.
DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO WORK ON YOUR SKILLS IN YOUR SPARE TIME? IF SO, WHICH SKILLS DO YOU WORK ON?
It is and it isn’t. If you are coding for seven hours a day at work, and come home to start coding again, you may burn up really fast. But there are days in the studio when we code less, and it’s good to have a personal project to work on. It also helps that we have one day a month to work on our skills (personal development).
WHAT’S BEEN A TURNING POINT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
As a self-taught developer, my turning point was coming to Skylab. Previously I worked mainly with people who had less experience than I did. When I joined the Skylab, I was the least experienced developer in the team – during my 3 years, I learnt a lot from Senior Developers, who were always very patient and helpful.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT BEING A SENIOR DEVELOPER?
There is a misconception that working in IT is easy, relaxed and stress-free. This is very far from the truth. Not only do you need to know a lot from multiple fields (CS, Frontend, Backend, Infrastructure, Security), it’s also very stressful. Each time you deploy code to production, there is a chance, that a bug flew through the net, and will manifest only on the production environment. If this happens, the developer needs to stay focused, and figure out what caused the bug, and how to solve it. The developer also needs to do it as fast as possible, as every second of the page being offline, is causing the client to lose money.
Want to join the Skylab team? Check out our current job opportunities listed here