Software Developers Journey Podcast

#170 Kadi Kraman does not want to be anyones boss


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Kadi Kraman 0:00
When you go into your very first interview is going to be terrifying. Like, there's just no way around it. Unfortunately, our bodies are hardwired to have this stress response, which is not helpful at all. The first time, it's just going to be stressful. But once you get into it once you get going, like, oh, you can do this the best that you can. And then even if the first interview didn't go, well, the second one will go better and the third rule going better. So practice makes perfect.

Tim Bourguignon 0:34
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey, the podcast bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. I'm your host team building your own this episode 170 I receive cardi Kremen. kadhi is a principal software engineer at formidable she experienced a multitude of roles from an individual contributor to a mentor, an instructor, a manager, and a technical lead. She believes to be best position as a head on technical lead, and has a significant amount of experience building interesting mobile applications with React Native Kati, welcome fischeri.

Kadi Kraman 1:17
Amazing, thank you. So I'm happy to be here.

Tim Bourguignon 1:20
But before we come to your story, I want to thank the terrific listeners who support the show every month, you are keeping the dev journey lights up. If you would like to join this fine crew and help me spend more time on finding phenomenal guests then editing audio tracks, please go to our website, Dev journey dot info and click on the Support me on Patreon button. Even the smallest contributions are giant steps toward a sustainable dev journey. journey. Thank you. And now back to today's guest. Scotty, as you know, the show exists to help the listeners understand what your story looked like and imagine how to shape their own future. Let's go back to your beginnings. Where would you place to start off your life journey.

Kadi Kraman 2:08
So I think my dev journey actually started later than a lot of people's. I always feel quite envious with when people say that they have always wanted to code since they were 10. So not so much for me actually wanted to be a hairdresser. I think I think where it really starts was my second year of university. So I went to university, I studied mathematics and psychology. And on second year, we had a module where we did some C++ programming. So that was the first ever program language, they did anything. I remember we had to I think we had to calculate integral like in a very low level. And I was just very, very much in love with the idea that rather than having to manually do my calculations, I could like write a program to do it for me. And I really enjoyed that bit. That was my probably my favorite module for my entire math course. So I would put that as my beginning.

Tim Bourguignon 3:04
Okay, at which point did you decide to switch gears and make that side course the main course?

Kadi Kraman 3:11
Well, so what actually happened is the university that I went to, they offered this program where you can do one year of computer science, like Intro to Computer Science in between your main degree. So our main degree in was math, math and psychology, which is a three year degree. And then you can choose to do like, like the first year, like masters of computer science, in between your law and like second year, so that's very good. So I did one full year of computer science robot and you know, Java SVN, for default, a very important thing. So they still use

Tim Bourguignon 3:43
Wait a minute, you say you still use which one Java SVN or waterfall?

Kadi Kraman 3:49
None of them. Okay. Yeah, no, I was the standard of like, you know, here's everything you need to know about computer science. And then I got a real job and I use none of it.

Tim Bourguignon 4:01
Like, like we all do, like we all do. Okay, but at this point, all what it was clear in your mind at this point that you are going to go this route? Or was it just a side activity, pique your interest, wanted to do one year of ads, and then it

Kadi Kraman 4:15
was more of a side activity at the time, like I tend to, especially when I was younger, I had a problem with like, closing doors. So I wanted to do a little bit of everything because I didn't know what I wanted to do. And then I was thinking, Okay, if I do maths and psychology and computer science also studied Japanese. So I was like, if I'm doing all of these things, then I have more opportunities in the future because I don't know what I want to do. And in the end, so when I was in my last year, so that was back to maths. I did another extra curricular activity, it was called the personal skills award. And it was basically this program where they help you put together a CV and they encourage you to apply to a company. So we had to choose a company From the jobs fair, and then basically wrote a CV and cover letter and applied to it. And yeah, at the time, I was so busy because I was working two part time jobs, as well as going to university and as well as studying Japanese. So like taking that on was a bit crazy for me. So I pretty much I couldn't, I didn't make it to the job fair. But I'd got the leaflet afterwards. And I just looked at all the companies there. And there's one company that sparked my interest. And it was a programming position. And it's the company's called the seller. They're a scientific programming and consultancy. And what they really do is they kind of hire mathematicians and physicists, and then they they kind of produce kind of scientific software. So programming experiences desired but not essential. So that's the company ended up applying for thanks to this, like, personal skills award thing. Yeah, I got an

Tim Bourguignon 5:52
awesome, and it makes the best of both skills that you had that that's a very nice place to start. Yeah, pretty

Kadi Kraman 5:59
much, but it was, it was a very, very, very intense into your process. So it's two parts. So firstly, it was like an hour interview. So the head office was in Oxford in Abington. And I had to drive down for this hour interview. And then we had, they had the HR manager, you know, call me for an hour. And then I went back and they were like, Okay, you past come back for a full day interview. And this full day interview, it included a presentation. So I had to prepare and give a presentation to someone, it included a soft skills interview, and a technical deep dive interview, and a programming interview. But this was like, you know, not the way that we did programming interviews where you know, you can Google things or like you have someone pairing with you. It was basically they asked me what language I wanted to use as a Java because that's what I learned from a computer science thing. And they gave me this giant Java book, to reference if I wanted to. And then just like a list of instructions, I had to I think it was like a command line editor that I had to build. I had like two hours to build it. And I remember like being like really panicky and I forgot how to do a switch statement. So I was trying to look up the syntax with switch switch statement during this coding challenge. So yeah, anyway, so I got I got I got to the end of it. I think the other parts of it went like pretty well. But I was kind of blown away by having to like, look up coding things from a book. So I went home. And I kept thinking about it. And I kept thinking, Oh, I know that I can do better. Like this coding challenge. Like I am a better program within this. It just kind of threw me off, Ember was realizing that

it was like 10:10
pm. And I was like, Okay, I just can't do it. Like my ego can't tolerate this kind of failure. So I took the list of instructions from what I remembered, and then just did the coding challenge on my own time at home, and then emailed it to the hiring manager. And they never applied, but they hired me. To this day, I have no idea whether that made a difference or not.

Tim Bourguignon 8:01
You should ask back.

Kadi Kraman 8:03
I don't want to.

Tim Bourguignon 8:07
Anyway, that was beginning of 2010s was 2012 2013, something like this?

Kadi Kraman 8:12
So that was 2013. Yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 8:16
Who does an interview without the internet coding challenge without the internet in 2013? Come on.

Kadi Kraman 8:23
Well, I had never done a coding challenge in my life. That was my first one ever. So I had no point of reference. Whereas now I'm actually doing a lot of the interviews for my company and our coding challenge. We'll do credit pairing challenge. So we just do them on Zoom. And we say work like you normally do feel free to Google things if you actually forget the syntax, because that's what you'd have in your day to day life.

Tim Bourguignon 8:44
Absolutely. Or you would have cockpit doing that for you nowadays. That is scary, by the way, but what we'll see,

Kadi Kraman 8:51
yeah, it's surprisingly good. Ya know, anyone can do fizz bows in two seconds flat.

Tim Bourguignon 8:56
Yeah, we're going on a tangent here. But we had interesting discussions about GPL code and what it does to licensing and when how the model was trained on GPL code, and how it's going to kind of pan out when you when you bring in some algorithms that are maybe licensed then forcing you to open your code after that.

Kadi Kraman 9:16
Yeah, I mean, I don't have it on my work computer because I feel like this there's a fine line when you when you put something like that learns from your code into like, code that you write for clients. So I only I've only ever use it on my personal computer when doing open source just in case.

Tim Bourguignon 9:36
Just to be sure you've heard it okay. How was it this this first company how was the this this first experience as a programmer still using your your knowledge as a as a mathematician and a physicist,

Kadi Kraman 9:48
it was very interesting. It's, but it's a very different culture to where I'm into now because the kind of companies I work for now are quite laid back and quite chilled. I mean, you know where Thanks, Wes. So I played this company it was it was quite old school as well. It's quite an old company. Like when I was there, it was already, you know, 50 odd years old. And you know, everyone had to wear business attire to work. So you know, I had to dress and heels came in write some code, everyone there, it was, like incredibly clever, they mostly hire from Oxford and Cambridge, and every single person has impostor syndrome, I think it was one of those. So it was like, You're surrounded by incredibly clever people will feel that that's kind of stupid. But thankfully, I made a very awesome group of friends that there was like six, six of us, I think we're around about the same age and had similar degrees. So and we had one manager who kind of took us under his wing, and taught us about agile and things like that. So that was quite fun.

Tim Bourguignon 10:47
Okay. What did you take? What do you remember from from this on this time in this company? What did you take for the for the rest of your of your career, or for the for the subsequent years of your career?

Kadi Kraman 10:57
Honestly, a lot. It was a lot of firsts for me, because I mostly worked in C Sharp in this company. So we did a lot of ASP dotnet websites. And also, that was my first experience with both JavaScript on the web. Actually, there was one project that I did for a school pharmaceutical company. So there was a project that I did for a pharmaceutical company, which was around data visualization. And the actual visualization side wasn't too hard. For me, what was hard was that they wanted their site to be internally hosted. So you know, nowadays, you'll just go to versal, or, I don't know, Heroku, or GitHub Pages, and you can just host it, but they they literally gave me you know, SSH access to a box within their VPN, and said, Can you please host it? So I was like, Okay, I've no idea how that works. So I literally had to install nginx, I had to edit the IP tables to actually like, expose the port like these that I've never done before. And honestly, nowadays, I think I never would, because all these things are done for you. So there was stuff like that, that you had to do from the from the bottom up. App, which was quite interesting.

Tim Bourguignon 12:04
Yeah, must have been interesting, at least you do it once and understand how all these things are working. And then and then gladly forget it and say, Well, that's good enough.

Kadi Kraman 12:14
Yep, definitely. But like, I'm glad that I know, it's very, I'm glad that I went through the went through that. And also, I think I'm the kind of person that I kind of, I like being thrown in the deep end. And then I'll just figure things like, rather than, you know, being kind of gradually brought to these certain it is a small, stressful way of experiencing things. It doesn't work for everyone. But for me, like, that was like a pretty good intro intro to working as a software engineer.

Tim Bourguignon 12:42
How did you realize that that was your preferred way of working?

Kadi Kraman 12:47
I just thought the repeatedly thrown in the deep end and not drowning. Okay, coming out stronger.

Tim Bourguignon 12:56
Like it's a you had people throw you in, and not guide you in there. And so you didn't have to realize I'm being guided, and that doesn't work for me. And you're thrown in and worked out. So repeat it.

Kadi Kraman 13:08
Yeah, I mean, that's it. There's an element of that. But also, you know, I'm not really afraid of asking for, you know, if I don't understand something, you know, I'll ask someone, I think, what are the main things that actually learned from there was around imposter syndrome, that everyone felt that they didn't want to ask questions about what they didn't know, because they didn't want to expose themselves for not knowing that thing. Right. And me, you know, not having a degree from Oxford, or Cambridge or a PhD or like, anything like that. I felt that. Yeah, you know, I don't know, these I'm going to ask, and like, that really gave me the confidence to keep asking things. So I didn't know, which I think makes learning things significantly easier.

Tim Bourguignon 13:49
Absolutely. But those are equal and that you realize that so early on that that makes the rest of your story probably, probably way easier. Or, Yeah, way easier. Let's put it this way. Why did you leave this company?

Kadi Kraman 14:03
I wanted to move to London. That was that was the main reason. Yeah. So this company is based outside of London in Hartfordshire. It's about an hour hours train journey to London. It's a nice place. I really liked living there. But I wanted to move to London. And they didn't have an office in London. So so yeah. I actually, when I when I decided that I was kind of considering leaving. You know, how can use they did like a monthly who wants to be hired and who's hiring threads. So I just posted there that I'm looking to be hired. And then yeah, call me we're going to touch and then I ended up in London.

Tim Bourguignon 14:40
Wow, that's the first time I heard that I can use it as work. That's what I know about this thread. But I've never heard any story of somebody who actually was I was hired through that. Yep. Well, yeah. How was the this this interview process this time, compared to the first one or the subsequent ones?

Kadi Kraman 14:59
Oh, let me see. Think. Yeah. So they actually their interview process was you do a take home coding challenge, but you can use any language. So this coding challenge I wrote in Python a was a Martian robots. And you basically you have a set of instructions, you have this two by three grid line, or n by and grid, and then you have a robot walking on the grid. And then you have like, you know, up, right, left down instructions, and you basically have to, like, calculate the end position of the robots and also calculated when it goes off the page. I think I still have the code for that somewhere on my GitHub. I wrote a test for it. I was a huge fan of tests even then. So I think that probably was a point in my favor. And after that, I think it was just an hour in person interview. That was it.

Tim Bourguignon 15:50
Okay, so we're less stressful. But yeah, maybe it were stressful and the bending. And then the first one.

Kadi Kraman 15:56
Definitely, definitely. I mean, the first one was also my first ever interview. So I didn't even know what I was getting getting myself in for. So the second one was, yeah, compared to the first one, it was just like a normal day. I don't have a job Java book to reference.

Tim Bourguignon 16:14
That That is cool. And you said two years at that company in London, right? I did. Yeah. What would the what would you take from those two years, then?

Kadi Kraman 16:24
Well, the main thing that's actually was react, because they ran the React London meetups, which are monthly. And we're just like, what are the very first adapters of react as well? So I was living and breathing react for the whole time I was there. So everything was going on under reacts? Yeah. I mean, I feel like also a lot of the modern web development practices and like, yeah, a lot of web development practices, and, you know, Kanban practices come from there. So a lot of positive things.

Tim Bourguignon 16:59
Okay. Were you in contact with the communities before? No, not really. So that was also your introduction to, to meet up? And kind of like,

Kadi Kraman 17:08
yeah, yeah, definitely. Like, I think like, it was like my first really, like, in depth intro to the JavaScript community, because I'd worked with JavaScript for about a year. And my previous company, but I actually used Angular don't tell anyone, it was Angular one. Yeah, it was it was quite a long time ago. Yeah, so like, I haven't really used React, and I didn't really know much about the JavaScript community, I would say that I was quite siloed. And then coming to London, and then having a company that was very, like, engrossed in the community as well, that kind of changed my, my own enrollment,

Tim Bourguignon 17:45
did it feel natural to you to or to embrace this community? And really, you'll have this this helping the community and the community supporting you? Or did you have some some some some getting warm to eighth time? Did you need some some some time to get warm to it?

Kadi Kraman 17:58
I was I was, well, I don't know, I like talking about code, and having like a community around it, and everyone shares the things that they're most excited about. It's wonderful, because you know, you don't always have to go. digging deep into the Hacker News thread to find out what's new, is like the community kind of brings the things of importance to your attention, which is awesome. And just having lots of like minded people around us. Great.

Tim Bourguignon 18:24
Indeed. Did you at some point, step up on stage and start giving out? Yeah, I

Kadi Kraman 18:28
mean, that was the first, it was the first open source project. And also the first talks that I did were in this company. My first open source projects is called the draft Jas markdown converter. I don't know if you've heard of draft yet is this like a rich text editor for React. And but the output for it is like these block elements that have these, like rich text formatting, you know, quotes and underlines, and ITALIC and BOLD and whatever applied to it. And the product that I was working on at the time, they wanted to have a rich text editor, but they wanted to use markdown as an input and an output. So it was a little open source project that I did, which basically takes Markdown and converts it into a format that can be consumed by the structures editor. And then vice versa. It was actually really, it was actually really interesting, because the way to do it, it's recursive. So we convert the markdown into an abstract syntax tree, and then kind of recurse through it and apply all the all the styles, which is really cool. And I haven't used it in years, but it's got 100% test coverage. So when there's issues to it, I'm like, Okay, can you just can just show me what doesn't work, and then like write a failing test, and it will make it pass and then if everything else still passes, then it's good to go. Plus one on tests.

Tim Bourguignon 19:55
Was it was it a private project, or was it on company time that you didn't know?

Kadi Kraman 20:00
I did it like outside of company time. Okay. But I ended up using that on that project.

Tim Bourguignon 20:08
Stay with us. We'll be right back.

Tim Bourguignon 20:10
Hello imposters, if you work in tech want to work in tech or are tech curious in any way you'll want to listen to this. We've launched a community of professionals who come together to share information and advice about jobs, roles, careers, and the journeys we all take throughout our lives as the designers, builders, fixers investigators, explainers and protectors of the world's technology. We call it the imposter syndrome network. And all are welcome. So find the impostor syndrome network podcast wherever you listen to find podcasts, and look for the isn community on your favorite social platform. Hashtag impostor network.

Tim Bourguignon 20:53
That is, that is very cool. That's so funny when you when you can really enhance your day to day job with the things you can do in the evenings on your free time and just explore something and then during your day job say hey, by the way, I did this thing. Yeah,

Kadi Kraman 21:09
I mean, that's exactly what happened. Because I was just like, Oh, I wonder if we could do it. But I didn't want to like commit to it. Like on the clients. Yeah. See, I figured it out. I was like, hey, this will work for whichever tribe.

Tim Bourguignon 21:21
That is so cool. That is so cool. And you started talking about this project? Or we talking about something else?

Kadi Kraman 21:29
Yeah, I think that was actually my very first talk. Yeah, it was it was it was kind of It wasn't about this project. It was my experience using the draft Jas editor, because it had just come out like a month earlier. Like in this company of pretty much something came out. And then a month later, we'll try to use it on a project. So it was very Yeah, bleeding edge.

Tim Bourguignon 21:48
Yeah, very much bleeding probably. That's funny how you can you can find, find something and then explore and, and create stuff around it. So So you, you, you find an open source project, and then start writing about it and talking about it. And then you make something with it. And you talk about that. And suddenly you have explored the whole vicinity of this of this project and explore the language features and stuff like this. I was like, how they how they saw this chain of events happens. That's a cool thing. But I'm rambling. Okay, why did you leave this company? It seems like a wonderful company to stay in.

Kadi Kraman 22:24
It was wonderful company. But so so far, both of the two companies are consultancies. So meaning that you know, they're not product companies, we work for a variety of clients. So in both those companies, I worked for more than four different and it's awesome, you get a, you get a lot of experience in the same amount of time, right? There's a lot of different projects that you either start or come in the middle, and then different tech different, like problems, different solutions. And I kind of felt that I wanted to do something else. Because even though these two companies, I think it's like four years total. A little bit over four years, yeah, sorry, four years. I felt that it was because we need to beginning to be a bit samey, especially with some of the bigger clients, because you join the clients, and then you don't have admin rights. And then you don't have access. And then you have the same problems with form validation. And then you have the same API issues. And then like it was kind of getting a little bit samey. So I was like, Oh, do something completely different, like join a startup?

Tim Bourguignon 23:32
Okay, so how did you pick that startup to make sure it's completely different? Not just, it's a startup, but it's a different stack. It's a different way of working. It's a different experience entirely.

Kadi Kraman 23:41
So this was actually through a recruiter, like someone that someone else did. I knew, like, had used before. And because because I was considering, you know, going somewhere else. And they were like, oh, you should try this recruiter. Like, you know, he was really good to me. So I just like, What do you have available? Yeah, I ended up doing doing an interview with them. And they're awesome rotor, their company. Actually, my coding interview for that. One was I had to make a tinder style swipe animation like site. She did. And I wrote tests. And he said, that was the only person that's ever written tests on their coding interview.

Tim Bourguignon 24:16
Oh, that's a trend. It's a trend,

Kadi Kraman 24:17
I guess. Yeah, so this company, they're basically like an Uber for waiting stuff. So you know, when you have a hotel to have lots of waiters and bartenders, and as soon as you're at your hotel, and you have a wedding, and you need extra stuff, but you don't have that much stuff on hand, then you can post the shift on this app. And then we have a bunch of waiters and bartenders like waiting and then they can accept the shift, and then they'll turn up and do the work at paid. That's it. And we build the software for it. Oh, that's cool. And when I joined, it was me and two other guys who are both like experienced engineers already. So it was just the three of us in the engineering team. And within I think it was three or For months, we completely rewrote the entire platform. So this included a website, which was just react and API, which was Graph QL node, we had a Postgres database and a React Native app. So all of it, three people, four months classic startup.

Tim Bourguignon 25:19
That's why you go into startups just to be beautiful stuff like that's,

Kadi Kraman 25:23
that's what I mean about, oh, well, we kind of chatted about this earlier before. But that's what I mean about joining startups when you already have experience, because I don't think if like, honestly, I love these guys do this, they were amazing. I think if any one of us hadn't been as experienced as we were, at that point of time, we couldn't have pulled it off.

Tim Bourguignon 25:46
You really have to take all the shortcuts you can and really use the the knowledge, you have to know which shortcuts you can take in which you shouldn't, and then really apply them the best practices and really seek the the value for cetera. And it's something you don't know what the beginning so you need some experience to that.

Kadi Kraman 26:03
It was really awesome. It's obviously, even though it was incredibly like a lot of work. It's the most code I've think I've ever written in my life. And it was a lot of work. But I really loved it. I learned a lot we learned, we all learned from each other. And that was actually the first time ever that I used React Native.

Tim Bourguignon 26:22
For bear there we go into React Native slowly. Why did you leave that one? Well,

Kadi Kraman 26:27
we finished our rewrites and then I got bored.

Tim Bourguignon 26:33
Okay, fair enough.

Kadi Kraman 26:35
I think so actually, what I like to joke about is that I feel like I went to that startup and I did what I am used to doing consultancies in that it goes to a company and then you build the thing. But then you know, when it's time for maintenance is like the kind of what a new project now.

Tim Bourguignon 26:50
So you had the pole and the vision completed, if I may say, and there was no no idea in pivoting, doing something more doing from the hours.

Kadi Kraman 27:00
I mean, there was there's always stuff to do like stuff to further and this is like partially a joke is like I wasn't I wasn't tired of the project, per se. But at that point, I already knew about formidable like from the Joshua community and from London. And I knew all the people who worked in formidable and then at the time, and I was already friends with most of them. So I was I was kind of like edging away anyway, because if there was an opportunity to work with formidable, then obviously I'd like to do that instead. So I kind of whisked me away.

Tim Bourguignon 27:29
Okay, so tell us about that. What is so formidable but formidable?

Kadi Kraman 27:35
Well, I mean, I like a lot of things about formidable. I mean, I've been there for many years. I mean, for an engineering job. I think I've been there for three and a half years, which is quite a long time. Yeah, well, I really liked the well I like to tech, right? Like, at formidable, we just do JavaScript. And I really liked that. Because a lot of consultancies don't want to choose like, they will not constrict themselves too much. Because then you end up losing money, right versus miserable, where like, we do JavaScript, or I guess TypeScript now, I mean, your JavaScript this is what we're experts in, this is what our projects aren't. And it's this this power in that because you know that you'll be producing something that's really good because that's your main area of expertise. All the open source stuff that formidable does is quite unique because a lot of companies say that they have a lot of open source, they do a lot of open source and they support open source, but they don't really it's like oh if anyone wants to you can do so open source but they don't really promote it whereas promotable we have a lot of initiatives in house like opportunities for people to do open source and we get you know, additional compensation for it if we want to do things outside of our working out this time between clients for open source there's loads and loads of stuff.

Tim Bourguignon 28:57
Formidable is a consultancy again, isn't it? Yeah, it is. Okay. Before we dig deeper into into Formula, how was it coming back from the startup to consultancy group we're doing doing the same move backwards?

Kadi Kraman 29:10
Yeah, so the way that formidable does consultancy is different from the other companies that are working. I think it's more I don't know if the right word is I want to say more lenient, but more like you embed yourself within the client team. So you feel like you're working with the client. Rather than that you're the company that just build something and then kind of hands it over which I which I really enjoy.

Tim Bourguignon 29:36
Okay, so it's a more going at it with the client teams at their offices and and adding not just manpower but also a woman power but also experience and maybe best practices and really helping them grow inside.

Kadi Kraman 29:52
Yeah, exactly. So it's very much that and it's, it's, you know, we don't always have client engineers in our team, but it is almost a preferred option if we did, and kind of like, you know, you get the feeling that you're working, you're working very much with them, and you're helping them and you kind of build a lot of relationships with the client teams. And you know, you end up with a with a better product. So I very much enjoyed the client projects that I've had with medical.

Tim Bourguignon 30:17
Okay, how does the, the juggling was two cultures works for you, because you have your formidable culture? And then if you're embedding yourself so much with the clients, then you must juggle with their culture as well. Don't you risk becoming a bit schizophrenic with us?

Kadi Kraman 30:34
No, it's like having like a certain like positivity and back and forth with with the clients who have kind of an accounting that kind of report, like helps the project team as well. I think you end up having different inside jokes with your clinical colleagues and with your client colleagues, because there's still a level of professionalism that you put on in front of your clients,

Tim Bourguignon 30:53
you do need to do what we do our full time clients. How does?

Kadi Kraman 31:01
Yes, yes, I do full time in that, yes, your full time with one client at a time.

Tim Bourguignon 31:06
Okay. And that leaves some time for your for your formula will work.

Kadi Kraman 31:12
Yeah, so there's Yeah, you kind of like you do like things outside of client work. But it's like an 8020 split. So 80% of the time, regardless of whether you're an engineering manager or a principal engineer, 80% of the time, you're still doing client work, and then 20% of the time, you can either do people management or open source or community or like tech leadership stuff.

Tim Bourguignon 31:34
Okay. Okay. So you still have some some slack, if I can put it this way to your to do something else and just climb climb climb? Yeah, yeah, exactly. Okay. Let's talk about the engineering management. That's one of the positions that you went from all from a Senior Software Engineer To Engineer manager, and then back to principal engineer, or is it back? I don't know. Can you can you tell us about the about this on this three step move.

Kadi Kraman 31:57
Yeah, so it's interesting, I mean, titles, right? Yes, the same titles mean different things in different companies. So as promotable our engineering management is still a technical role. So it's, it's still 80% technical and 20% people management and actually, so like, the way our career ladder works is that you have a base engineering level. And then you have a specialization, either the IC, an individual contributor track, which is tech lead, and then principal, or the management track, which is team lead, and then engineering manager. So you know, management and Principal Engineer actually equivalent in terms of seniority is just one is at the top of the management track, and the other one is at the icy track. Yeah, so management, well, I was going to show that I wanted to be a manager have worked incredibly hard to be a software engineer. And, you know, that's something that I think I'm quite proud of, in general. That's, you know, if I got to the level that I'm at, and now I feel that I'm quite experienced in the areas that I specialize in. And so I started doing engineering management, because it was like a natural kind of step when I was when I was a senior. And the way it works terminable is, you basically have up to six reports that basically report to you and then you do the one to one set, gold reviews, like things like that. So it's just like helping other people with their career management. And, like, I enjoy doing it, like, I like helping people, I like mentoring, you know, like pairing, all that kind of stuff, I didn't really want to be anyone's sport, I don't know if you know, some people like, like, get a rush out of being in charge. Like, I don't really care about that. So I didn't really enjoy, like having the manager title. And the thing that made me feel that I didn't want to continue in this track was it was actually all the LinkedIn messages, you know, you get, like recruiting messages from LinkedIn, for, for all kinds of roles. And I noticed that because of my title, like the kinds of roles that I kept getting, were increasingly more and more non technical. And that kind of made me feel that having that title, even though it is a technical title, as formidable, like, the rest of the world sees it as non technical. So I felt the thing that I've been, you know, pushing myself to do, and practice and what I'm really proud of, is kind of slip, I can see it slipping away. So and I see myself primarily as an engineer, and as a problem solver as a person who builds things. And that's, that's what I love doing the most. And yeah, I just wanted to more actively focus on that rather than people management

Tim Bourguignon 34:47
makes a lot of sense. What is the difference that you make at that formidable between a senior software engineer and principal?

Kadi Kraman 34:54
So the way that our CTO puts it is that principal engineers often act as if force multiplier within the company. So like our senior, our principal engineers all have an expertise, like an area of expertise. So mine is React Native, but we have, you know, someone who is cloud infra, like web react like Node js back end, etc. So we have like a nice spread of expertise. And then our role is to, you know, keep in touch with latest developments help other people from notable upskill in the areas that were the best at and just kind of bring the community feeling. I basically focus on the tech on the area that we are an expert in, and then bring the community with it together. If that makes sense.

Tim Bourguignon 35:44
It does. It doesn't make a lot of time for that. And I like this definition, this is really being responsible in our quarter of one space in the technology field and really trying to promote it to be the reference person to try and make it. Yeah.

Kadi Kraman 35:59
I mean, yeah, so my role isn't necessarily, you know, to do the most talks or do the most open source projects, but to know who else in the company is interested in React Native, and kind of promote their work and help them upskill so, you know, I encourage other people to do talks and publish packages and, you know, things that I've done in the past to go like, Oh, this would be really good as an open source project, you should publish it. And, you know, that's, that's kind of, I guess, part of my role. So that's what I mean by like, she's like, you know, pushing everyone to do the best. And if there's within React Native, then that's even better.

Tim Bourguignon 36:34
So the good part of the management you were describing for, not as a manager? Yeah,

Kadi Kraman 36:42
no, I don't have the manager title for change. Oh, very much.

Tim Bourguignon 36:48
So So where are you heading? What's what's in your future?

Kadi Kraman 36:51
Oh, good question. You know, I just love building stuff. I think ultimately, that's what it comes down to, at the moment, like my last two projects, especially for mobile have been really, really awesome. They've been both a greenfield React Native projects, and both have included things that I've not had the chance to use before, either because they're new or just, you know, not had the opportunity on a client side. Yeah. So honestly, I just want to do more of that. It's not like it's not like new, like, is short incoming. Like there's always going to be new stuff to try. So yeah, I just want to build more mobile apps to be honest.

Tim Bourguignon 37:28
When you get a new a new mobile app to have your eyes on the horizon, yeah, what excites you about it domain? Is it exploring a new face it of React Native that you haven't had the chance to explore so far? But how do you pick it if you had multiple projects to pick and choose from? Which one would you take away?

Kadi Kraman 37:46
I would overtake something that I haven't done before, if that's possible, so whether it's okay, so a fun challenge would be Oh, it had the offline capable, like 100% offline capable, or it has to be able to support live streaming, or maybe some VR or AR capabilities. Or maybe like some a lot of animations, or like Easter eggs, from that point of view, like these are all kind of exciting challenges. Hopefully not all at once on a project that will be great. So why did it time but you can't always

Tim Bourguignon 38:18
pick and choose? Are you participating in some kind of pre sales effort in the company to find that kind of projects? And really, yes, through your, your effort in the community, through your networking, etc? Trying to get those projects? Yeah, for sure.

Kadi Kraman 38:31
I mean, so a lot of the I guess, work that we get as formidable is from, like word of mouth, from other clients that we're working with, worked with, or from our open source offerings, so people know that we've done some open source projects, and they're like, Oh, who's this company behind it, and then they'll come in touch with us or we have our Contact Us form as well. And usually, we do bring you know, an engineer in like quite early on to discuss details, so I'd be part of that sometimes.

Tim Bourguignon 39:01
Okay. And now now you have a wish list on the air with the next step you want to do so people if you if you need something done in React Native and it has to do some streaming or offline capabilities, or VR AR and etc. You know where to where to go if I can help. Very, very cool, I guess it's time for an advice. You've had an interesting path with this, this first interview that came basically a bit out of the blue and fit it will be the your your your the piece of advice you would give for someone facing the first interview, really, this very first one, they don't know what's coming, and they're probably scared and they need to hear something, but would be that something

Kadi Kraman 39:47
I would say do the best you can because you can't do anything else. I'm not sure if that's good advice or not. I mean interviews in general, like are tricky because So I do a lot of interviews, like at the moment as the interviewer, and when I started doing them, I felt as if I was the one being interviewed, you know, I know, there's like, there's the other person there, you know, they're the one actually stressed out because they're trying to get a job. But I'm actually also stressed out because I, like, you know, I'm terrified of interviewing them. And I would, I would literally have an hour before the interview, you know, shaking, I had, like, you know, hands were clammy, like, you know, the standard feeling. And now, because I've done so many of them, I don't feel that anymore. So when you go into your very first interview is going to be terrifying. Like, there's just no way around it. Unfortunately, our bodies are hardwired to have this stress response, which is not helpful at all. And you just the first time, it's just going to be stressful. But once you get into it, once you get going, like, oh, you can do this the best that you can. And then even if the first interview didn't go, well, the second one will go better, and the third one will go even better. So practice makes perfect.

Tim Bourguignon 41:03
Awesome. I would like to add, there's so much out of your control in an interview context. So don't sweat it, do the best you can. But there's so much that you cannot influence at all all the candidates that are there the mood of the interviewer, etc.

Kadi Kraman 41:18
So but also the thing to bear in mind, and it's the same thing to bear in mind, if you do talks, is your audience, the other person they want you to do well, right. So you're in a situation this like you want to do well, but they also want you to do about like they want to do everything in their power to make you comfortable, make you like pass your interview, like like make them make you entertain them, you know, whatever the context is. So like everyone's rooting for you, including you.

Tim Bourguignon 41:48
Sometimes your your worst own enemy, but yeah, that's awesome. So Cody, where would be the best place to find you online and start a discussion about any topics we talked about? Oh, and on another topic entirely

Kadi Kraman 42:03
on Twitter. Yeah. My Twitter handle airships caddy Kremen. So just my name. And my DMs are open. So if you have any questions around, you know, React Native or maybe how to get started and you recognize the journey. I'm always happy to

Tim Bourguignon 42:16
chat. And don't forget the checklist and the wish list.

Kadi Kraman 42:19
Oh, yeah. And the wish list. If you have any projects that you want me to do

Tim Bourguignon 42:26
anything on your plate, you want to plug in before we call it a day? No, not at the moment. Awesome. Then thank you very much for sharing your story with us. That was very nice. Thank you very much. Awesome. Thank you, Tim. And this has been another episode of Deborah's journey. We'll see each other next week. Bye. Bye. Bye. Thanks a lot for tuning in. I hope you have enjoyed this week's episode. If you like the show, please share rate and review. It helps more listeners discover those stories. You can find the links to all the platforms to show appears on on our website, Dev journey dot info slash subscribe. Creating the show every week takes a lot of time, energy, and of course money. Would you please help me continue bringing out those inspiring stories every week by pledging a small monthly donation, you'll find our patreon link at Dev journey dot info slash donate. And finally, don't hesitate to reach out and tell me how this week story is shaping your future. You can find me on Twitter at @timothep ti m o t h e p or per email info at Dev journey dot info. Talk to you soon.