I decided to interview my friend Dylan to really dig into his fascinating technical profession. Here, he shares his passion for the craft, how he got into his current role, and aspirations for the future.
Q: What’s your current occupation?
A: I am a Senior Salesforce Developer. I help companies, non-profits, and government entities streamline their operations by writing code to do everything from automating certain processes, creating websites for the public, or making Salesforce play nicely with other programs.
Q: Did you go to school for this?
A: Yes! Eventually. When I was younger, I learned to program a little bit and was fascinated with computers. In middle school, the only really computer-intensive class was a “Digital Media” class where I got into photography and making films. Throughout high school, I found myself exploring broadcast journalism and filmmaking a lot more, even interning at a local news station and starting a journalism department at my school. I applied to Chapman University as a film production major with a second choice of computer science. I didn’t get into film production and that was the best thing that happened to me. I realized I liked all the cool cameras and tech more than the art of making a movie. So, computer science was a far better option.
Q: How did you get to this point in your career?
A: A lot of being in the right places at right times! My high school gave me a connection into the world of engineering when I worked as a video producer for an education program at our local college. I was able to connect with a great professor there, who helped me learn about Virtual Reality and get some coding experience under my belt. At the end of my sophomore year of college, one of my professors asked the class if any of us wanted an internship over the summer. I figured I’d try for it and sent him my resume. Got an interview and met with the team I still work with today! I started as an intern, worked my way up to junior developer, briefly had the coolest title ever with “Rogue Developer,” and we recently got acquired, leading me to my role as Senior Developer! I guess I have to take things a little more seriously with the greater title.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite things about what you do?
A: There is no greater rush than when you’ve been working on code for hours or days and it finally works. My favorite part of the job is getting to work through a challenging problem I haven’t entirely seen before. It feels like a puzzle to me, something I have to solve. I generally enjoy all aspects of my job at least a little (okay, there are a couple meetings I could do without), but a total pet peeve of mine is people asking me to develop apps for them. I don’t particularly like developing phone apps and often times people don’t really think through their ideas. Code (and servers to run it) are expensive and takes a lot of time!
Q: Coolest project you’ve ever developed?
A: That’s tough. At work, most of my projects are pretty complicated and boring to the average person. While in college, I helped develop a really fun video game for my minor’s thesis. We entered it in a competition and won an award. I was responsible for building a turn-based combat system and writing the soundtrack! Lately, I’ve been trying to learn a couple new technologies by turning one of my favorite in-person party games into an online game.
Q: Any dreams and/or goals for the future?
A: I try not to set any specific goals, because things can change so quickly that your goals change. In college, I had planned to intern for Google before my senior year, and that definitely didn’t happen, so I just go with what feels right and that hasn’t led me wrong. I’d say I’d like to be a Chief Technology Officer one day, getting to lead tech teams to build products.
Q: Aside from developing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I write music, play a couple of instruments, listen to tons of music, and go to a lot of concerts. My friends and I all have our own musical projects and we frequently work together on writing stuff, so I have multiple projects in the works at any given moment. I also love to hang out and go on various adventures with my friends.
Q: Have any shameless self plugs?
A: You can keep up with me on Instagram at dylan.bowman06! I still go out and take photos to post there, as well as posting about whatever musical things I work on. If you want to see some of my code, I’m on Github as nvblueboy.