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Interview with Adam McDaniel, Programmer at WebCreek

9 minuteminutos readde lectura
Rafael Ríos
ByPor Rafael Ríos

186


One of the most interesting qualities of a software company’s talents is personality. This particular personality, for example, is mysterious, reserved, and concentrated on the digital world. By special request, I got in contact with a developer from our team in Houston and, after asking him some questions, was able to decipher the interest he has had from a very early age in languages and programming, as well as his various work habits. I introduce you to Adam McDaniel, who is absent from social networks, but very present in the channels of WebCreek.

Rafa: Where did you study and how did you become a programmer? 


Adam McDaniel: I studied here at Texas Tech University, but I started programming a long time before that. My older brother was really interested in programming; we had a computer for a number of years and he took the initiative to go to the library to learn how to code. He would have been going into the 5th grade in those days, and we had computers installed with the QBasic programming language. So, he would go home and start to program some things — nothing too fancy — in this language. We were both fans of create-your-own-adventure books, so he would come home and program “if” statements with the console-logs that let you choose what you wanted the characters to do. So, he taught me to do that and I started programming when I was in 2nd grade.

Rafa: How did you start at WebCreek and what was the process that brought you to work here? 

Adam McDaniel: I was looking for work on pages like monster.com and similar employment platforms. But my mom is actually the one who found WebCreek’s job posting. It was actually an internship-type position; they weren’t really looking for a programmer or anything, just someone familiar with installing computers, connected networks– those kinds of things.  But since it was a tech company here in The Woodlands, I showed up, applied, and during my interview, I told them the truth: I can do these things, but what I really am is a developer and that’s what I really like. They soon contracted me and the rest is history.  

Rafa: What is a normal day at work like for you? 

Adam McDaniel: Well, I come to the office, sit in front of the computer (laughs), I work 8 hours, and, well, I don’t have much else to say. I stay pretty busy programming, and there’s not much difference from day to day. 

Rafa: Is there a project that you’ve developed for WebCreek that you consider your highlight?

Adam McDaniel: (Laughs) I almost want to say it’s a high and low light,  a project called Xenforma. It started with basically just another guy and me, although we had another member that helped us with the testing. But basically, the two of us developed a complete framework for Node JS (javascript).  It was supposed to be the framework for future applications. The other guy chose all the technology, but after a few months, he left. So the project ended up being just my responsibility, although I didn’t choose the technologies, nor did I really like them. And I didn’t know how to manage them well. But in the end, I did a good job. We are still using this framework for new development– not so much for new clients, but for existing ones. There are also 4 applications that are based upon it. So it’s not so bad; it was just written on JavaScript without any types (there wasn’t typescript), so it’s challenging to maintain.

Rafa: How did you end up creating the WebCreek Wiki? Tell me some details about that initiative. 

Adam McDaniel: Oh, I didn’t make the Wiki, maybe you’re talking about the repository. Well, basically what I made is a repository of codes to exchange among developers. I’m excited by new technology, especially JavaScript updates, and I wanted to create a page to explain how powerful this technology can be if we combine it correctly. I consulted with a colleague, and he was also interested. I then started to ask who else on the team might be interested in this exchange, talking with various people. I wanted to know how many would be ready to take the next step and follow up on my idea for a few hours each day, like a hobby. I talked to Jason, our CEO, and he also supported the project. That’s how I created the repository in the company’s Wiki. 

Rafa: Do you have any preferred working rituals? Listening to music, a special atmosphere, some place or form to be working?  

Adam McDaniel: Not really. And truthfully, I can’t work with music, that is, I could, but I don’t like to. It distracts me a lot. I deeply concentrate on the code that I manage, and although music helps some people,  I prefer to listen to it at home. Sometimes I use it, but I always end up turning it off; it only distracts me. 

Rafa: What advice would you give to young developers interested in working at WebCreek? 

Adam McDaniel: (long silence) Mmm, I don’t know. I think that they should– in order to be successful, at least in this company, and probably anywhere–  put in 110% for a while. For example, my brother is also a developer, but not for WebCreek, and he works long hours. It’s not just about dedicating 8 hours a day. If you really want to go far, you have to put in more than 8. That’s my recommendation. 

Rafa: In your opinion, what is the main attribute of the software solutions that WebCreek develops?  

Adam McDaniel: I’d just say that, given the size of the team we’ve been able to gather, our collaboration is quite efficient.  Between the QA department and developers, everything seems to flow well. Of course, everything can always be improved. But it really does seem like a well-built machine, in terms of our ability to organize teams and collaborate remotely on projects.  And our capacity to grow, as I mentioned at the beginning; we’ve scaled up really well, I believe. 

The seriousness in Adam’s answers surprised me so much that I likewise said goodbye by thanking him for his time and asking for a picture of him to show for this interview. All this made me understand the capacity of concentration that a programmer needs in order to efficiently and precisely do her/his tasks. Only a minimal part of the attention is left for day-to-day life, or at least for letting this interviewer see what’s essential without wasting words, that is unnecessary codes. After all, with a certain esoteric imagination, Adam was the name of the first man on Earth, who started to co-create an entire universe through the use of language. So, escaping towards this belief, I conclude this presentation of yet another talent, from the company that connects the dots in the technological garden of Eden.