Episode 249: Settling the Wild West and credit for self-study


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:


  1. I recently took over to manage development at a small company that has been around for a few decades. We just wrapped up a four year effort to move to a more modern web stack.

    The development style before my new position is best described as ‘Wild West’. My direct boss’s philosophy can be illustrated with the following phrases:

    • “We are going to have to rewrite it, so just get it out fast.”
    • “Just hardcode the sh*!@ out of it”
    • “It just has to look like it works, but it doesn’t really have to work.”

    My boss is the co-founder of the company and ran development before me. I have made a concerted effort with my current team to introduce best practices, Unit Testing, PSR standards, APIs and so forth but engagement is really low. I’ve tried every way I know how to get them to care about quality code, tests, standards, etc but they just don’t respond. They are more concerned about getting things out fast which is nice but not my top priority. I’d rather have clean, predictable code that doesn’t break in production.

    How do I get my team to buy off on these principles?

  2. Hi Dave and Jamison

    How do I communicate all of the self-study that I’ve done to potential employers?

    I transitioned from a bachelor’s degree in the health sciences to the software industry and I have now worked as a data scientist for a couple of years. I spent a lot of time and effort taking free online classes in mathematics and computer science through Stanford and MIT. Over 3 years I’ve probably done the equivalent of half of a math degree and about a third of a full CS curriculum. And even though I’m employed now, I still keep working on more advanced classes in my spare time.

    How can I communicate this to potential employers considering that I’m not getting any academic credits for my effort? Should I just leave this off my resume? Is it okay to mention that I have audited those classes? Any other ideas?

    Thanks for the lovely podcast.

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