Developer to Developer:
In Their Own Words

An interview with Dennis, Junior Developer

What makes for a positive work environment?
An environment where we are allowed to pace ourselves. Deadlines need to be met, but the way the teams are structured, I never have to worry too much about falling behind. I feel like Kat and Nick (CEO, CTO) have planned out sprints and releases in a way that allows us to have some leeway in terms of finishing stuff.

What type of developers do well here?
They are the ones who care about the work they do. The ones who are specific about wanting to contribute, who don’t feel like it’s only for money. Working as a developer in the agriculture  industry makes you feel like you’re part of a bigger community. For someone who wants to make some level of impact on the world, this is a good place for that.

What makes you most proud to be here?
Being able to say that the code I write isn’t solely for making money, it’s being used as a service to help people in one of the most fundamental ways, which is providing food by making it easier to cultivate certain crops. It’s a noble path to take.

What’s the best part of working here?
If it’s not directly related to work, the ability to choose when we go into the office, as some days, I think, “is my pet going to be lonely today?” The flexibility, it’s nice. Other days, I’m more productive in the office.

How would you describe the management style?
Kind of horizontal. There’s not that much of a hierarchy in the development teams. I feel like my opinion has a good amount of weight to it, an appropriate amount, and I feel like I can voice my opinions more often. And there are no strict rules on what computers we can use, what tools we can use, and I genuinely appreciate that.

How has this job challenged you?
At the last two jobs, there was a strict pyramid hierarchy in terms of power structure. For example, I can only take these tickets because they were assigned to me. At Skyward… because it’s so horizontal in its structure and culture, we pick up tickets as we go. As a junior developer, I’m learning a lot and feeling like I’m improving every day.

Why should a developer come here instead of another company?
Skyward is unique in the sense that it’s one of the few companies I know in agriculture. Usually as a freshman grad, the options you saw were finance, technology, and defense. Tech companies are risky, because that’s the way tech is. Things become obsolete so quickly, so right around the corner it could be over.

What would you change if you could?
A commercial grade espresso machine.

(Sorry, Dennis. Unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.)

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