Two Types of Developers: A Guide to fjorge jobs

February 11, 2021

When I started working at fjorge as a Project Manager, I didn’t know much about technology. I had several previous touchpoints with the web industry but had to do a lot of learning on the job, especially with technical terms. My trick is using analogies to put complex technical concepts into perspectives I could relate to. I have my smartphone analogy, my lifespan analogy, and my medical profession analogy, but the one I use most often is my construction analogy. How does that tie into types of developers? Let’s dive deeper.

In fact, development natively uses shared terms like “build”, “windows”, “up to code” and “architecture”! Being an avid DIY homeowner and Habitat for Humanity volunteer, it’s the easiest analogy I have in my toolbox!

When recruiting new teammates, the first question I ask during a screening call is “What type of developer are you?”

There are two types of developers when it comes to what they truly enjoy doing. It’s pretty rare to find someone who legitimately enjoys both, and the truth typically comes out when I ask “if you had to give up the other type of development completely, which one would you choose.”

Construction Worker

The first type of developer is the Construction Worker.

During the Architecture and Design phase, they work with the Architect (SA) and the homeowner (client) to identify and understand the short term and long term goals and validate build plans for the project. They then create a detailed project plan alongside the Architect and Foreman (PM). Throughout the project, they have their work approved by the Inspector (QA), with a homeowner walkthrough, before anyone can move in. They lay the foundation (framework), erect the framing (theme), connect the electrical and plumbing (server language), hang the drywall and cabinetry (database), add the paint, trim, and landscaping (CSS). They see the property come together feature by feature, and when the project is done, they step back and say “Wow! I built this!”

Then, they move on to the next construction site. From time to time they may revisit a past project, but they get most excited about the next big project. Watching an empty plot of land (server) turn into a bungalow or a mansion or a cabin at their own hands, while frequently learning new skills for building different styles of structures, is where they find their passion. Almost every site they work on is completely new, often using the latest tools and techniques, and they may be on a single project as part of a crew working together towards the same goal for months or even years.

Renovator / Handyman (Handyma’am)

The second type of developer is the Renovator.

They come into an already occupied home and learn from the homeowner what they love about the property, what they hate about it, what needs to change immediately, and what they hope to change in the future. They perform an inspection (audit) of the property to make recommendations to improve the stability of the property, remove hazards (vulnerabilities/intrusions) like faulty wiring, cracked plumbing, or pest damage, then put together a plan (roadmap) to addresses the most important issues first, so future remodeling (new features) can be completed in good confidence.

Once the property is stable, the real fun begins! They can remodel the bathroom and kitchen, remove walls, add a new master suite or second story, change the landscaping, lay an inground pool or add a deck, etc. As time goes on and the property ages, repairs continue to be needed, like replacing appliances, cleaning the main drain, leveling cracked foundation as the property settles, or responding to damage caused by nature.

If the homeowners didn’t have blueprints or building plans (architecture diagrams/scope documents) from the original build, the renovator will create their own documentation as they go. Every time they open up the drywall or enter a crawlspace (source code) to troubleshoot an issue or add a new feature, they discover something new about the architecture and find more ways to improve stability. The longer the same handyman or handy ma’am works with the homeowner and the more work they do on a regular basis, the more efficient they become.

This type of developer is “in it for the long haul”, and actually prefers having their elbows deep in many different properties, juggling unrelated tasks with short timelines. Every day is full of unknowns, and every decision they make has an immediate and direct impact on the family that lives there.

A Guide to fjorge

I’ve managed both types of developers at fjorge, and am endlessly impressed with the difficulty and magnitude of their work. Above all, I am so proud to work at a company that attracts and celebrates both types for their unique way of approaching issues.

If you identify most with the Construction Worker, you’ll enjoy the Project side of fjorge. We have UI/UX designers, Solutions Architects, Project Managers, Developers, and QA Engineers all collaborating to build brand new websites and applications. Their end goal is getting a quality product to production that meets clients’ short-term needs and long-term goals, where the end client can make themselves at home. The key here is collaboration, both with their crewmates and the client, so that “done means done for everyone.”

If you identify with the Renovator, you’ll identify most with the Development Managed Services side of fjorge. We have Systems Administrators, Solutions Architects, Product Managers, Developers, and QA Engineers maintaining and enhancing websites and applications with the end goal of keeping the property relevant and secure. Members of this team have a high focus on customer service, often forming professional relationships with clients and getting to know them almost as well as they know the property. They are highly independent but thrive in a community of other handypeople.

There is no best type; they are simply different! The best part is that both the construction-type and renovation-type work together, sharing tips and techniques that make both sides stronger.

Our interview process at fjorge is designed to get the right candidates in the right seats, so they are satisfied with the type of work they’ll be doing long term.

What type are you?

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fjorge is growing at an impressive rate. We have a never-ending mission to be the best place to work, learn, grow and promote from within. Learn more about our culture and open positions!

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