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Conversations in Software Development
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Conversations in Software Development

Author: Borja Sotomayor

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Conversations in Software Development is a podcast intended primarily for students (at any level) who want to learn more about software development, especially if they intend to pursue a career in that field. More specifically, the goal of the podcast is to expose students to topics and ideas that they don't usually get to see or practice in a classroom setting, including many aspects of software development that are not related to coding. In each episode, we have a conversation with someone who is involved in developing software in some capacity (such as software engineers, product managers, CTOs, etc.), and who share their insights and thoughts on a specific topic.
8 Episodes
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In Episode 004: “Working in a Product Development Team” with Jenny Farver, we spoke with Jenny Farver about product development, including the various roles that you find in a product development team. Jenny herself has been the CTO of several companies and, in this bonus content from Episode 004, Jenny tells us more about the role of the CTO.
More often than not, software development projects are actually product development projects. The goal is to develop a product that will actually be used, and where our users will have specific needs. The team that develops that product will involve more than just software developers and, to help us explore what product development entails, and the various roles that are involved in a product development team, we spoke with Jenny Farver, a Chicago-based technology leader with many years of experience in product development.
In this bonus content from Episode 003: "The Business of Software Development" with Q McCallum, Q shares some of the lessons he learned early in his career and, indeed, how his early years in tech shaped many aspects of his career later on. 
In this bonus content from Episode 003: "The Business of Software Development" with Q McCallum, Q tells us about what he did (and didn't) learn in college, and whether you necessarily need a Computer Science degree to succeed in the tech industry.
In this episode, we will be discussing the business of software development. Writing software doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it often happens in the context of a business, and it can be useful to understand exactly where software fits in a business.To explore this topic, I sat down with Q McCallum, a data consultant who started his career in the software world (and who, somehow, managed to never really leave it). His consulting practice focuses on on guiding companies on their first steps in data science, machine learning, and AI. With more than two decades of experience dealing with a variety of software companies, Q has accumulated a wealth of knowledge on how these companies operate. While our conversation started on the business of software development, we ended up gravitating more towards discussing the realities of software development (which often happen in a business context).
In this episode, I sit down with Chelsea Troy, a Chicago-based software engineer, to talk about giving and receiving feedback, something you have to do quite often when working on software, but which you don’t always get to do as a student. Besides talking about code reviews, the most common situation where you have to give or receive feedback, we also explore how to solicit good feedback and how to take feedback constructively. Chelsea has written extensively about this subject (and many, many others) and you can find all her writings, as well as videos of her talks, at chelseatroy.com.
In this bonus content from Episode 001: "Working in Teams" with Ben Collins-Sussman and Brian Fitzpatrick, Ben and Fitz tell us about the challenges of working remotely in a software team, especially in the context of a global crisis that is forcing nearly everyone to interact with their software teams remotely.
Software development is a team sport and, for this inaugural episode of "Conversations in Software Development", we are very lucky to have a conversation on this subject with Ben Collins-Sussman and Brian "Fitz" Fitzpatrick.Besides being accomplished software engineers, Ben and Fitz have collaborated on multiple talks and books regarding the social challenges of software development, including the popular O'Reilly book Debugging Teams: Better Productivity through Collaboration and most recently contributed several chapters to the book Software Engineering at Google: Lessons Learned from Programming Over Time.
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