Behind-the-Scenes as an App Developer at Clearbridge Mobile
Working at Clearbridge is a unique experience, one that many of us agree is an opportunity that cannot be passed up.
Why is this, and what is it really like being a part of the Clearbridge team?
Over lunch last week, I sat down with Android Developer, Alexey Redchets and dug into the reasoning behind why he chose to work at Clearbridge Mobile and how it exceeds his expectations.
B: Hi Alexey, thank you for sitting down with me.
A: No problem, glad to help!
B: Let’s start by learning a little bit about your background. How did you become a developer?
A: As you know, I’m an Android Developer at Clearbridge but before that, I studied telecommunications in Russia and when I came to Canada, I studied Electronics Engineering where I first learned C and C++, which I really took a liking to and decided that I wanted to pursue a career as a programmer. I started developing my skills right away with resources available online. I learned as much as I could by reading development blogs, watching programming videos, and so on.
Then when I graduated from college, I really didn’t want to work as an electronic technician so I started looking for a job and developing my Android skill set. I created a couple of apps to build a portfolio and in doing so, I learned a lot about Android development as I needed to solve problems on my own.
The apps I built really helped me to establish myself as a developer. It wasn’t just front-end but also back-end development that I needed to thoroughly understand. For example, I developed a hockey app which I had to create a server for that provides all the data I needed. During this time, I had another job as well so I had to find the time to develop my skills. I usually worked on building the apps on the weekend and after work. It took me a while, but I loved learning every step of the way.
B: Why did you consider a job at Clearbridge Mobile?
A: At first, the impressive list of clients really peaked my interest and I liked how I would have the chance to work on a variety of different projects that would really keep me engaged and excited to go to work every day. Clearbridge offered new opportunities for growth and development and it wasn’t something I could pass up. For example, the first project I was working on was a smaller home living project, and within one year, I’ve had the opportunity to transition to a large-scale telecommunications app.
When I started working here, I quickly came to realize that the innovative projects are just one benefit of the job. The team and culture is another aspect that I love. We have a very collaborative team where everyone’s input is heard.
B: What do you like about the projects you’re currently working on?
A: I love working on a project that hundreds of thousands of people use. The project I’m on right now is a media app, and it’s very interesting which keeps me engaged every day. The team I work in is very professional. Every member- from developers to upper management- has a common goal and works really hard to achieve it. Being a part of such a great team is motivating and I feel like I’m making an impact. I like to work in an educational environment where we all learn together, not just for my professional career but for my personal development as well.
B: What new things have you learned while working at Clearbridge Mobile?
A: As a developer, when you start working on a new project, you always learn something because there are different requirements for each project. Learning is an ongoing process. For example, I started learning Kotlin several months ago and there’s still more for me to understand. I’m always excited to learn new languages and technologies. It’s imperative for a developer to be open-minded and up-to-date with new advancements in the tech space.
B: Do you take any courses or training programs?
A: We are always encouraged to take a course or attend a conference if it’s something we’re interested in. A few months ago, I attended an Android conference and it was an awesome experience. If I ask my manager, to go to a conference or training course, they’re always very supportive. There aren’t any restrictions on what you can and cannot do as the company is invested in helping you develop your skill set.
B: Do you have any advice for other Android Developers looking to advance their career?
A: The single best way to get a job in Android development, in particular, is to publish at least a couple of your own apps to the app store to demonstrate your skill. For new developers, it’s important to choose an idea that they like. For example, I like hockey which is why I decided to build a sports app. It was easy for me to create the app because it was something that interested me. If you’re combining your passions, you’ll be more motivated to complete what you’re setting out to accomplish.
It’s important to keep learning every day. When you start a development project, you always learn something new. If you build an app yourself, you have to figure it all out on your own. There are so many sources to find answers and it’s up to you to teach yourself.
Simply put, the best developers are self-taught. Everything I know now is a result of my environment, whether that’s through people I communicate with, work with, what I search for online, and what I learn at conferences. That’s why teamwork is so important for developers. You learn from each other and help solve problems together. However, being a great developer requires more than good programming skills. It requires continuous professional development and commitment to self-improvement. Professional development requires continuous learning both in and outside work.
B: Do people have any misconceptions about your job?
A: It takes time to learn. It doesn’t happen quickly, and the truth is that it never ends. You need to constantly be learning and challenging yourself. If you keep learning new things and stay up-to-date, you’ll do well, and eventually get the opportunity to work on world-class projects like I currently work on.
B: Where do you see yourself going?
A: I really enjoy Android development but I don’t believe in sticking with one thing. It’s always a good idea to expand your horizons and learn as much as you can. I like back-end development and writing code functionality. It definitely takes a certain personality to be back-end developer!
B: Why should other people apply to Clearbridge?
A: The people are amazing. They’re very open-minded and always very supportive. You feel very much a part of the team and I’m not only talking about the development team. I started working on the first project on my second day. It was a fast start and an excellent transition into the large projects I’m working on today. I received everything I needed for this project because I worked with the Project Manager, Jugal, and he answered all of my questions. This is exactly what I mean when I say the people here are great. Everyone shares responsibility and works together to accomplish a common goal.
B: Awesome, and you’ve just answered all of my questions as well! Thank you for opening up about life at Clearbridge. I’ll let you get back to working on that project you were telling me about.
If you’re interested in joining the team of rockstars at Clearbridge Mobile, take a look at our job openings! We’re always on the hunt for the newest member of our team as we continue to grow.
For more behind the scenes at Clearbridge, check out our Day in the Life Series: