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Carl's Story: The Art of Software

As we continue to strengthen our team, a key pillar in the future of our product is new team member, Carl Winkler. Carl joins MyPass as a Senior Software Engineer with a track-record in successfully launching products, and we’re excited to see him apply this to the continued evolution of MyPass. Here’s what Carl had to say about joining MyPass and his path to becoming the Software Engineer he is today.

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“I always saw myself as best suited to smaller companies as I feel like I can contribute more, so they get more value out of me. I like to give value to people that actually want it, rather than being met with lots of resistance. In some experiences I’ve had before MyPass, I felt I had to prove myself against heavy resistance in order to make the changes that I knew were needed. At MyPass it’s been so different. Being told “that sounds really interesting, can you give us a proof of concept?”, is so much more open and encouraging.

I’m hoping I can take everything I’ve learnt in all these years, and show why the patterns I’ve learned and developed are so awesome and can add a lot of value. I’m very keen to get into our backend, which is still my speciality, exploring the different data models that I think will work best.

My first real memory of writing code or trying to learn was my Dad sitting me in front of his computer when I was nine. I was distracted by the cartoon network playing on TV playing in the background. That’s my first exposure – I pretty much ignored everything he said and went on to teach myself! It quickly became a passion and I was writing a lot of code by the age of nine or ten. It was pretty much all I could think about. I remember I’d be in the back-seat of our car driving around for sports and writing code in my little book ready to type up when I got home. I was basically writing games and organically discovered a whole bunch of really important concepts before I was taught them later on. I was really proud of a lot of the code I wrote back then. Unfortunately I lost all of that work when my CPU overheated and melted.

SoftwareAt about thirteen I was building game engines and had a bunch of people writing levels for me, with some really naive artificial intelligence built in. I stopped coding for a while in High School as I ran out of ideas for projects and took a bit hiatus. That led me to doing a melting pot of different jobs which is part of my work history that isn’t on my LinkedIn!

My first ever job was on car radiators and after that I got a full time job working with two-way radios. After that I built PCs, then for several years I worked as a technician doing oceanography, cable networks, and mobile communications where I climbed towers and went out to sea. I loved that work.

I didn’t think I’d end up developing software because from a young age I’d thought it would be less enjoyable as work. Finally after all these jobs I decided to study Computer Science, primarily to obtain more insight about the industry. When I got my first Developer role whilst I was studying, I realised that I really enjoyed it.

It definitely gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning, no matter which area of development, I’ve found something to love about every single part of it.

I particularly like “working at the seams,” which is where you stitch services together into what you’ve built. More recently, I took a deep dive into front-end development and loved the complexity of it. You just need to find an area that you can be passionate about.

What I’ve come to enjoy as well is not only creating a great experience for the customer, but treating my team as customers of the code base as well. So I spend a lot of time making sure their experience developing the product is as good, or better, than the actual product itself. It’s not good enough that it just works, to me it needs to be easy to work on and to add new features. That’s the artistic and the elegant side of software, it’s not just writing code to tell a computer what to do, it’s actually telling another developer what you want a piece of code to do. If you can solve a complex problem so simply that anyone can understand it, that’s my path to success.

That’s where I find my passion and enjoyment, enabling developers to build something amazing, without letting the code get in the way. Then they can focus on the business problems as opposed to focusing on software problems. It’s this passion that I’m particularly excited about bringing to MyPass.”

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