10 in 5. Gustaf Holm, Developer
Meet Gustaf, a self-taught developer who used to take computers apart to figure out how they worked. Read about his journey to becoming one of our many talented devs!
Being a developer is not only about sitting by your screen, coding away in solitude. As a dev at Humblebee, you are part of the whole process, from exploration to ideation and prototyping, basically trying to solve problems together as a team. Hear more about this crucial role from our very own Gustaf Holm!
- Hey Gustaf. How the heck are you doing?
I am great thank you!
- So what do you do at Humblebee?
I am working as a developer.
- Can you tell us exactly what a Developer at Humblebee does?
Not exactly, I think the role includes a lot of stuff! Obviously coding out solutions for the services we build, but developers are also a big part of the whole process, where we usually start in exploration, doing design sprints etc. A lot of developers may not be used to that cause it is not a part of the role in general, but at Humblebee all disciplines are included. So, developers are both finding the problem and focussing in on that, taking it to sketching prototypes, talking about user needs, what is the actual problem or solution we are trying to come up with and solve. That then spills over in design where at least front-end developers are collaborating tight with product and UX designers, then in the last step of the chain, coding, we build out the service. But that goes both ways, so you have a tight loop with the designers and iterate as needed.
- How come you ended up working with Development?
I don’t know really! I think since I was a kid, my parents had a home computer agreement; in the 90s you could rent a PC from your employer and I kind of started with that. I didn’t destroy it but close to it, just hacking away, that got me into building my own PC a couple of years later, from spare parts, that turned out to be a monster gaming rig and got me into gaming where I got into these clans or teams, and I build websites for the teams I was in. So yeah, just always used computers and figuring out how they work, what’s under the hood. Kind of informal way, always been interested in computers in general. I did study a bit but mostly I’m self-taught. It’s like a never-ending thing, development, there’s always new stuff to learn, problems to solve.
- Tell us about one project you’re particularly proud of…
As a developer, you’re never better than your latest code. You always look back thinking this stuff from 3 years ago, you could’ve made it better. So, I guess it’s the latest project I’m in, but I cannot tell you about it really because of NDA’s... But in general, I am very proud of how we work. We are in a field which is extremely undefined, and things change every day almost. When we work together as a team and the developer is part of the process all the way, that gives us the ability to move fast with the digital service, while still having undefined things in our surrounding. And I am proud of how, as a team, we have managed this and got to where we are now.
- Do you have one good tip for a tool you love, or perhaps a book or resource you highly recommend?
Yeah, this is gonna get nerdy, but I can’t do stuff without Vim. It’s a code editor with roots in the 1970’s and has a steep learning curve. It’s different from what most people use, but once you get it it’s really joyful to use! You can program the editor itself; it almost becomes a program where you make the programming. I wouldn't work without it. It uses some special modes to write code, and as a bonus it is much more ergonomic for your hands; not the main reason to use it but if you like nerdy stuff you should really look into it!
- What do you do to make sure you continue to grow as an expert within Development?
I’m too humble to call myself an expert, cause the better you get you also realize what you don’t know. But in general, I would say I follow my gut, my programming interests and what I find joyful; when you feel like this about something you will get better and more value. I also resigned from all the social media stuff a few years ago, it frees up a lot of time that I can put into other stuff, like learning more or just nerd out.
- How do you think Development will evolve in the future?
Oh, this is the question you don’t want to answer because you will be wrong! But in short, medium term like five years from now, I think we are gonna se evolvement of AI tools helping us to code, like Github co-pilot which suggests solutions and give smarter autocomplete for developer by using machine learning over a large code base. Also, one interesting thing is how the lack of energy we have in society might affect server centers, because they use a lot of energy and costs will go up. When we use slower languages like javscript/typescript (I still like them though) we use a lot more resources compared to a faster language. So if the languages are faster they are more efficient, take less energy and reduces the cost for server capacity. Thus, we may see an increase of faster languages in the future that are more energy efficient.
- Do you have any advice for people starting out their career and considering Development?
I think so, first: it’s free to learn if you have a computer so just try it out, search for how to make websites so you can try it before applying for a school. If you’re already interested, you should just find a project or subject that you are interested in and try to make a website or program around that subject. You’re gonna have a lot of problems, but just search for solutions, don’t copy paste, but replicate the solutions and try to understand what the code is doing as much as possible when you are a beginner. Don't do too many tutorials, there is a term called “tutorial hell”, where you basically just end up transcribing other people's code, you learn some, but better to learn where you have an interest in. No one knows everything, is a good mindset to have, developing is hard, but fun!
- If you could give a company one piece of advice (from a dev perspective)… perhaps a recurring error you have seen from your career… what would that be?
From the dev point of view, I would say, if you are moving fast there must be room for improvement later, which we usually call refactoring. Don’t skip tests, never ever skip tests and do a lot of tests! Make sure to test the right stuff though! A lot of companies are into following scrum or such frameworks religiously for handling projects, but the reality is, use the parts of the frameworks that solve the problems, don’t follow them blindly just for the sake of it because that creates a lot of overhead.
If you’re interested in working at Humblebee then get in touch and we’ll meet up for coffee and a chat.