Developer Spotlight: Caleb King
Updated: Feb 20, 2019
Caleb is a Software Developer and Podcast Host who’s initial experience with software development came during his first job out of college when his mentor, Al Romo, a business analyst, asked Caleb to help the team out by completing a few tasks. “At the time, I did not know he was asking me to complete a technical task, but I was able to finish the work” said Caleb, “as time went on, he encouraged me to start learning how to program and build projects”. Caleb’s first project was an e-commerce site called ClinchThat.com. After launching the site, he experienced success in using it to sell clothing online. That was when Caleb decided to pursue software development as a career.
Caleb currently works on an agile team “responsible for designing, developing, and delivering high-quality code solutions for USAA”. His daily tasks can vary, but usually include items such as analysis, technical research, and teamwork. It is interesting to note that Caleb did not mention programming as one of the main daily tasks, but that is not because he doesn’t write code, he further explains that “developers are expected to understand the fundamentals of programming and write code to address business requirements. However, the majority of our time is spent problem-solving before writing any code”.
Caleb attended Arizona State University, where he obtained his Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems. After college, he found employment at the National Academy of Sports Medicine as an E-Learning developer. This is where Caleb created his e-commerce retail site that helped him gain the experience necessary to “land [his] first professional software engineering role with Ticketmaster”. While at Ticketmaster he assisted in developing several flagship products before he decided to give the startup scene a shot. Caleb took a position at WebPT “as a full stack developer focusing on building software solutions for physical therapists”, where he gained valuable experience touching many technologies. In 2018, he started the People in Tech podcast where he interviews different people from the technology world and discusses a variety of tech topics.
While Caleb loves development and technology, jobs tend to come with some hard parts, and development is no exception. When asked what his least favorite part of being a developer was, Caleb explained that he disliked when the pressure of deadlines lead to cutting corners, which in turn lead to poor code quality. When things aren’t done the right way, and poor code quality results, it becomes “a headache for consumers and developers in the long run,” explains Caleb.
Becoming a great developer takes a lot of effort and hard work, it’s definitely no easy road. When asked what it takes to get there, Caleb had this to say, “I’m still working on that myself, but the best advice I can give is to build more projects. If you only have five projects up on GitHub or Gitlab, you need to spend more time creating things”. In addition to his advice on how to become a great developer, Caleb also suggests that candidates looking for an entry level developer role should start with building a website or a mobile app and deploy their app to AWS or Google cloud. This is the first step to getting something out there – without having something live, people can’t see what you’re is capable of accomplishing. It also shows that you can go through the full process of creating, deploying, and maintaining software.
When Caleb isn’t programming or hosting a podcast show, he likes to stay active by working out, cooking, hiking, playing basketball, listening to music, traveling, watching YouTube, spending time with his dog, writing Medium posts, and creating tutorials.
Check out Caleb’s podcast People in Tech:
Also, stay tuned for the release of CodeStartup!