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Interview with Featured Junior Developer, Alexandar Castaneda 500 500 Jr.DevJobs Hunter Meyer Co-Founder & CEO Twitter LinkedIn CrunchBase Facebook Jr.DevJobs 2024 02/2016 en-US true Alexandar Castaneda, Junior, Featured, Developers, Interview
Alexandar Castaneda Picture

Alexandar Castaneda

Featured Interview
Hi Alexandar, what got you interested in becoming a developer?

I come to coding from a unique path. After I got my degrees in film/theater I started working at, a digital streaming service for Sony TV. During my 7 years at Sony, I got involved in project management. This put me in constant contact with the engineers and UX designers. The more I learned about the code the apps were made in the more I wanted to know. I also enjoyed geeking out with the engineers about the latest tech trends. That was when I first started thinking about a career in coding. I was torn because I had degrees that seemed so dichotomous to the engineers I worked with. I did a couple online coding courses to test the waters and decided that I wanted to go to a coding bootcamp. I was given a great opportunity when I was laid off from Sony because now I had the time and money to go to a coding bootcamp and focus completely on coding. So, I packed up everything and moved from Los Angeles to Portland to attend Epicodus code school. I had a blast at Epicodus building new applications everyday. I also fell in love with JavaScript while I was there.

What were you doing before you learned to program?

I was working for, a digital streaming service for Sony TV, as a Content and Product Manager. My position had two distinct parts to it. On the content side I was tasked with going through the content library and figuring out how to repackage the legacy content to make it appealing to the 18-34 demographic. This determined what we featured across the apps each day and what we marketed through our social media as well as our digital and print buys. On the product side, I was tasked with finding front-end enhancements (either customer facing or in the proprietary CMS) and shepherding those projects from inception to code push. These enhancements were determined by several factors: what the executives wanted, what major content launches were coming, what app launches were coming and what bugs had been reported by customers or internally.

Outside of coding, what are some of your hobbies or interests?

I come from a creative background so I have a variety of creative interests that range from filmmaking to music production. Currently, I am focused on fiction writing and music producing. However, I still find myself thinking up ideas for screenplays or stage plays.

What technologies or languages do you feel most comfortable with?

My passion is JavaScript. I like the versatility and power of the language. I like how, with NodeJS, it can act as the server and the client. I know many people seem to not like JS because it has dynamic typing but the parts that people complain about for me is what makes it really beautiful. I am also proficient with Ruby with Rails.

Which technologies do you intend to become more comfortable with?

I intend to do a deep study of Swift in the future. I am fascinated with iOS development. I also would like to do some coding for the Unity engine in order to test whether I like VR or not.

Do you have any projects or code samples you're particularly proud of?

During my internship at Copious we were working on building a iOS app called JustFor. The was released into alpha at the beginning of 2016. It is an app that allows you to mass message people but any response to your message is only seen by you. I worked mainly on the desktop application. I liked it because it introduced me to NoSQL databases.

Briefly describe a memorable coding problem you had and how you solved it?

Creating a self executing anonymous function. This is a well known trick in JS, I know, but it was so cool when I learned it. The ability to have all your code self contained so that it doesn't interfere with any other code and to have all of that self execute was mind blowing when I first did it.

What advice do you have for future coders?

Be curious and build. You will never stop learning so don't look for that moment where you can stop schooling and get on with your life. That is why being curious is so important. Also, don't worry about what you make or how good it is. Just build a lot so you can get the experience. Last, I would highly recommend going to meetups. It is refreshing and fun to geek out with other coders in a non-work environment. Startup weekend was some of the most fun I have had with coding.