Many software developers choose their career out of a love for problem-solving. There are few opportunities in daily life to exercise logic more eloquently or satisfyingly than those provided by a text editor and debugger, or so it seems to us.
It has been just over a year since I began in my role at Evidentli. Still often I think there’s hardly a better place to direct such efforts than towards simplifying the process of evidence-based medicine as Evidentli aims to do. But that’s just one reason I love my work here.
1. Challenging and intriguing tasks are a part of the day to day
When I told a friend with many years of experience in tech that I was working on a problem involving graph theory and she responded that she had never needed to use it on the job, I knew that I was working somewhere unique. Evidentli has allowed me to apply the data structures and algorithms knowledge that once seemed so lofty and academic in situations that are practical and valuable.
At the same time, the principles of test-driven development and "You aren’t going to need it" (YAGNI) permeate through all that we do as a company. I can’t count the number of times a test I was unsure I needed to write revealed some crucial detail or bug in my code. At the same time that a certain prolificness of test writing is encouraged, this is accompanied by a philosophy of architectural efficiency and cutting back to only the core features.
2. Career goals can change
Though I started at Evidentli as a technical writer preparing tutorials and tool summaries, I have more recently been able to apply my IT studies as a developer. My weekly one-to-one meetings with my tech lead have been crucial to transitioning successfully. They allow me to ask questions and be guided and challenged to improve. Our topics of conversation range from the latest deployment updates to how to best capture patient cohort variability in database queries.
3. Avoiding the hassle of the hivemind
In his book Deep Work, Cal Newport discusses the concept of the “hyperactive hivemind” whereby workplaces have become centred around instant messaging, email and unnecessary meetings. Even given the confines and freedoms of remote work, my colleagues here seem to know intuitively how to do deep work well. While we enjoy the occasional small talk, we also keep to a singular meeting schedule and communication outside of meetings is largely to clear roadblocks. As someone who was once accustomed to the communicative chaos of being a newsroom journalist, this allows for me a level of undistracted concentration that seems almost foreign.
I look forward to where Evidentli might take me in the future and hope to write more about software development in healthcare very soon so watch this space.
Laura is a software developer at Evidentli. She is interested in the fields of natural language generation and information retrieval, and how knowledge from these fields can be applied in the context of evidence-based medicine.
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