- Welcome to "Meet the professional"!
- Maya Bello, Software engineer and YouTuber
- Sarah Northway, Game Maker and Nomad
- Brenda Jin, Mobile Prototyper and DJ
- Tom Heinan, Mobile Developer, Pilot, and Zombie
- Amy Quispe, Data Liberator and Developer Relater
- Bill Mills, Physicist and Interdisciplinary Programmer
- Carrie Cai, Researcher and Dancer
- Lauren Haynes, Product Manager and Lindy Hopper
- Marcos Ojeda, Designer, DJ, and Dog Owner
- Allyson Lubimir, Support Engineer and Cat Lover
Photo of Allyson Lubimir
Hi, I'm Allyson Lubimir!
What do you work on?
I am a Support Engineer at Fog Creek Software. We make several products aimed at software developers, to help make their lives easier so that they can focus on programming! I work on FogBugz (a bug tracking program) and Kiln (a software version control and code tracking program, functional with both Git and Mercurial).
I spend my days answering emails from customers about using our programs, like bug reports and feature requests. Since I know the programs that I support inside and out, I can also offer our customers great ideas for how they can improve their workflow. Plus, I work remotely, so I can even be in my pajamas while I answer their questions!
Here's a screenshot of my support queue from today:
On the bug hunting-and-fixing side, I spend time reproducing bugs sent in by customers, and frequently going into their databases to clean up rogue entries. I also help customers update their software, or move from our self-hosted software to our SaaS offerings (that way they don’t have to worry about administering large databases themselves!) I also work a lot with our XML API, helping create custom workflows and integrate our programs with other systems.
Screenshot of Allyson's support queue
Here's a script that I wrote in Python to get a list of support cases from the FogBugz API:
When I run into larger bugs that I can’t solve on my own, I work with our development teams to determine the best course of action, a timeline for the bug fix, and explain what is happening back to the customer. We work hard to be as open and honest as possible with our customers, and I’m part of the front line to make sure that happens.
Screenshot of Python code
How did you learn to program?
I’ve always been interested in computers (I remember playing with the Logo Turtle drawing program when I was about 7), but wasn’t really comfortable with the idea of having a career “on the internet” until fairly recently. I got my degree in Civil Engineering, but was frustrated in the working world by the reliance on computer programs without understanding how or why they work--or sometimes, if they even do! I ran into instances where my hand calculations came up with different answers than the computer programs, and even the most senior engineers I was working under couldn’t tell me why we were trusting the program that was giving different answers.
When I decided to learn how to program, I looked for programs where ever I could find them. I started by taking an edX course in Python, and also used tutorials through Codecademy, Khan Academy, Learn Code the Hard Way, and others. I then moved into learning front end development, which I learned primarily through Skillcrush. It was tough to stay motivated from time to time, but I was very lucky to have friends in the industry who were able to help me when I got stuck and point me towards next steps when I wasn’t sure where to go.
What do you do when you're not programming?
When I’m not programming, I like to snuggle with my cats (and my husband too, I suppose)!
I also enjoy playing board games and knitting. I recently bought a 100 year old house, so decorating that and fixing up all the old bits keeps me busy too.
Photo of adorable cats
What’s your one piece of advice for new programmers?
You can do it!
Want to join the conversation?
- What’s your one piece of advice for new programmers?(4 votes)
- Dan's advice is great. Also: find cool projects that you are excited about and want to work on. Especially projects that challenge you to learn something new!(2 votes)
- What are your thoughts on edX?(3 votes)
- Why are some words blury and not visible in the pictures?(1 vote)
- or, maybe its just something they don't want you to see, so they just blocked it.(4 votes)
- How old do you have to be before people start hiring you for programming jobs?(1 vote)
- What's the best way to approach solving bugs?(1 vote)
- There are many ways to fix bugs. One of my favorites is to use the
println()command. It can be used if you want to know when a certain part of your program is being run. Or to figure out what a variable is at a certain time.
println()takes one argument (a string). When it's run, a black box with the text will pop up at the bottom of the window (this is know as the console). So
println("testing");will print 'testing' to the console. So you can put
println()commands in your code to see when parts of your program are being run, and what certain values are. This will give you more insight into what is happening in your program, and helps you narrow down your search.
Also, you can try putting
//s before certain lines of code. This will tell the computer not to run these lines of code. You can use this to narrow down which line(s) of code is causing trouble.
Here is a video all about debugging with
And here is an article with more debugging tips.
Hope this helps! :)(2 votes)
- I always enjoy reading about what programming languages programmers started with and what other languages they studied. Did you ever venture into C and/or C++ ?(1 vote)
- I am a complete novice to programming but have a burning desire to create my own mobile app to sell a religious garment that I assemble and sell, in what direction should my first steps be? (e.g. what is the best language for creating mobile apps.)(1 vote)
- I hear Kotlin and Java are good for Android, whilst Swift is good for iOS. (And I think Objective-C is another language used for iOS, but maybe not any more)(1 vote)