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Don't Be Too Productive!

In this Community Story, Franziska and Jonathan chat about team dynamics, how different people in a business approach collaboration and about how to position yourself in a way to learn to become a programmer.

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Jonathan: Hello and welcome to the Exercism Podcast. My name is Jonathan and I'm privileged to be able to host you today. And I'm joined by Franziska, who is one of our maintainers on the Go and JavaScript tracks. We're very privileged to have Franziska as part of Exercism and she has been involved for a number of years. So if you've been around you might have come across Franziska. Whether it's in the learning cohorts or in the Go and JavaScript tracks. So Franziska, a warm welcome to you today. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm gonna jump straight in and ask you how you ended up where you ended up?

Franziska: Yeah. Okay. I'm Franziska. I'm June or a June Dev on the internet. I'm currently living close to Frankfurt in Germany, just outside the city border in a little suburb. And I recently started a new job with Atlassian. Atlassian is the company behind a lot of loved or hated tools like Trello, Jira, Confluence. Yeah, and what I'm doing there is developing a new tool for helping product managers with their work. Because at Jira it's focused on developers but it's not a good fit for what product managers need to do, prioritize stuff and so on. So we are building something specifically for them. I'm into Go as a language. I really like it. And the backend is built with Go. So when I saw the job ad, I was like, hey, that's cool that they're doing this. I applied there and got the job. So far it's been only 30 days, I don't know, but yeah, it's been a good experience. Then as a kid, I was always interested in tech stuff and natural sciences sci-fi, Big Star Trek fan, all of those things. I found that I was good at math and physics stuff in school. At the time a lot of people studied computer science and they always told us not to study what the others are doing because then there will be too many of those people later on and I thought okay, maybe I shouldn't do computer science because there will be too many of those. Anyway, so I thought, okay, let's do something similar. So I ended up studying physics, which I liked a lot in school. And I had computer science as more like a minor subject. So I had some courses, but not as many as the others. I found that, you get to this point where you need to think, Okay, what am I doing for the rest of my life, right? How do I earn my money doing something I actually liked doing. And I realized that this programming part was actually the part that I liked the most from what I did in my studies and that I was good at it. And I wanted to do more of that and. And it's also something that pays the bills. So yeah, so I thought, okay how can I get a job in this area without having a classical computer science degree at that point. The other thing was, at that point I didn't wanna become like a c developer, a Java developer, this like old fashioned. Bank backend code somewhere. Yeah so I thought, okay, how can I learn, like the modern stuff, the internet web. I wanna build something for that. And then a friend told me that there is a thing called rep development boot camps, where you can go somewhere for three months and they will teach you the new cool stuff. Yeah. So I decided that I wanna do that. And then probably from there I will have a better kind of jumping off point, finding a job. And at the time they actually didn't have any of those here in Germany. Yeah. They had, so either you could go to your university for years and years, right? Or there are some places where you can have a little bit of work and study at the same time, but also huge programs like years and years of education. And then boot camp wise, they only. Things like startup accelerator stuff. So where you would learn a little bit of code, but then also management stuff economics and so on. So that wasn't a good fit for me. Yeah, so I looked around a bit and then I found there, there was a good one in London that had the subjects I wanna learn.

Jonathan: It's what runs

Franziska: The rap is happening. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So where the cool new stuff is happening. Yeah I found this boot camp, man I went there. It was actually a great great experience. And we did no jazz for the backend. And then I went back to Frankfurt and actually found a job as a no developer. And the company was quite cool and the tech was really cool and I got into everything very quickly and it was a lot of fun, but I was a bit unlucky with my team, so there were a lot of big ego macho team members around. And it was like if you had a meeting, it was like whoever was the loudest won the argument. And that, that, that's not a nice team to be

Jonathan: Like quite a common theme where people sign up to do programming and then the kind of peripheral the team aspects always what people don't expect to be the problem or the challenge. So it seems like a fairly common thing. Sorry.

Franziska: Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. And. You think, in the beginning you are overvalue, the tech part. You think, Oh, this job has exactly the tech I wanna do, so it will be fine. But actually, like the team part is nearly more important than the exact tech thing you are doing. Yeah. So then after two years a friend also was a CTO at another company here in Frankfurt. He said we also like transforming our tax tech and we wanna to build something new, but we don't wanna do no jazz. We wanted to go. Decided that for whatever reasons and he said you can join us. But you would have to learn. Go, of course. And I said if you don't mind me taking some time at the beginning to learn this I'm up for it. I looked at the language a bit and it sounded all cool. Yeah I switched companies. And at that new place the team was really cool. There it was really like if you were discussing with the CEO and your argument was better, like that would be noticed. And people would react to that. And that was really nice to work with and people were really interesting and so on. So I stayed there for five years. Built a lot of growth services and also a lot of human writing, writing concepts helping to onboard other developers to go and did also some front end stuff and so on. Yeah, but after five years, you also are looking for a new challenge, and then also what was affecting me to look for a new job was because of the Covid situation. I noticed, I was working from home anyway, right? And maybe going to the office like once a week. So I thought there are a lot of full remote jobs out there. Maybe I can get something really cool at a, like a bigger company. When I'm working at home anyway, I could also work for that bigger cooler company, right? Yeah so this is then when I was working and then I found this job at Atlassian.

Jonathan: So I think my question was then did the whole pandemic kind of open you up to thinking, Oh, maybe there's more than just Frankfurt and the startup scene in Frankfurt and, Cause I was gonna ask, what was that like the startup scene in Frankfurt as a space?

Franziska: Yeah, so just for the covid point, first, what Covid opened me up for was this idea of working fully remote. Because before I was always like this, like going to the office. I like to see people in person, like how I structure my day and so on. But then I realized that after doing mainly full distance for two years, I realized it's fine. I can handle it . I have my daughter, I have to go outside all the time anyway and so on. So I have enough structure in my day now. So that's something that, that the pandemic kind of showed me and then that opened me up for the idea of looking somewhere else. As for Frank there, there is a lot of going on like tech and startup here, but it's a lot. As you might expect, there's a lot of banking focus to stuff, so a lot of fintechs and so on. And that's not particularly like I worked in FinTech in the past, but it's not something I'm particularly passionate about as a subject. Yeah, so that was always a bit, no and also there are not many co-developers around either. Yeah, there, there was nothing like keeping me in Frankfurt specifically or in the Frankfurt scene that much. Yeah, so

Jonathan: no, sure. And are there specific languages that you would say Frankfurt focuses on? Obviously say FinTech, all of. the language is presumably that underpin that, is that kind of more of a focus? So do you feel like a bit of a rare breed as a go developer in Frankford? Or is it increasing? Like what does it look like to you?

Franziska: Yeah, it's hard to tell whether it's increasing or not currently because there weren't that many like meetups and stuff because of Covid, right? So it is hard to tell whether there are more people coming to the meetups over time currently. Yeah, I think there's a lot more going on, like in the Java space, for example. Yeah, so it's a bit, it's a bit hard to tell how it is exactly, but for example, JavaScript is usually not such a problem to get a community together because like everybody has some front end stuff somewhere, right? So there was usually more going on in this front end world than like the backend.

Jonathan: And Did you, presumably, when you started coding and you went to boot camp, you would've had a front end aspect. Looked at a little bit and now you, you more back end focused. Like why do you prefer the back end versus the front end? Or is that just an assumption that I've made?

Franziska: No, it's definitely, that's something I figured during the bootcamp that, that I'm. More into this backend part and there, there revenue aspects to this. So first of all I'm not like a designer person, so if you do front end, you usually also have to make some judgment calls yourself. Sometimes, what should that look like? What can I do here? To improve this, write some CSS and so on. And that's super hard for me to make these calls. Of course you also get designs if you are doing it in the real world. But yeah, I just. Don't have so much of an eye for things. And I saw that the front end developers that have that and that can do that, they are more effective kind of in, in doing the job. So that was one thing where I thought that's not quite for me. And the other part was also that Currently, the front and space is really super complex. The frameworks that are around there, most of them that are commonly used are really hard. So in a way, the current backend is also a bit easier. It's harder in the sense that you don't, it's harder to visualize, right? You don't like, you don't see the end result like looking on the screen and this is your end result, like in the front end. But. But from the complexity of the tech that it's involved in I found it currently rather easier than what's going on in the front end space. So for me, I definitely at some point in my career, I want to go back into also doing front end. But I'm waiting for the better framework to come along. And then, once this, once all the mess that is currently around, once all the mess has died down and there's something better around then I will go back and become a front end

Jonathan: I might wait for you to decide when that framework comes around and then I'll join you because , looking at frameworks and built on JavaScript, and, I'm new. In every sense of the word. I'm trying to learn to go at the moment and I'm enjoying it. But it's even just the concepts and the mental model that you have to have, it's a whole new world in itself. And I wanted to ask then how you bridge the gap from Jar Learning JavaScript when you first started programming and then learnt go, Cause you make it sound like it was a fairly straightforward process for you to go, okay, JavaScript into go. But what was that like? What did you do to sort of transition over?

Franziska: Yeah. Good question. I. Something that is important here is that JavaScript wasn't my only language, right? So in university I didn't go deep on a lot of languages, but I learned c. I learned Java, I learned C plus, I learned like Mala and some of these like Edge Casey languages. So for me, Java Group was already my fifth language or something, and then Go was my sixth. So for me, for example, go was this whole thing you, you also heard about the pointers and so on, and coming from only JavaScript, that would have been something completely new and I would've to learn what is this all about and so on. But having all these other languages in the background, I already knew that from CNC plus and so on. So yeah I fall back on a lot of the stuff that I already learned before in university and that made it really easy to get into. And the other thing that helps with go is that it's a rather minimal language. It doesn't have that many keyboards, it doesn't have that many, like constructs you, you can build. You can get through this. Rather quickly, like for, I usually say, go to the official tour, go on the website or access or whatever. And you can be through in two weeks, three weeks. And you gotta, you got a solid understanding. And for JavaScript that would be impossible. Like you need much longer to even have a solid understanding of the basics and then you, there is so much more to learn. So yeah. That kind of my target language also helped a lot, to make an easy transition there.

Jonathan: Okay. So now you are working for Atlassian and you mentioned a little bit about the overlap between products like tech and all of that kind of stuff. And you said like FinTech doesn't really give you much, it wasn't particularly exciting for you. Would you say like the product space and the interface between the tech and the product is an area that you really enjoy? And or what in the tech space specifically would be your passion if you could sum it up? I know that's a very big question, but how do you tell us a little bit about that?

Franziska: Yeah, there are different kinds of domains or topics I'm interested in. It's not only where I work now, but so for example I like a lot of the staff like in, in consumer products. So there are companies like, Hello Fresh, that do a lot of cool things. Cool tech related stuff also, or there's a lot of stuff like in the education space, like Exercism and so on. And then the other space is this around like developer tooling or tooling for teams in general. Yeah so there are multiple areas and this was one that was in, in the things where I could think, Hey that makes a lot of sense to, to help people with that. And then with the product management in particular I can tell this anecdote from Jeremy and also my, my CEO at my last company I told him about this new job and what I will be working on, and he said the same as Jeremy the founder of Exercism. He said exactly the same thing to me, and he was, Did you pick this job because you were frustrated with my product management skills? And so this whole, and this tells you that this like product management and making that better was or was always something I was passionate about. Because the thing is, as a developer you. Can write the super best code ever. But if you're writing the wrong thing, like if you're building the wrong thing, then it's all for nothing, right? So if your product manager didn't do a good job in finding out the right things you should build then maybe nobody ever uses the thing that you've built because they haven't analyzed the market well, and then they haven't prioritized well and so on. And I've experienced that in my past jobs. I built a lot of things that never reached the light of day because there was no good prioritization process, right? So that's why I think improving this area of product management in general also makes the life of developers around the world a lot better because then they can build the right things and really create value and not. Build something that will end up in the trash or never seen by the users.

Jonathan: Yeah, no, it's really interesting because what you seem to pick up on then is mentally, I think we've often had this mindset of if you're good at tech, you put, you do it all in the background. You never see the light of day as a person because you do the tech and that's really the stereotype you could say. But it does feel like the last couple of years there has been an increasing amount. Overlap between the tech and the business side of things. And for me, like I was always thinking about agile as a concept. And that really the agile concept, I think is a business mindset or mind like way of looking at things imposed on a technical team. In my mind, if I'm really honest, that's what it feels like it's helpful, but I don't think I've ever seen an agile environment. Or produce the fruit on time , if that makes sense. And maybe that's because I've seen it poorly managed in the past, but it does feel like there is more of an overlap where developers are starting to want to be more involved in the business side of things, which I think is really interesting and I think is actually a good thing because it then means the decisions are better as a whole.

Franziska: Yeah it's, we some developers want to be more involved, but others also don't wanna be more involved, but they need to be more involved anyway. The thing is, It just doesn't work that way, that you can just, the product management just sits down and breaks everything up and then they forward it over the wall and your developer builds it and then it's fine. It never really worked well even in the past when that was the standard model. And nowadays, Yeah there's more focus on it, but it was always the right thing to have more of a dialogue between the developers and the designers, the developers and the product managers. And also whenever, like when you have doubt more downstream, like you have a support team and maybe somebody who does maintenance for you or whatever. The closer they work together and really work out like the best solution for something together the better, the more value you can create together. And that was always true. For example, currently the feature we are working on like product management has a lot of ideas. What, what could be like part of the first iteration of this new feature, but for them, it, they can't judge by themselves. Is. Adding this thing, Is this like one more day of work or is this, would this blow up the whole scope and make it three more months of work? Yeah. So for them, yeah that's impossible to judge. So the only way we are finding a good kind of packaging for this first iteration is by talking to each other and saying, This would be an easy thing to add. This is a difficult thing to add and so on. And then we are finding a good scope and yeah, and the good thing about my job, Atlasian, is we have a product manager who sees this the same way. He always says scope is like a two way thing. We, I have some ideas here, but you also have to give me input on what makes the most sense. And then we work something out together. I also see that like when I went through the hiring process, this whole topic of communicating. With others, with other teams and so on. It has a lot of focus currently. Like a lot of people ask, how did you work with other teams? And they are really, they also, just by talking to you, they judge how well can you articulate yourself because this is super important that you care about what the other teams are doing and are involved. And only then can you really make the most out of the time you have.

Jonathan: It feels like a much more integrated approach in that sense. And so then that, that brings me onto another thought here is so often

Franziska: Oh maybe before we move on, so you mentioned the agile trigger word, right? So I have to jump on that. I don't know whether this was on purpose just to, to trigger me or not Yeah. Regarding Agile I, I always find that kind of the base ideas where this whole thing comes from, people are more important than processes and all those like basic things that they came up with a long time ago still make a lot of sense there. Much magic around them. But then, they came to all their consultants and then they made up all these massive frameworks and so on, and they sold them and there are scrum masters and so on. And also my experience, like you said, like a lot of that. Doesn't help that much. If for example, products and developers are not communicating very well, like just putting all these structures on top also doesn't properly fix that. So yeah I'm also not a big fan and like these standard scrum practices, agile practices, I have not seen this working super anywhere either.

Jonathan: It is interesting because it feels. If you go in like a job hunt on LinkedIn for like product owner or product manager, then it's all scrum, Agile. Everywhere you're just like it's amazing. But but it's so funny how it the most how would you say resourceful development teams I've seen has been Kanban where there's no pressure to necessarily have to produce within a timeframe, but it produces quality and it's like you put the responsibility back on the individual to just be accountable to that, which has been really interesting to go through because it's like young teams get stuck on agile, doesn't work, get frustrated, and then they end up at the Kanban where we just kind chip away over time consistently and things work. But I think it also is interesting when you have a product as a business versus when you're building products for others. I dunno what your previous job was, whether that was an in-house product. I know at Atlassian you're building your own products essentially.

Franziska: Yeah, I always built my own products. I never worked at like agencies

Jonathan: Yeah. The agency stuff is a nightmare because that's where everyone scrutinizes like every hour of development or whatever and they're like, But I don't understand. Why does this button cost me? $400 and it's you wanted it moved from here to here, which was a rework of the entire backend. So I wanted to ask you a question which we've asked a lot of people on our various podcasts and live streams. And it's this whole concept of the hill that you would die on or the thing that you would defend with your whole life when it comes to an opinion or in tech, it's not something that we want to say that this is the opinion that you must hold, but it's more just like what one value or opinion do you have that you would say is absolutely pivotal for you and you would love to see across the board in the tech space. It's quite a broad question, but is there one thing that you would defend very strongly in tech?

Franziska: I thought you would make this a bit more lighthearted. I wanted to go with just the lighthearted, unpopular opinion. Is that fine as well?

Jonathan: Yeah, absolutely.

Franziska: Okay I don't have that many, like super big hills to die on. So one, one of the things I feel strongly about is that a lot of the people are suggesting that you optimize your personal development setup. And I think that's mostly overrated. So like people will tell you, Oh, you need to learn Vim because then you never reach for your mouse ever again and it's so great and so on. And then people. People believe that like when they're fresh in the industry, they believe that. And then they spend a year learning all the magic shortcuts and so on. And then, yeah. But then in the end, I don't know, they save maybe a day in a year or something. So that year of pain, that year of pain didn't pay off. And there are a lot of these things, like people tell you, you need to have your. All your alias is set up for your terminal in your dot files and people tell you need to know all the shortcut cards and so on and you spend so much of your time, like learning those things, but then you only save so much and I think what happens here is that people overestimate the time you spent typing in your job, right? As we mentioned before, like a lot of the job is also communicating. A lot of the job is actually thinking. Yeah. And only so much of your day is actually typing something, typing code or typing commands and so on. So a lot of people are optimizing on this really small part of the day and in my opinion yeah, if that's your hobby, then go and do it. Or if there's any similar value to you. . If you are an sre, so site reliability, energy near, and you hack into servers and so on, then it might make sense to know Vim, right? Because you can't open a graphical interface. But if you don't need it then don't worry about it. Like use whatever you feel comfortable with and then. For example, for the shortcuts, I always say, Okay most graphical interfaces show you the shortcut, next to the thing you click on. So if you click the thing like five times a day, then okay, it might make sense to or every five minutes. Then it might make sense to, to remember, you know what? The cut for safety is right if you click that all the time, but if not then they are happy in your graphical interface and do your thing and rather spend the time on improving your actual programming skills. Do some exercises, something like that. Learn a new language. What, whatever. But yeah this is something I always try to tell like new developers don't get intimidated by these people that tell you need to use one of these ancient editors and optimize your productivity there and

Jonathan: It's funny because it's often, people's passions kind of creep into the mix, un understandably. Cause it's Oh, I'm super excited because I've optimized my life. But actually thinking about it, it's not always the best. That would be what my experience with learning was like, there were just so many things that people, recommendations, people get. And then if you go on YouTube and you're like, how to learn how to code, Someone starts at like, how to set up your GitHub. Someone starts to like how to understand the terminal, etc. I'm like having to pull down to work locally and on the online editor, whatever. Now I think that's a really good piece of advice. Just keep it fairly simple. So then if you're gonna spend more time thinking, how do you, what do you do to think through problems? If you have a situation at work and it's or in general, like what do you do in your day? Do you carve out time? What's your process like?

Franziska: One, one thing I like to start with is basically getting the problem a bit ahead of time before I actually have to solve it and then just keep it in the back of my head for a week or something. And then, just under the shower, I think a bit about it. And before I sleep, I think a bit about it and just turn it around in my head a bit for a while. And usually that helps me to get some. some starting points in there. And then from there especially if it's like for work, I usually started like writing down some of the points because writing stuff down that definitely helps me to click clear my mind, find the points, for example where I still need to talk to the product manager because I don't know what exactly we need there for the customers. So I would write down what I already know and how to solve them stuff. And I also would write down like a, usually a rather big table of open questions, either for somebody else on the team or also for myself, stuff to, to figure out. And then and then that, that really helps me to clear things up. And then from like the, Super high level concept thingy. Then I try to break it down into more tangible programming tasks. So what does the API look like? What data do I need to store for this? And then how does it get from like the story point to the data and back again and what logic does have to happen on the way. It depends. It can be that, that I already found a lot of the problems that need solving, like in my thinking process before, but also sometimes when I start coding, I find new problems that I haven't anticipated before, and then I need to step back again and think through it again, and then come back to the to the actual code so that can also happen. But usually the system is like first trying to think through the thing a bit and. Like solving some problems ahead of time helps me a lot. And then yeah, so either the code is then straightforward or yeah I'll find more problems and go back, but that's also fine.

Jonathan: Okay. No, that's cool. Now that's, that seems to be often in my mind, I have the idea of if you're a full time programmer, you literally sit at your computer. Like morning till night and just chip away. But I'm realizing that the ability to think through problems, and I think something which is what Exercism tries to pin on as well, is to think well through the problem. Make sure that you have all of the context. And then the coding piece is really just the expression of that process implemented. And Jeremy as well would say the same. I think he would think through a lot of things and then code fairly short.

Franziska: Yeah. Also, yeah. Also a common tip is to just start writing out, in, in comments what you want this stuff to do. Okay, I need to do this first, and then that was the result, and then that and then I fill in the code bits for the particular price. So that, that really helps a lot as well.

Jonathan: It's been funny because what you're saying is that I'm gonna definitely try now because I realize. when you have to program and especially for learning, go or whatever. So one of the exercises I was trying to do was, take an input from a keyboard, store it, and then return like a, you've had this number of guesses or whatever. But the whole process of thinking through breaking that problem down into its real, like granular tasks was something that I was very unfamiliar with. And so it's been really interesting to learn how to think about a problem of its sort. Step by step. So no, that's some cool little tips I'll definitely take.

Franziska: It's also something that, that a lot of people, Called on Exercism, so they don't, a lot of people don't struggle that much in understanding, the language and the syntax. But but then this overall how do I solve this rather general problem that's what people struggle with. And we tried a bit to provide some documentation also around this where we say, here, this is a good resource to learn to think our programmer things and so on. But yeah, maybe we can also do better about this in the.

Jonathan: No, that's, No, that's true. And so I think it leads to an interesting question that I've asked a few people as well, which has always been interesting when I've spoken to others. And that is around this whole concept of like when did programming click for you? I don't know if you ever had that feeling. it was concepts and theory and you've gone through textbooks, but then you woke up one morning and suddenly you were like, Oh, it just makes sense. That would be my experience often of learning something was When was that for you or did that happen for you? Or was it just a gradual, Okay, I just got this slowly what was that?

Franziska: Oh yeah I thought about this a bit and yeah, I think that there was a click moment. But let me start. It didn't click if that's okay. So when I was a teenager, I had one of these. Toy laptops that had some games on there. And it also had a feature that you could program in basic. And my grandfather came by and he was like, he started programming these punch cards basically. So he was always into tech and she was like, Oh, cool, that you can program there. And she wanted to show me that programming is something cool. And he started, How everybody starts. He typed in print, Hello world, and it spit out Hello world and I was. I can type Hello World. What are you even doing? And then he was like, No, it does what you tell it to do. And so on. And then he was typing like, one plus two is, and then spits out three. And I was like, My calculator can do that. What do you wanna show me here? I didn't get it. And then later on I had a kind of computer science thingy in school and. And there we had Tub Pascal and it had like a plugin or something where you can have a little turtle and it draw something on the screen. And there they gave us some cool exercises where you enter some kind of formulas and it would draw some really cool intricate fracture fractals at the. That looks like leaves and so on and you got this just from typing the small formula that tells this turtle what to draw. And that was for me the point where I clicked because I realized that from like giving this. Things, like super simple instructions, can create this complex thing that I could never have done myself. Like I couldn't draw that many alliances, right? So that was for me, the thing Oh yeah. So that, that can do more than what I could do anyway, but yeah, but before, from the explanations my grandfather gave me and what he showed me there in this thing, Yeah. That didn't work. But yeah but like seeing this, the graphical thing and seeing how few instructions are necessary to make the computer do this complex thing that was where it clicked for me.

Jonathan: Okay, that's cool because I had that with methods the other day. I was like, what the heck is a method? And I just hadn't the penny hadn't dropped. And it was the same for me with chemistry. I had to learn it for two years and then overnight, the periodic table made complete sense. And I was like 16 at the time. And I remember thinking, Oh my gosh, this is like the easiest thing. I can't believe I, I haven't understood this. Two years now, and then the exam was a breeze. Cause I was like all the answers are like in the periodic table. You just have to do your little at, all of the, everything's synchronized in my brain. And it's been interesting also talking to people about, when that moment clicked and Rebecca, who you know, might know from the unison track at Exercism, I asked her, I was like, because she, she did English literature as a degree. And I was like, how did you go from English literature to programming? And what was the method that you used in your mind to conceptualize. Shift and she was saying she imagined the program that she was writing as a story, as a narrative with a protagonist and the functions were characters and stuff. And I was like, Oh, wow that's just so interesting. Never would've thought about that in that sense. No, that's really

Franziska: Yeah. But that feeds back to what we were talking about in the comments, right? And that you write before the code. That's exactly how you tell the story first and then and then you write the extra code for it.

Jonathan: Which is really cool that you've mentioned that because I think realizing that actually I'm writing a story in my comments is I'm gonna, I'm gonna take that out for sure. No

Franziska: And one, one more thing around this topic, it's also that they did some studies, which people are good in like programming and so on, and they found out that they actually like your verbal skills, like your, how many words, and so on. Have a big part to play in that. So if you are, for example, like naming things is something that's always said to be hard in programming. So if you are good at coming up with good words that describe what you're dealing with that makes your code a lot better. So it's actually not just about math and analytical stuff. It's also a lot about being good with words which you might not expect in the first place.

Jonathan: no, that's it's language I guess at the end of the day, which is an interesting thought that I had. For you you're German naturally, but that's your kind of language. Do you develop now with Atlassian In, in English. And were you in English beforehand? Like how does because un I would say maybe, unfortunately everything's in English. And you speak great English, but did you learn English at school and then the programming, was it all in German or how did you learn all of that from that experie?

Franziska: Yeah most of all, I was fortunate enough that most of the programming stuff was in English and all the comments were in English and so on. It's not always the best English, but . But it's okay. Yeah, for me learning English, I was never good at English in school. But I was fortunate enough in university to spend a year, like an exchange year in the uk. So that was what it was like really. In the language. And then and then my English got a lot better. And then it was a breeze after that, but before that it was really bad. And yeah so that year, like really learning the language also helped me then later on to, to be able to communicate with colleagues that are not from Germany and so on. And then in the. That's definitely a factor. Or if English is not your native language, then again, that makes it harder for you to fight for the white right name for things, right? And naming things. You do that with every line of code. You're writing, right? You are always signing something to something and you need to name that thing as best as you can to make the code clear.

Jonathan: No it's, it doesn't strike me as that easy for non-English speakers. , it's something I think is gonna start shifting as well. I saw an article the other day that India is the fastest growing tech space in the world at the moment. And English, whether they stick with English or their local dialects, which I know there's a lot in India. It's just interesting thinking, thinking through all of that. So we're nearly coming up to an hour. I've really enjoyed this. I have one more question for you, Franziska. And this is where you get to make a recommendation. Exercism community. What would be your one recommendation? It can be anything from food to try or something like go for a walk or whatever it is you want to recommend to the community. What would be your recommendation for the Exercism community this week?

Franziska: Yeah I'll go back to this productivity team I talked about in the unpopular opinion. So my recommendation would be like, take a break, binge watch that Netflix show you always wanted to watch or whatever. This is usually people. People are very focused on being productive for the whole of their day. And it is not good for your brain. It's not good for your brain to optimize that much like your brain, to be good at work, to be creative and so on. Your brain needs breaks and because of dust things in those breaks. And yeah, and then just like sitting on the couch and. Slightly watching some show or whatever that's good. That's a good thing to do, to just give your brain some time to do its thing in the background. And I think like taking breaks, taking time out that's underrated. And so that would be my recommendation. Don't feel guilty for taking breaks and just relaxing.

Jonathan: Cool. No, I like that a lot. Well, everyone, when you're listening to this, that is the recommendation, advice for this week from Franziska. So Franziska, thank you so much for your time for all that you put into Exercism and all of the thinking and the engagement that you have with the community. I know you engaged a huge amount with Exercism and improving it and helping it, and we really appreciate that. So I just wanted to say thank you and thank you for your time this morning. A national holiday where you could be out celebrating or doing something fun. And you've offered your time here so appreciate it hugely. Just stuck on the call when I've stopped the recording, but I just wanted to thank you so much and yeah, have a really wonderful rest of the day. Cool.

Franziska: thanks for having me.

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