Throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to work with many new Developers at Target. The problems they solve are just as diverse as their skills, background and expertise, but across each new Engineer are patterns that make them especially great to work with. Here are 6 reasons why they are leading technology at Target:
1. Hungry to learn new technologies – On my team we’re introducing new technologies all the time. Team Members new to the team are fearless to jump right in, figure it out, and become go to people for what they’ve learned. People like Danny who mastered Chef and Cassandra (and speaking about it this year at C* Summit); Matt who helped introduce the use of Packer, Consul, and Graphite; or Nick and Corey who’ve become go to people for infra as code techniques. They’re all perfect examples of tackling technologies and quickly becoming experts for the team.
2. Not afraid to question the norm to try and make things better – This guy, Alex, saw an opportunity to take a logging technology he mastered and applied it to our distribution centers outside of his normal work and without being asked to do it. He just saw the problem and jumped at the chance to make it better. It saved us a ton of money. He even wrote a blog about his experience and he spoke about it at a conference last month.
3. Not bashful to organize and lead – In many cases a new engineer’s only experience is in Agile methodologies, so they make great scrum masters. Katie is a person on our team who’s not afraid to step in, coordinate work across developers and clients, and use tools like Jira or GitHub issues to get the job done. She’s really good at it and sets a great example for others to follow.
4. Understand the importance of contributing back to open source – Hundreds of examples of this, so I just picked a random one to illustrate how second nature this is – Cody wants to make Chefspec better so he did. Not only Target benefits from Cody’s work here – the developer community gets the knowledge too. But so many people on the team understand that the benefit to the developer community will also be a benefit to Target in the long run as other ideas are shared. It’s just become the norm – I like that!
5. Create big change and pioneer it – Eddie helped create our internal wiki.target.com which currently has 145,995 articles and 1,676,841 edits by 16,987 users. Aaron launched the Target Tech blog. Jack created a Go web framework in use at Target. I also like how they do it without asking – they’re just drawn to it and make it happen!
6. Dive in, start coding, learn quickly – Here’s a super recent example: Ashley, Jiaqi, Katrina, and Alden — I’m looking in GitHub Enterprise and I can see they literally just joined it on June 24th and they’re already committing code and building a new API for api.target.com. They’re figuring out our dev standards, stack, Spring Boot, CI pipeline, ChatOps, etc. and they’re learning quickly!
Of course there are many more, but these are some of the reasons why I’m excited about the future of Engineering at Target.