.NET developer Jennifer ‘Jen' Triñanes has close to a decade of web development experience on the Microsoft platform. She joined Cloud Employee half a year ago, working for an Australian-based firm. With a passion for application security, she makes writing secure code a core part of her development practice. Articulate, a relentless learner, and simply cool, Jen is an ace developer you'd want batting for your team. We're putting the spotlight on her for this month's developer feature.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself (who are you, where you from, what drives and motivates you, etc.)?
My name is Jennifer Triñanes. My family and friends call me “Jen” or “Jenny” and I'm from Cainta, Rizal. Currently, I am a .NET Developer doing software development work for our client in Sydney, Australia.
I graduated from University of Makati in 2005 with a Computer Science degree. I've been doing software development for almost 10 years, mostly web development.
What motivates me from doing software development work are three things: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. I work well with teams but I like self-directed work too while building software. It also enables me to solve complex problems, learn a new skill or improve existing skills and see that the product I produce actually help people and businesses.
When and how did you get started programming?
I was taking up programming courses in college. I was taught how to code with C, C++, and Java, do Windows desktop development in Visual Basic and Web development with HTML 4 at that time. After college, I taught myself .NET for 2-3 years.
What is the programming language and/or framework of your choice? And why?
I chose .NET because of its versatility, performance, security, and productivity. .NET is not only used for web development but also for desktop, mobile, SOAP/REST API, Cloud computing, gaming, IoT, even Machine Learning, and AI and can target any platform. A .NET Developer can reuse his/her skills and code across any application type. I like the fact that it is now an Open Source platform.
Can share some of the projects you've done? Which of them are you most proud of and why?
The last project I've done that I feel I'm most proud of has to do with the card that people use when commuting via trains or buses. My team and I implemented the Service Oriented Architecture-driven Automated Fare Collection system. For my part, I did the database design, implementation of core functionalities, module encryption, and automated testing. While working on that project, I also developed a web application that all AFC merchants can access plus a SharePoint project for the client's digital asset management.
The other projects in the past that I feel proud of are the implementation of content management websites for business schools in Denmark. We used a Swedish Content Management System product called EpiServer and at that time I had no experience using any Content Management System tool. When I started learning and using EpiServer, I loved it because not only it is built on .NET technology, it was also so flexible, easy to migrate and the documentation is so abundant.
In your work experience as a developer, what's a frequently overlooked skill that proved surprisingly useful?
Personally, the one skill that is often overlooked is writing secure code. Most application security incidents came from defects in the code committed by developers. There are some reasons why secure coding is always not a priority of developers: features and speed to market, lack of training or management support or not worrying about it just because software sits behind a firewall.
What projects/technologies do you enjoy working on in your spare time?
At the moment I'm not working on any side projects but I enjoy learning penetration testing.
Walk us through your day. What's a typical day like for you as a developer?
My day starts at 3:30 am. I commute at 5 am and at 6 am I eat my breakfast while making notes about the next meeting. At 7 am, I have a Skype call meeting with the client development team and talk about our daily progress. Then I check my Kanban board and work on my current or new tasks. My tasks typically involve analyzing requirements, fixing bugs or implement new features, testing, code review, checking-in code, building and publishing projects. At 4 pm I go home or do things like watching a movie while going home. Eat a light dinner, watch an online course or read a book in 1 hour then take a beauty sleep.
What's your favorite part of being a developer?
The ability to create is the most attractive part of software development. It's akin to the joy of creating a new film or new recipe or building a new skyscraper. Software development is a multi-disciplinary work. New and changing technologies, evolving patterns and practices requires me to constantly learn and adapt. Problem-solving is both challenging and rewarding.
Tech is an industry where the trends and requirements change quickly. How do you keep your skills up to date?
I commit at least an hour a day learning. I watch Pluralsight courses, read tech blogs and classic software development best practices books. Not just tech stuff, it's also important to me to build soft skills so I also read leadership books.
What made you decide to work at Cloud Employee?
Cloud Employee has an amazing business model that made the company grow rapidly in less than 5 years. I like the culture of fun environment and there's work-life balance.
What's it like working at Cloud Employee so far?
I like working in Cloud Employee. It's a work hard, play hard environment. I get to work directly with clients and there's the opportunity to work with challenging projects. Cloud Employee takes care of its developers, there are social activities to foster office relationships and the management is approachable and fun to be with.
What do you like to do in your spare time, outside of programming?
When I'm not coding I watch movies, binge-watch Netflix TV series and play PS4 video games. I need a new hobby this year.
Any tv shows you'd like to recommend?
Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Black Mirror, House of Cards, Mr. Robot, 13 Reasons Why
What would be your dream developer setup, in terms of hardware and software? / What do you use to get the job done?
I won't mind if it's a desktop or laptop as long as it has powerful CPU, lots of RAM, lots of storage, at least 2 big screens, fast internet, heaviest-duty Visual Studio, SQL Server or whatever RDBMS as long as I have lots of RAM, test mobile devices for web/mobile development work, a separate machine for automated build/SharePoint/VMs, an Azure subscription, a large work table.
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