Team Leader:
Java Developers

Hi Lance, so tell us what a Java Developer Team does?

Basically, we’re part of an engineering team, so we get a lot of engineering tasks. These form part of a Sprint, which include us completing our development tasks as part of it. Then we release it into the Testing Cycle and then it goes live. In a nutshell, that’s what our team does.

How did you first get started in your career?

In 2003, I graduated from Cape Tech’ with my National Diploma in IT. Then I went to JHB on a bursary with Telkom, where I got work experience as a Junior Data Architect. After 3 years working and living in JHB, I decided I wanted to come home to Cape Town so I applied for a job at ooba. When I joined ooba, I started as a SQL Developer (because it was a similar line of work to what I had been doing in JHB) and I did this role for a year-and-a-half. ooba then offered me a Junior Java Developer position, because of my background in Information Technology. I’ve been in the Java Development team for the last 8 years, including 3 years ago when I became the Team Lead of a Java Development Team. Also, this year, I’ve had the opportunity to get experience as the Acting Manager for Java Development. That’s basically my career journey.

What do you look for in a great Java Developer?

What makes a good developer is that it’s about more than just what you know, as it’s also about your initiative and your drive – how you approach problems, solve them and learn new things. If you’re a ‘diamond in the rough’ and a genius, then we’ll recognise you and help you explore your talent. But we also recognise normal people too, like me. I’m a normal guy. We recognise normal people who work hard at what they do. If you work hard and show initiative then it will take you to the next level at ooba.

What advice would you give to someone applying to ooba for a career as a Java Developer?

One thing I’ve realised is that the industry has changed in terms of what you can do as a Developer. However, the fundamentals of best practice and how you go about doing your job are key to being successful, I believe. It’s not only about you writing the best code or knowing the best solution, it’s also about how you go about it – how you work with other people and how you look at the problem in its entirety.

Thanks for sharing, Lance!

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