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Living by the Code

Before You Begin

Section 0: 2 chapters
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Community

Section 1: 14 chapters
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Getting to Work

Section 2: 17 chapters
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8 An Interview with Zarah Dominguez
Written by Enrique López-Mañas

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Zarah is an Android developer based in Sydney, Australia. She started doing mobile development work in 2007, and has been on a constant rollercoaster of emotions with the Android platform since the days of Donut. Recognized as a Google Developer Expert for Android, she helps organise GDG Sydney and the Android User Group Sydney. She loves board games, books, and dessert, and has a knack for eating breakfast food for dinner.

Connect with Zarah

Twitter: @zarahjutz

Website: zarah.dev

Interview

What is the most significant mistake you see junior developers making over and over again in their work?

They sometimes make things a lot more complex than they usually need to be. There seems to be an assumption that they need to know everything all the time right now—that’s one mistake that I tended to make when I was starting, and I see it a lot now when I work with more junior developers. It’s a hard skill to learn; it takes years of experience and writing to actually recognize that something you’re doing can be done in a much simpler way. But I think the mistake is mainly rooted in trying to do everything all at once.

What suggestions can you give for overcoming this problem?

A lot of it is practice. Also coming back to something you’ve written in the past, because sometimes—especially when we’re on a project—we ship something and then it’s done, right? But I find that if I go back to something that I did even a few months ago, usually there are new ideas that come to me like, “Oh, I could have done it this way rather than that way.” Or the project is actually more simple than I thought. It’s kind of like reviewing past work for a future exam. If you go back and review your code, I think that really helps a lot.

For your learning or growth, do you draw from podcasts or books?

For technical information, usually podcasts. There are a couple that I would recommend to any fellow software developer. The first is the Android Developers Backstage podcast, which is hosted by members of the Android development team. They talk to a lot of Android engineers and people who drive changes and developments in the Android community, so it’s a really good reference as some of the episodes are very highly specific to a topic.

Zarah’s Recommendations

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