Software craftswomen: Franziska Sauerwein

Mar 08, 2016 by Madalina Botez in  Software Craft Women In Tech

In celebration of Women’s Day, this March we salute yesterday & today women’s contribution to the development of the technology and IT fields. Follow #famousITwomen to find interesting stories. They might motivate and encourage you to do something out of the ordinary in your career. 

We’ve sat down with Franziska Sauwerwein, software craftswoman. Learn more about her professional journey and lessons learned in the IT field. She will speak at I T.A.K.E Unconference 2016.

#1. What’s your professional story?

Please share with us about your journey in the IT field.

Hey, my name is Franziska Sauerwein and I’m a Software Craftswoman. Puzzles have always amazed me and that’s how I got interested in Computer Science. After completing my degree I worked as a software developer and consultant for three years in Germany. I then moved to London to join Codurance in the summer of 2015.

 

My passions include Test Driven Development, Refactoring, XP techniques and high quality software development. I’m always trying to improve my skills and share knowledge. As an active member of the European Software Craftsmanship community I love to participate in unconferences and organise code retreats, hackathons, coding dojos as well as tech talks. I aim to use my skills and creativity to develop software that is reliable, easy to adapt and doing what it is supposed to do.

 

#2. What would be a lesson you’ve learned so far as practitioners in this field?

I learned that software development is much more about people than about sitting alone at a desk in a room and coding in isolation, which is great! I do enjoy coding at a high quality level but people have always fascinated me.

As developers, we have a profound influence on our society and people’s everyday lives. How we write software and what we write has an impact and with great power comes great responsibility. And how people act when developing software has a great influence on how that software turns out. For example, a team that does not have a good team culture or a lacking relationship with the business will most probably have code quality problems that stem from misunderstandings and lack of communication. And sometimes products are developed just from a developer’s perspective without the user’s needs in mind when the teams are too homogenous. This is something that should definitely be changed.

 

#3. Whom do you admire as a women IT practitioner? Why?

Please share with our audience about great women you think they make a difference in this domain.

There are so many women in IT that I admire. If I had to choose one, I’d point out Rachel Davies, an expert practitioner and coach of eXtreme Programming. If you search online for “Rachel Davies xp” (without quotes) you’ll find a lot of content, including videos of her inspiring talks. Talking to her has given me lots of insights and she keeps on inspiring me.

 

What women in IT inspire you? Let us know in a comment!
Curious to meet Franziska? Join her @ I T.A.K.E Unconference 2016!

Admiral Grace Hopper, programming pioneer

Mar 09, 2016

In celebration of Women’s Day, this March we salute yesterday & today women’s contribution to the development of the technology and IT fields. Follow #famousITwomen to find interesting stories. They might motivate and encourage you to do something out of the ordinary in your career. 

The importance of women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math has been gaining a momentum in the last years. At I T.A.K.E. Unconference, we value women’s contribution in IT and we believe their dedication to the software craft can be an inspiration for other practitioners.

Help us meet other remarkable women, from your teams and communities! For the next 5 registrations at I T.A.K.E Unconference this week, we offer an invitation for a lady colleague to join! You will receive the discount code after registering. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 3.18.26 PM

After finding the professional journey of Franziska Sauerwein, software craftswoman speaking at I T.A.K.E Unconference, we invite to find more about United States Navy Admiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992). Often defined as a woman ahead of her time, she is one of the first programmers in the history.

 

The first bug

With a PhD degree in mathematics, she was part of WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, U.S. Naval Reserve), and later joined the programming team at the new Mark I computer, at Harvard University.

One famous anecdote kept perpetuating until today about her time in the Mark I team. One day a computer failure had Hopper and her team baffled. They opened the machine and they discovered the source of the problem: a live moth was stuck in one of the electrical switches controlling a circuit. Hopper taped the offending creature into her log book and noted beside it, “first actual bug found.” She is credited with the terms “bug” and “debug” for computer errors and how to fix them.

 

The A compiler

Grace_Hopper_and_UNIVAC-300x263
Grace Hooper, UNIVAC, ~1960

Grace Hopper is also the creator of the A compiler, a program developed during her time at UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I – UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I).

After joining the consortium Conference on Data Systems Languages (CODASYL), as technical consultant on the committee, she created a validation software for COBOL to make sure the language could perform its function. COBOL, which stands for “COmmon Business-Oriented Language”, is still used in order-processing business software today.

 
 
 

First woman to …

In the course of her lifetime, Grace Hopper was awarded 40 honorary degrees from universities around the world, along with numerous awards and honors including:

  • 1st winner of “Computer Science Man of the Year” award from the Data Processing Management Association in 1969
  • 1st person from the United States and the first woman from any country to be made Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society in 1973
  • 1st woman to receive the National Medal of Technology as an individual in 1991

The most important thing I’ve accomplished, other than building the compiler, is training young people. They come to me, you know, and say, ‘Do you think we can do this?’ I say, ‘Try it.’ And I back ’em up. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir ’em up at intervals so they don’t forget to take chances. 

 

Stay tuned & follow #famousITwomen! During the next days, we will share more stories about women who made & make history in IT.  If you want to meet remarkable software craftswomen, join us at I T.A.K.E Unconference 2016!

Help us meet other remarkable women, from your teams and communities! For the next 5 registrations at I T.A.K.E Unconference this week, we offer an invitation for a lady colleague to join! 

I T.A.K.E. Unconference, 8th edition: Slides & Photos

May 14, 2020

Thank you to everyone who made the 8th edition of I T.A.K.E. Unconference amazing: Keynotes, Speakers, Partners, Participants, Team! Let’s keep on Raising the Bar by Challenging Ourselves.

Hack your journey to software craftsmanship with martial arts practices

Apr 29, 2017

code-kata

“Whatever luck I had, I made. I was never a natural athlete, but I paid my dues in sweat and concentration and took the time necessary to learn Karate and become World Champion.” – Chuck Norris (American martial artist and actor. Also, the only man who has counted to infinity. Twice.)

 

 

Japanese concepts from martial arts become common practices in software craftsmanship. It is known that thousands of software developers aiming to become craftsmen are mastering their skills using them.

In fact, in the software industry developers are taught the theory and thrown straight into working on a project. The practice is done on the job, and mistakes occur. Applying the theory is not enough, greatness comes from practising. What makes a programmer to be great is the practice done beyond the software development current job. That’s why so many developers nowadays practice Code Kata.

Why would you do Code Kata?

In karate a kata is an exercise where you repeat a form many times, making small improvements each time. The intent behind code kata is similar. Each iteration is a short exercise (about 30′ to 1-hour duration). The point of the kata is not arriving at the right solution, but to learn some stuff along the way. The only goal is to practice.

Exercise your programming muscles in a way you enjoy and see the progress you make.

According to Code Kata, you need a good practice session and you have to make it fun: you need a bit of time without interruptions, and a single problem to solve in iterations; do as many iterations as it takes for you to improve, and be comfortable making mistakes.

What is Code Kata?

code kata is an exercise in programming which helps a programmer improve their skills through practice and repetition. The term is considered to be coined by Dave Thomas, co-author of the book The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master, in a bow to the Japanese concept of kata in the martial arts.

An example of Kata

Repeat solving the same problem (as the one below), until you know it by heart. You can be sure the next time it pops-up in production it will take you seconds to get it done.

Think of binary numbers: sequences of 0’s and 1’s. How many n-digit binary numbers are there that don’t have two adjacent 1 bits? For example, for three-digit numbers, five of the possible eight combinations meet the criteria: 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111. What is the number for sequences of length 4, 5, 10, n? Having worked out the pattern, there’s a second part to the question: can you prove why that relationship exists?

Practice Code Kata at I T.A.K.E. Unconference

On 11-12 May 2017 in Bucharest, there’s a Kata Lounge track waiting for you.
During the 2-day program, at any time, you can join this track to pick up a challenge and start the kata session. The challenge contains the problem (called kata), the time you have for your session, and the name of the person who will review your code. The reviewer will help you improve your coding skills.
Invest a bit of time in your coding-craft. Don’t miss the Kata Lounge as well as many other hands-on sessions at I T.A.K.E. Unconference.

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