Know This Nerd? Meet Sarah German

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Sarah German is a senior back end developer and local freelancer for hire.

 
What initially sparked your interest in technology?

In 8th grade, I was a guitarist in a band called the Ice Cream Señoritas. If you were into the underground alt-rock scene of Prairie Village, Kansas in 1998, you may have heard of us. Anyways, we were in desperate need of a website, so I made us one on GeoCities.

What was the first programming language you learned?

Learned a little QBasic in elementary school, then took an 11 year hiatus from the whole programming thing and later learned ColdFusion in college.

What do you do now?

Back-end development and tech spec writing for Drupal and WordPress projects. I work with PHP and JavaScript mostly. And spreadsheets.

How did you develop the skillsets to get to where you are today? Did you have formal training or were you largely self-taught?

I have a BA in Digital Media Studies from the University of Denver. The tools we worked with there is now pretty outdated (Flash/ActionScript, Dreamweaver, ColdFusion), so most of what I work with now was self-taught I also worked tech support at DU, which may have been even more valuable than the degree. Troubleshooting is so key.

What tools do you use on a daily basis?

phpStorm, MacVim and iTerm2 for coding. Slack, Pivotal Tracker and Zendesk for communication/project management. Photoshop when we need custom emojis/GIFs for Slack.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I work with such a good team of people at Advomatic. Everyone is good-humored and very smart, and we work really well together. We also work with great clients — mostly progressive advocacy groups, labor unions and universities. I appreciate the opportunity to work on things that I think matter.

What is your biggest programming pet peeve?

Probably thinking about projects I did 5 years ago and wanting to completely rebuild them now that I know better about X or Y. This never stops.

Any advice for people considering a career in programming?

Nobody’s really an expert at everything, and even experts mess things up here and there. Feeling like an imposter is a disservice to yourself. That, and be nice.

Where do you think technology will be as it relates to you in five years?

More automation of repetitive tasks, so more work building (and fixing) those automation tools.

What was the coolest, but most useless bit of programming you’ve seen lately?

@BurnedYourTweet

What are some things you’re into outside of tech?

Making beer in my basement, XC skiing, playing drums/piano/guitar, road trips, hanging out with my cats.

*Photo courtesty of Annabelle Marcovici.

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