An eCommerce Developer’s Advice to Students
By Ezri Hipolito, Applications Engineer
In recent years, I’ve had many students from my home country of Mexico contact me regarding advice for their careers in computer science. It’s always a pleasure for me to assist young people on their paths to their future, and I have realized that some of these questions are the very same ones I once had just a few years ago. So it got me thinking, if I could go back in time to my college days, what would I tell myself? Below are a few questions I think are important for students of computer science to examine.
What qualities should I have to pursue computer science?
Of course, having good technical skills are critical to pursuing a career in the computer science field, but there are many other aspects that go into being a good programmer. Having analytical and problem solving skills are extremely important. Not everything you need to know about the field will be written down in a textbook or manual. You should also be passionate about what you do. If you love what you do, you’ll certainly be more motivated to succeed.
What technical advice can you give me?
Naturally, people have different preferences when it comes to what tools and programs they use when working in computers. There’s a variety of options out there, and when it comes to choosing a programming language to learn, I believe it’s important to not limit yourself.
While I myself used to be a devout follower of Microsoft’s Visual Studio tools, I realized that it’s useful to know more than one language. I quickly found that by knowing different languages, I was able to choose which one I was best at, and then became a better developer because of this. If you take the time to explore different languages, you won’t restrict yourself to looking at a problem with just one set of skills; you’ll be able to discern what approach is best when working on different projects.
How can I be a successful programmer?
I think one of the most important things to keep in mind when studying computer science is to never stop learning. From a young age, I started playing with computers on my own and always had a sense of wonder about what was possible with them. Of course schooling is important, but to be successful in the industry, you also have to have your own curiosities and ambitions and be able to think outside the box.
Students that reach out to me have varying levels of experience and different amounts of interest in the field. I tell them if you have the drive to learn, the hunger to explore and to push the limits of your imagination through technology, then you’re cut out for the job.
Finally, I invite all programmers to coach and mentor other students as well. You can have a meaningful impact on their lives and careers, and like I did, even learn a little about yourself by reflecting on your own experiences.
Ezri Hipolito is an Applications Engineer on the LYONSCG Support team, and has been providing solutions for day-to-day challenges on Magento since 2012. Besides eCommerce and technology, Ezri enjoys oil painting, traveling, creating software and hardware prototypes for common daily needs and spending time with both family and friends.