I’m the web developer and digital media specialist at The International School of Macao and work in partnership with our sister-school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The opportunity to work in an international school has sparked an interest in education, particularly in the intersection of software design and tools for learning. As a self-taught individual, I’m deeply interested in what it means to love learning, and how this kind of internal motivation can be inspired and shared with others. I’m keen to work with schools who share this mindset and are looking to develop the tools that support a learning-focused approach in education.
Shadow me for a day and you might observe meetings with teachers, fielding support phone calls, sketching out workflows, impromptu feature discussions, or presentations at staff meetings. Perhaps not what you’d picture a programmer doing? I believe empathy and communication belongs at the heart of software development, and working collaboratively is the best way to achieve this. At the end of the day, the “user” sitting down in front of an interface isn’t a hypothetical combination of click-habits and feature-requests; they’re a fellow human being.
It’s a truly rewarding experience to work alongside teachers and administrators to immerse myself in their day-to-day workflows. When it comes time to write code, the benefits of empathizing with and understanding the needs of the people I design systems for cannot be overstated.
As an open-source developer I apply this empathy-driven approach with the mantra that code is written as much for other humans as it is for computers: a codebase should be clean and easy to read, testable, well-documented, with an architecture that supports collaborative workflows. This is the key to building sustainable projects.