Full Sail’s Mobile Development Bachelor’s Degree program reached a major milestone last November when it graduated its first class of students. This week we’re catching up with a few of those grads in a special Grad Spotlight series.
Shae Klusman will be the first to tell you that he’s still somewhat of a newbie in the world of mobile app development. After graduating from the Mobile Development program last year, he landed a programming job with Hive6 and set to work on the company’s one and only project: a colossal mobile app unlike anything he has ever seen before.
“This is the biggest app I have ever seen or written,” he says. “It’s social task manager but it’s more than that. It’s a massive project.” Not one to shy away from a challenge, Shae jumped in but soon felt overwhelmed. So he lobbied his new boss to hire another programmer and floated the job opportunity to fellow grad Peter Valleskey, who landed the position thanks to the outstanding sample app he created for his interview.
Like two mountaineers standing at the foot of Everest, Shae and Peter assessed the tricky terrain ahead and came up with an idea: pair programming. Hardly novel, Shae had first heard of the concept from a very large and successful development company a few blocks away
“Peter and I both work remotely most of the time, from each other but also from our headquarters,” Shae says. “But we’re online and face-to-face using Google Hangouts all day long. Since there is always two of us to work through any hurdles we come across, we are easily working two times as fast.”
Peter and Shae share the same screen, which means each can see the code the other is writing. “We rotate between who is coding and who is searching for the next piece. It’s nice having the information you need for the next step at your fingertips right when you need them.”
When issues arise, such as when the app crashes for no apparent reason, the team gets back on track in a matter of minutes versus a matter of hours. “Since we are working together, we can find where the code stops, work out the answer and get back to task more quickly than if we were alone.”
It’s also been great for morale, says Peter, who admits that coding can be a really lonely job. “Shae and I have a good camaraderie and it’s less stressful. If you make a mistake, you always have a wingman, someone to catch the error.”
They both agree that pair programming has also enabled them to harness their collective knowledge and experience. “We’re always able to offer a fresh perspective,” says Shae.
As of now, it looks as though the app will launch a year from now and then the duo will start on another development project.