In this issue of Behind the Dev, we're going to be taking a look into the day-to-day of the web developer Diana Scharf.
Diana plays a huge role in the Laravel community, including rolling out regular updates for Tinkerwell. You might have also seen her amazing "Bugfixing your career" talk that she gave at Laracon Online in 2021 (I know that I found that talk extremely motivational!).
If you don't already follow her on Twitter, make sure to check out her profile at: @DianaWebdev!
Behind the Dev
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I am Di! I am closer to thirty than twenty and I live in a small town in beautiful Pretzelland (aka Bavaria) in Germany, alongside my partner and my awesome dog Lotta.
Although I proudly wear the title of Chief Pretzel Officer at my favorite company, Beyond Code, you'll often find me immersed in coding - dabbling with PHP, Vue, Tailwind, occasionally SwiftUI, and whatever else my duties require.
How did you first get into web development?
The somewhat-cool answer: My single-parent dad was somewhat of a trailblazer, working from home two decades ago. He owned this huge white magic box labeled with "Fujitsu Siemens" and yep, that was my first encounter with Windows 95. My preferred operating system has undoubtedly evolved since then, but my love for technology never faded. The less-cool answer: Ponies. Don't ask further.
As a developer, what’s your typical day like?
I don't have a typical day, and that's the beauty of my job. I have recurring tasks, such as ensuring regular updates of Tinkerwell, but my "schedule" varies day by day.
We might have a team call, just checking in, brainstorm new ideas or develop a concept for whatever is at hand. I am happy that we don't have many meetings, even with clients – most of our calls are short, still fun and not too often, just the perfect balance.
Sometimes we just share funny stories about what mischief our dogs have gotten into lately. Once in a while I have a call with my fellow Larabelles friends to plan how we can make the developer world a better place for people who are underrepresented due to their gender.
I am very productive in the early morning and late evening, while the midday stretch is when I'm more suited for lighter tasks. Therefore, I usually fit my daily workout into this timeframe, a flexibility that my job wonderfully allows.
Are there any tools that you use on a daily basis?
My top three are PhpStorm, Tinkerwell, and iTerm. Listing the rest would likely overwhelm this page, so feel free to explore my /uses page for more:
Is there anything in particular related to development that you enjoy working on the most?
The exhilaration you experience when you delve into a new technology and you finally start getting the hang of it.
Sharing knowledge with others. Initially, after graduation, I had planned to return as soon as possible as a lecturer or perhaps even a professor. However, I believe that being a speaker and a mentor is also an effective way to accomplish that. 🙃
If you could go back in time and give younger Diana some advice when you were first starting in development, what would it be?
Go after whatever interests you. If you're 12 years old and strive for a »professional« system, DO IT. You are great at this stuff. (That's not bragging, it's a pep talk to my past self.)
Not development related: Stop caring about what other people think.
Do you have any hobbies outside of web development?
I do! I need to get my body moving for my brain to work, so I enjoy swimming, cycling and running. While others might label this as triathlon, I refer to it as being a snail riding on a turtle, but it's incredibly fun!
Besides that, you'll find me reading all kinds of books, being a plant mom or, or naturally, spending quality time with my dog, who, as I noted earlier, is pretty awesome.