March 31, 2022

Setting Standards, Community Lifelines, and the Beauty of Open Source with Jen Weber

As developers, advancing in our careers can feel like the wild west. No guardrails, no handbook, and no standard path to success, everyone has a unique story when it comes to their coding career. 

Far from a developer since childhood, Jen’s no stranger to the unconventional path. Her Ember education grew within an accelerator while the bulk of her skillset expanded working in open source. While not an ideal path for everyone, the small startup environment and ability to learn from others in the Ember community was integral to Jen’s growth.

But what if there was a way to standardize? And what should come first, a standardization of skillset or ethics? At a time when tech is advancing faster than ever and Artificial Intelligence has entered the chat, Jen Weber would argue that a need for some ethical benchmarks is the more urgent ticket. 

In this episode, Chuck and Robbie talk with Jen about the imperfect path to developer success, how to standardize an ever-evolving industry, the struggle to measure developer expertise, and why the Ember community is largely responsible for her growth, career, and overall outlook on tech. 

Key Takeaways

  • [00:26] - An introduction to Jen. 
  • [01:18] - A whiskey review and freezing the perfect ice. 
  • [09:32] - How Jen was introduced to Ember.
  • [14:57] - What working at a startup taught Jen about developing. 
  • [19:20] - Why creating a standardized roadmap for developers is a helpful step. 
  • [23:24] - What Jen thinks about ethical standardization. 
  • [37:06] - The challenges of measuring developer expertise. 
  • [42:57] - What hobbies Jen has outside of tech and a food-themed whatnot. 
  • [53:25] - A midwest chat. 


[09:47] - “Good coding often follows certain patterns. And there’s lots of different terminology and there’s tons of blog articles written about what all those different patterns are, and some of them are just kind of baked into Ember.” ~ @jwwweber

[10:20] - “The [Ember] community became kind of my lifeline for figuring out how to do tricky things that were outside of what I had already learned so far, that were outside of the intro guides and tutorials. So I spent a lot of time building my knowledge through the help of other people.” ~ @jwwweber

[13:07] - “I hesitate sometimes to say, ‘work in open source’ because it’s unpaid, on your own time. That was how I did it, and it benefited me hugely, but also I’m interested in finding out other people’s pathways to being successful, to growing their skills, to reaching more senior engineering levels than just this one meandering way.” ~ @jwwweber


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