4 Questions on How to Have a Successful Software Career

4 Questions on How to Have a Successful Software Career

As we look back on 2021, embracing the good, the awkward, and the new normal of this past year, we’ve been reflecting on what it means to work as a software crafter. Software craft can mean something different to everyone, but we believe everyone can relate to the idea of committing to quality craft as a way to achieve better software.

With that belief, we also know that today’s software developers are asking themselves key questions on how to develop a successful, long-lasting career in craft software.

Today, 8th Light crafters answer four questions about how they’ve successfully navigated different parts of their careers as craft software professionals.

How Can You Land the Best Engineering Role?

Job hunts can be intimidating for a variety of different reasons. And each time you do, you look to find your best role. So where do you start? For principal crafter Bill Wanjohi, it all came down to being open to opportunities and willing to think out loud.


Bill explains his most recent job search experience in Call Off the Job Hunt: 9 Engineers Explain How They Landed Their Best Role. Friends reached out when he shared he was considering new opportunities. “Those personal connections, and more importantly testimonials, made it an easy decision to begin the application process,” he says.

Next he credits his ability to collaborate throughout the coding and testing stages, shining light on the way he approaches problem solving and thinks, versus relying on obvious answers.

And what appealed to him most: “It struck me in my conversations how often it came up that 8th Light cares about finding the right project fit for every contributor, and adjusting as time progresses,” says Bill.

What Can Tech Companies Do to Support Women?

With today’s job market, companies are asking how they can support their employees better — both to help with retention and attraction. In the competitive tech space, it’s even more critical to meet the needs of employees. When it comes to supporting women, tech companies don’t have to overthink their next move. To principal designer Eva PenzeyMoog, the answer is simple: focus on, and encourage, their goals.


In How Can Tech Companies Support Women? Focus on Their Goals, Eva shares how her career ambitions have been supported along the way — leading her to write a book about tech-facilitated interpersonal harm.

“My side project has become a more formal part of my role, meaning that I get to spend part of my time on other things, such as leading workshops regarding safety design for teams at other companies, speaking at conferences and writing,” says Eva.

Learn more about how you can Design For Safety.

What Motivates You to Stay at a Job Long Term?

Achieving tenure in the high-paced tech industry may sound far-fetched, but it may be all about finding the right balance, support, and motivation that keeps you engaged. Pod director Kristin Kaeding discusses what’s kept her engaged throughout her career in Apply Now: 9 Companies Hiring in Chicago.


“I’ve had the opportunity to exercise my skills both technically and throughout the organization,” Kristin says. Making positive impacts and helping clients in ways that go beyond code is also essential to the work of a consultant, and a primary driver of what keeps me at our company.”

Feeling a deep connection to your work can be difficult, but if you see how your work impacts others, it can make all the difference. “I’ve witnessed the influence our people can have on our culture and future priorities,” says Kristin.

What Does Allyship in the Workplace Look Like?

In 9 Local Women in Tech on How to Be a Better Ally in the Workplace, senior crafter Jen Udan talks about allyship in the workplace, what it looks like in action, and how you can embrace failures as part of the iterative process.


“The reality is that you will fail at it sometimes,” says Jen. “Regardless of your intentions, you shouldn’t get defensive about it. Practicing allyship means having the humility to listen and learn what allyship might have looked like in that situation and incorporate that knowledge going forward.”

Jen emphasizes that allyship is a practice, and advises people to act in service of allyship and maintain accountability.

What are you looking for in your career?

Whether you're a new developer interested in kickstarting your career with a dedicated apprenticeship, or a seasoned pro looking for new ways to advance your career, we'd love to keep in touch. Join us at one of our upcoming 8th Light University Meetups and sign up for our Talent Community list to stay in the loop on what we're up to!

Juan Santana

Talent & Community Specialist

As 8th Light’s Talent & Community Specialist, Juan leverages his extensive background to drive hiring excellence and cultivate a supportive, dynamic company culture. With a career that began in the legal industry, Juan gained invaluable insights into the criminal, civil, and nonprofit sectors, honing his advocacy skills through dedication to supporting and uplifting others.

Camille Shrouder-Henry

Former Director of Talent Acquisition

As a dedicated and skilled leader with recruitment experience in corporate, startup, and consultancy environments, Camille Shrouder-Henry serves as 8th Light’s Director of Talent Acquisition. Her smart and analytical nature, attention to detail, and innovative recruitment strategies make her an all-star in finding great talent in a competitive labor market.