Tech Talent: Why This New Programmer Believes Empathy Can Help With Product Development

Evan Bates started his career in finance, working at local technology startups for the past five years. Eventually, he started to feel the pull into the software side of things and decided to enroll in DigitalCrafts‘ 16-week full-stack immersion program.

“The bootcamp is a wild and crazy ride! I’ve learned more than I expected in such a short amount of time and feel confident in my new abilities,” says Bates. “I can’t wait to apply them back into the business world.” 

It wasn’t all programming for Bates. One of the skills he learned that will be essential for future product development: empathy. “Without empathy, you can’t put yourself in the shoes of your user,” he says.

Now he’s ready to take on the startup world with a position that will allow him to grow within a scaling company. Learn more about why Bates may be a great fit for your developer team.

What is your previous education?

I graduated from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business with a finance degree, but my real education came from working. I previously worked for AirWatch, an Atlanta software startup, and VMware for the past five years. This experience not only helped me grow my own skills, but imparted me with a passion for the software industry’s culture — a culture that works hard, encourages change, rewards passion and is receptive to new ideas regardless of age or gender.

Why the interest in the technology field?

Coming originally from a more archaic industry, hospitality, the technology field is a welcome relief. The technology field is much more malleable. It, and in turn the people, expect change. What we’re doing is usually brand new and so we more readily accept new solutions to solve novel problems. This is where I thrive and what keeps me engaged. You never know what awaits tomorrow, and that sort of uncertainty I find exciting.

How do you stay informed on emerging trends?

I mainly listen to podcasts and utilize Meetups, but really I’d have to say my friends. Almost every single Meetup or podcast that I attend or listen to is originally recommended by a friend.

Networking and friends are powerful tools.They help you grow your knowledge at a much faster rate than vetting out everything that seems remotely interesting. Also, Google and YouTube — everything is at your fingertips from there.

What are your best technical or creative skills?

My best creative skills are taking an idea and breaking it down into pieces that can be considered individually and put back together again. I tend to end up with an idea that is completely different from its original state, but much improved.

Another, not so much technical or creative, is empathy. This skill is critical in creating a product that effectively solves a problem and differentiates your product from competitors.

What’s next on your list to learn?

I’m still working on improving my React abilities, but soon, I plan on switching to React Native as I’d like to release a product to the app store.  

Are you interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?

I’m passionate about the startup world. I find that it allows you to grow much more than any other environment, and the speed at which things get accomplished lets you see your added value everyday. I hope to find a company where I’m able to grow them and myself at the same time.

Interested in looking at Evan’s credentials? Here you go! PortfolioGitHub, and LinkedIn.