Engineering vs. Development

Recently, I participated in Healthify’s lightning talk series. I chose to speak on one of my pet topics: the concept of engineering versus development. Given that it was still a talk I was presenting, it of course had a goofy title and bright-pink color scheme:

Title slide: Engineering vs. Development—Why does Emily’s job title have “engineer” in it even though she doesn’t write code?

As the bright pink slides go on to clarify, I’m Emily; my title is “sales engineer”; I have never been a salesperson; and I don’t write production code. (The code I do write is instead used for the very noble goal of making Python play improv games, or generating Lana del Rey themed lorem ipsum.)

So: why is sales engineer an appropriate job title for someone who has neither a quota nor access to our production servers?

Continue reading

Explaining Webhooks Using Popcorn

Recently, I wound up in a discussion with a coworker about webhooks. (Specifically, my hope that Okta offers them. I’ve spent several hours reading this documentation and I still can’t tell.) She wasn’t familiar with them, and neither was the customer who we were looping in as part of the larger discussion. So, I wound up explaining webhooks as follows:

Think of our two services as two people: you, in the back of the office, and your coworker George who sits near the kitchen and can see the microwave. You want to know if the popcorn you just put in the microwave is done, but can’t wait around in the kitchen. (Your office is very strict about loitering.)

Continue reading