Voices of XDA: All IT-Guys, Right?

Voices of XDA: All IT-Guys, Right?

Editor’s note: This weeks feature has been written by forum member laufersteppenwolf and takes a look at a popular misconception that everyone at XDA faces on a regular basis; we are in fact not all involved in IT outside of XDA in either career or education. 



It’s no secret that here at XDA we have many exceptional developers. They are so good in fact that they must be developers, programmers, CS professors and such in real life as well, right? This at least, is what most users not just here on XDA but also outside of the community think. To be honest, before I became a Forum Moderator I did as well. Now after actively working on XDA for quite some time, I have come to know better.

No doubt many, if not most “famous” developers here on XDA are working in the IT business in real life. As already reported here. Our Senior Recognized Developer’s would be a prime example of this:  jcase, for example, works as a mobile security researcher, Rebellos works as a Software Developer and Virus is a master technician at Apple. Whilst discussing this phenomenon with several of the Recognized Developers, I discovered that many were Computer Science students (AChep, GermainZ) or Computer Science lecturers (doixanh).

So, all that I just said proved me wrong, right? All of said developers are actually working or studying something related to software engineering, right? Well I also found developers not working in the IT business. One of the most widely known developers would be codeworkx, who completed an apprenticeship in mechatronics and works on XDA and smartphone hacking as a hobby. The same applies to myself, I am currently doing an apprenticeship as a mechatronics engineer and keep developing as a big hobby. Last but not least, we have our Portal Editor MathewBrack who just graduated in agriculture. You can find many more examples like this in this thread, dedicated to discussing the jobs of our members.

You may ask yourself now “That’s great and all, but wouldn’t it be best to leave the software developing to the guys actually knowing what they are doing?”, but then I have to ask, why? I guess people like codeworkx have more than proven that you don’t have to study computer science in order to be good in software development. In fact, I can see many benefits to knowing more than just the one side to a subject; you as a developer have better insight in to what the user actually needs than if you would just write a piece of software “blindly”. While it may do the exact same thing, tiny details could make the difference in the end-user’s choice and experience.

As an example, during my apprenticeship I am working a lot with mills, lathes and of course drills. This means I have to calculate my cutting data for every tool and material. The logical thought was that there has to be an app out there that could do this job quite easily within a few seconds – but I was wrong. While there were a handful of such calculators out there, they were anything but easy to use. Actually, it was faster calculating the data manually than using the app. If I would have been a “normal” worker I would have had to either use those available apps or do my calculations manually. Luckily, however, my hobby was software developing for mobile, because of which I had the opportunity to create an app specifically designed for simplicity and speed.

There is yet another side effect, and definitely a positive one for your colleagues: When they have an issue with their phone, they always know who to ask to resolve the issues 😉

So now that you know my opinion, what’s yours? Do you prefer having developers who are working in the IT business in real life, developers who do not work in IT or do you not care at all? Leave a comment below!

This article was part of our new series “Voices of XDA”. The new articles you will start to see under “Voices” are entirely thought of and written by you, the members of XDA. If you have an idea for an article you would like to write to be featured on the portal you can find more information here and apply here.

About author

Mathew Bloomer
Mathew Bloomer

He fell in love with Android after buying a T-mobile G1 in 2008 and hasn't looked back since. He firmly believes the future of technology lies within bio-hacking and is an NFC implantee.