Name: Eve Ragins
Designation: Agent 00138
Double Agent Role: Senior Software Consultant
Special Skills: Finding gaps. Filling gaps. Distilling complexity. Solving the hard problems.
Aliases: GitHub, LinkedIn
Location: Soon-to-be Nomad
Favorite Emoji: 🤔
I’ve built at least a couple core backend systems that — to the best of my knowledge — still serve as the backbones for mission-critical systems today. The two that come to mind are one for the WA Employment Security Department which is like glue for making batch jobs, and the other is some code which let us build modern apps on top of a mainframe. Impactfully, I’m proud of these because those systems have enabled scores of other developers to be manyfold more productive and focus on business functionality.
And it feels good to have designed something which lasted. I know for the batch processing system, many people have tried to offer more “off-the-shelf” alternatives (like service buses), but none of those solutions have the same combination of functionality that make it easy for both developers and production support to do their jobs.
I’ve spent most of my career as an individual contributor, and with Test Double’s focus on growth, I’m looking forward to growing into growing others. And it’s also kind of scary, like, who am I to advise somebody else?
The culture here is amazing. I’ve seen many times before where there’s the stated culture and the lived culture and how they don’t align. At Test Double, they align. Leadership in particular has been very intentional about not just saying “here’s our culture,” but living it AND having systems and processes in place which affirm and reinforce the culture.
Going back to the above, the culture. And their mission is very clear. And as with culture, there are systems and processes in place which affirm and reinforce the mission. And (again with systems and processes in place), they hire based on alignment to the above in addition to technical skills. It’s easy for one negative person to act as gravity well and bring down everybody else. But Test Double’s managed to achieve the opposite: they seem to have achieved a critical mass towards positivity.
The way it permeates our lives. The way that the “minimum” is now so big. We (collectively) keep iterating on how to make creating software more efficient: new languages and tooling, “no code” solutions, and now AI-assisted development. And there’s been a shift, though I don’t think we’re fully there yet, where instead of providing a suite of preferences and pre-defined functionality, we’re going to introduce more and more “programmable” solutions. Game mods are a great example of this, but it’s extending to household appliances and I don’t even know what else. I’m actually kind of a Luddite.
Why? Not sure, but I suppose the way that it impacts society, how we relate to each other, and how we collectively approach the world.
That’s a tough one. And I’m guessing you don’t mean mistaking a curb for a driveway in the dark. (Nothing bad happened, but I sure freaked out the cars coming the other direction. And myself.)
More seriously, the things that come to mind are a bit too much for this. So, as a happy medium, as I’ve been trying to clear out house to be a nomad, it became obvious that some things I was holding on to as “it could be useful some day” were literally just trash. I should throw trash away sooner, though I really don’t like throwing things away. I was pretty into Captain Planet as a kid and Earth Day was near the top of my favorite holidays list.
I’m going to try to be a nomad! It’s been wanting to do something like this for years. Right before the pandemic hit I’d just landed a 100% remote gig; but our team had to go through cancelling tickets and hotels for an in-person meet-and-greet. What a time. But I’ve finally gotten around to taking real actual steps and building momentum. Fingers crossed, in a couple weeks I’ll be home-less. Though unfortunately due to timing with other things, I don’t think I’ll be able to really embrace a nomadic life until next year.
I’m currently reading A Memory Called Empire, recommended by a friend, and it’s enjoyable.
Several months ago, maybe longer, I started reading The Book Thief, and it’s a beautiful book. And poignant. Something about the way it’s written made WWII, the Holocaust, and how it impacted so many lives more real than anything I’d read or seen before. It’s stuck with me.
I’ve always been an introvert and rather a homebody, so I feel comfortable saying that it didn’t impact me nearly as much as it did most people. For me personally, 2020 was actually a pretty good year, especially when compared with the ones leading up to it.
To answer the question, though, I suppose that we, each of us, are masters of our own journey. Maybe that’s just because it coincided with other changes in my life, but somehow felt even more true with the pandemic.
I feel like I’ve shared quite a bit. For something else, though, I’ve done a little bit of animal fostering — my current tally is 4 dogs and 6 bunny rabbits. I like knowing that because I’ve spent the time to learn an animal’s personality, the chances of a good long-term adoption go up dramatically. It’s worth it. And I get a short-term pet and lots of cute pictures. The cute pictures are hard to beat.
This interview is based on shared documentation with Eve Ragins and Cathy Colliver. It may or may not self-destruct.