Meet Kristina, Developer

Posted 08.12.15 by prhcareers

This week, we’ll be joining schools and business around the world to promote Hour of Code – a campaign to encourage anyone between the ages of 4-104 to try their hand at coding.

You might be asking yourself where publishing and coding fit together… 

Well, we’re always looking for new ways to tell and share stories.

Whether that’s creating beautiful websites for our books, setting up amazing apps or linking to readers in new ways – coding helps us do this and much more. It allows us to tell stories in more creative ways.

So for this week’s blog we’ve picked the brain of one of our in-house developers, Kristina, on coding and what she does day to day.

“Code is behind everything in the digital world.”

Kanter, Kristina - Photo

Hello, Kristina – so you’re a Developer here – what does that mean?

That means I support web products from beginning to end. This includes product creation, design and ideas, user research and testing. We also prototype all ideas before build so that we get the best results for our users’ needs.

What is it like being a Developer?

Code is behind everything in the digital world. Every smartphone, app, website, and even kitchen devices at some point relies on a piece of code to function. Being a developer allows me to be the part of the huge community that literally builds the future of the digital age.

Where does the importance of coding lie in regards to publishing?

Even if people’s work doesn’t include coding, it’s helpful for everyone to speak one tech language. It’s the type of skill that people can benefit from, because it helps to speed up the work and allows your brain to think in a more organised and logical way. In terms of publishing, online and electronic books are still far behind in their potential development, but it’s a powerful and creative platform for grow, and helping people from publishing industry to learn coding can open up some new process of expressing the usual things and find new ways of reading experience.

Where were you before Penguin Random House?

I was abroad in Helsinki, Finland – this is my first job in the UK. I worked for a small web team based in Helsinki where I did a bit of everything from web design to development.

What’s it like to do your job at Penguin Random House compared to your previous company?

My work has a bigger, wider impact and will influence a wider audience. There is a real opportunity to change and improve something. You are also very connected to your audience so you get immediate feedback on what’s working well (or not!) about the products you’re launching.

What’s the culture like in your team?

Relaxed, and we’re always trying to keep up-to-date on the latest trends in Digital as well as attending Meet-Ups and workshops together. We have a team bake-off every Wednesday as well as gaming and movie nights – we even have a Trello board featuring upcoming movies we want to see!

What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you at work this week?

I’m getting ready for the launch of a brand new product that’s going live next week. It’s exciting as it started as a small internal solution that’s snowballed to be something that will support our wider website needs.

Best thing about your job?

The relationship between everyone – it’s an open and friendly environment. I feel particularly proud to work for my manager who is a real leader – he listens to and supports the team which makes it a great environment to be in. Everyone in the business is connected by a genuine passion for what they do.

Biggest challenge about your job?

Sometimes it’s hard to find a quiet space to focus on and build my algorithms!

All-time favourite story?

‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker

Guilty pleasure?

I love touching books – I’m obsessed with the format, paper, covers – everything about them!

If you’re interested in learning to programme, the Hour of Code website has loads of great tutorials to get you started; learn with Angry Birds, Mine Craft, Flappy Bird and more… Why not have a go?