Main image of article 'Tech Connects' Podcast: Coding in Space

“Tech Connects,” Dice’s podcast, digs into the tech hiring, recruiting, and career topics that matter to you. Subscribe on ACastSpotifyApple Podcasts, iHeartRadioAmazon Podcasts, and YouTube! 

Our latest ‘Tech Connects’ guest is Ben Marx, who’s Director of Software at True Anomaly, a startup focused on space-based security and sustainability. Their current projects include Jackal, an autonomous orbital vehicle that can swoop close to other satellites and carry out surveillance imaging, as well as a new manufacturing facility in Colorado. As you’ll hear during our discussion, Ben has deep experience in software, which comes in useful when you’re trying to write code for something zooming around orbit—there’s not a lot of room for error, as you can imagine. 

There’s a lot of buzz around space lately, and I was really curious about what it takes for software developers and tech pros to break into this rapidly evolving arena. Let’s break it down with Ben! 

Here are some takeaways from the conversation with Ben that I found particularly interesting. 

First, you’ll remember Ben mentioned he studied philosophy and economics, worked at a number of different startups, and experimented with different fields before finding his way to coding in the context of space. For software developers and other tech professionals out there, his experience just goes to show that your skills and experience can translate into many different fields—it’s all a question of what interests you. 

Second, if you’re managing a complicated software project, it’s important to evaluate languages and tools in the context of what you need done. For example, Ben chose Elixir for True Anomaly’s space applications because it’s fault-tolerant, scalable, low latency, and more. Even if you’re new to a particular industry and you feel like you’ve been thrown into the deep end, you know how languages and tools work, and you can build your success off that. 

Third, if you’re tasked with helping to develop an internal software culture, keep two things in mind. First, don’t be afraid to be expressive and speak up about what you think is working well (and not so well). Second, it’s important to know when to say ‘no.’ Sometimes you need to turn something down or go in another direction in order to succeed. Saying ‘no’ can save a lot of time and effort.  

We covered a whole lot of other topics, of course, so give it a re-listen if there was something you missed.