What Distinguishes Best Engineering Software Developers? (Part 2)

Ilya Lichman

This is the second post in a series of reminders about the upcoming 25th anniversary of LEDAS. After talking about the first programming languages and the number of strings that musical instruments have, it’s time to move on to something really serious. Or outdoor active games, for example, Doom and Quake, but more on that below.

But first, let's take a look at an unexpected coincidence:

  • This wonderful leap year of 2024 has exactly 366 days, as it should have.
  • Our internal employee database currently contains exactly 366 records.

This means that over 25 years, 366 developers and testers became LEDAS employees. Now there are about 100 of us, so it’s easy to calculate that over a quarter of a century, about 10 people a year transferred from LEDAS to other organizations, and LEDAS itself continued to grow.

Let's take a look at the happy childhood of our employees. Last time we recalled the first processors and operating systems, and now we will find out with which computer games our current experts began to master the computer. It turned out that their very first games were mostly different:

  • Each of these games was played by three people: Fallout 2, Need for Speed: Underground 2, Duke Nukem 3D и Digger (notice how different the release years of these games are!)
  • Each of these games was remembered by two employees: Alley Cat, Prince of Persia, Heroes of Might And Magic III, Counter Strike 1.6, Call Of Duty, Civilization I, Doom, Tetris and Minesweeper;
  • And only one person started with these games: Bounce, Buttlefield, Capitan Claw, Civilization IV, Descent, Diablo 2, Dragon age, Empire Earth, Eye of the Beholder, Goblins, GTA SanAndreas, Heroes of might and magic IV, Heroes of Might and Magic V, King's Bounty, Mars (on CM-2), Monty, Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2005), Payload (on Yamaha MSX-2), S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Serious Sam 2, Sonic Adventure, Space Quest, Spore, Supaplex, Team Fortress 2, Terraria, The Sims: Makin' Magic, WarCraft 2, WarCraft 3, Wolf, Worms 3, Zuma, Redshift, Google Earth (see comments below), Barbie Fashion Show, Robinson Crusoe.

A talented person can turn anything into what he needs. So you shouldn’t be confused by the fact that the list of games includes Google Earth and Redshift (planetarium). And if the point of games is to develop the mind and relax the soul, then it is quite possible to play them.

We see that our developers played very different computer games in their childhood, and that's probably because solving complex math problems requires you to be unique and different from others. Therefore, childhood, games, books, and any other interests of LEDAS employees are different in detail. This is good and appropriate. Just imagine how dreary the world would be if all people were exactly the same.

However, a lot has changed in recent decades. For example, today there are many more games that involve multiple players. The list of games that LEDAS employees enjoy today includes both classic online games and classic games without any interaction with the outside world. These are the games now chosen by two or more of our developers: Dota 2, Civilization, Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout: New Vegas, Portal 2, The Witcher 3, Undertale.

And this is a list of games mentioned by only one person: Cult of the lamb, Dark souls, Card Heroes, Stellaris, Buttlefield, Total War, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Hogwarts Legacy, Spider-Man, Pathologic 2, Death Stranding, Sekiro, The Witness, Hellblade: Senua Sacrifice, StarCraft II, Minecraft, Divinity: Original Sin II, Valorant, Prey, Dishonored, Mass Effect, Age of Empires, Warlords 1, Heroes of might and magic IV, Wolf, Stephen's Sausage Roll, Kings Bounty, Dwarf Fortress, Deus Ex, Fallout 2, Diablo, Harry Potter.

To be in good intellectual shape, physical activity is necessary, and our employees engage in a wide variety of sports. Below are the sports that were noted by more than three LEDAS employees:

Sports distribution

Other sports areas and active hobbies: Argentine tango, biathlon, billiards, rowing, yoga, karate, cross-country, parkour, rugby, skyrunning, skateboarding, snowboarding, artistic gymnastics, orienteering, archery, Thai boxing, dancing, tennis, fencing, figure skating, Formula 1 (as a spectator :), hiking, hockey.

In the next diagram, you should pay attention to the sixth line “ALL”. This is the answer to the question of which school/university competitions employees participated in and achieved success. As you can see, a huge interest in everything and the ability to easily achieve high results or at least have fun is a characteristic feature of many future developers of complex computing modules.

Classes distribution

A high proportion of math is quite expected, but physics is confidently ahead of programming. LEDAS has outstanding programmers, which means the highest results at programming competitions at school and university. But it turns out that no less important is a deep understanding of the physical world “given to us in sensations” (note chemistry, biology, history and geography).

It’s funny that participants and winners of drawing competitions rarely work at LEDAS, although we periodically have to implement drawing systems for our customers. However, if you remember about the line “ALL” above, then not so few people were engaged in drawing at a high level.

And finally, a few funny stories shared by our employees:

  1. The first story is about how fate may not lead you exactly where you planned, but everything will turn out great. One of our employees wanted to become a translator and entered this specialty, but the teaching was additionally focused on computer science. And this is what she said: “After graduating from university, I discovered that many new professions related specifically to computer science have appeared :) Nothing is accidental!”
  2. The second story is about a vacation, which began from the very first day of work, no matter how strange it may sound. We always try to ensure that our employees have the most flexible working hours and can choose the vacation time that suits them best. It so happened that our new employee’s first working day at the company coincided with the date of the trip to the resort that he had planned earlier. Fortunately, a solution was found and everything went well.
  3. The last story is only eight words and one emoji, but it says a lot about how closely team sports and team development of large systems are connected. So, the story of our outstanding programmer and volleyball player is as follows: “I first learned about LEDAS while playing volleyball :).” No comments.

In just a couple of weeks, LEDAS will celebrate its 25th anniversary. But not everyone will believe this on April Fools' Day, so we are notifying you in advance. Get ready!