Daugherty Passion Project: Programming & Piloting

When Senior Consultant and Software Engineer Greg Bates started learning about airplanes, it was primarily because his oldest son was interested in them. They would go to airshows and airports big and small near their home in Minneapolis to see the planes take off.

Over time, his interest grew into a passion and, after others in aviation encouraged him to learn more, he sought out information about getting a pilot’s license. Following four months in grounds school and flight school, Greg had his pilot’s license and could take to the skies himself along with his son as a passenger.

Greg has learned after his many hours of time in the sky that flying is similar to software development. While anyone who has done a flight simulator can fly, there is more to it than meets the eye. For instance, someone who has flown in a virtual reality setting may be able to take off in an actual airplane, but they’d likely break some regulations along the way.

The same goes for coding! While anyone can sling code or learn programming languages, developing robust solutions means learning tangential skills that make working in software more enriching. Software engineers develop non-core skills like understanding nonfunctional requirements so that when they are working on a project, they can fully understand the nuances.

Greg has found tremendous value in learning how to fly and sees parallels between his interest as a pilot and his work at Daugherty. Like pilots, software engineers have to keep in mind multiple tasks and their outcomes, and flexing those skills in a new way helps Greg expand his thinking about his career and the passions that drive him.