The only way you could accuse me of being a work-a-holic, would be by counting my family as a job; I love spending time with my family! I have a year old son whom I am super proud of, an adorable month old daughter, a beautiful and loving wife, and an energetic yellow labrador retriever. My family is great at keeping me on my toes; it is never a dull moment around our house. Our family motto is: You don't need to be crazy to live here; we'll train you.
To me, work-life balance is crucial. I love my job, and I love my family. I think personal growth is important, and my career and my family life each give me different ways to grow. Growing in these two different spaces has allowed me to become a well-rounded person. If you are looking for someone who will work 140 hours a week and live out of a van in the parking lot, move on to the next candidate. However, if you are looking for someone who has great interpersonal skills, values other people's time, has strong leadership experience, and has programming skills to boot, keep on reading!
I spent 20 months working on Quickbooks Online at Intuit in their Edmonton office. The cheesy saying "Everything I know, I learned from _____" is the perfect way to describe how I learned to program. In the short time that I was there, I learned more than I did during my entire bachelor's degree. I learned a ton about good programming practices, the web, and developing software in teams.
At Intuit, I worked on a team developing Quickbooks Online using cutting edge technology. Through this experience, I learned the ins and outs of web application development. I contributed to the Single Page Application frontend and developed RESTful backend services. Scalability is always a concern when developing applications for over 1 million users, and my work on QBO taught me how to develop software in a scalable way.
Intuit also taught me a lot about teamwork. Hundreds of developers work on QBO, and scrum teams were often swarming around a single task. This meant that good communication with people on your team, as well as people across the globe was critical. I also learned how to communicate with different stake holders, such as customers, project managers, directors, and others. These lessons helped me grow as a person and become a better software developer because it allows me to increase the quality and efficiency of my work.
After completing my bachelor's degree, I returned to Intuit to work as a full time software developer. Since then, I have learned an awful lot! I am currently working as the Scrum Master for first time use. Our team has made significant improvemnts to the product in a very short period of time, and I am super proud of the work that we did. If you want to see our work, sign up for a free trial of QuickBooks Online; the portion I worked on is the setup interview. While I can't tell you an exact dollar figure of the impact our team had (sorry, trade secret), I can tell you that it was enough that I could have retired with it.
The university helped me grow in two ways. First, my degree gave me the foundation of my knowledge of computing science. I had the opportunity to learn from world class professors and broaden my understanding of computing science. I learned everything from RSA encryption on an Arduino (that was actually the first program I ever wrote) to Map-Reduce on an eight node distributed system.
Secondly, my minor in business gave me the opportunity to develop business, leadership, and interpersonal skills. With my business courses, I focused on topics surrounding leadership and entrepreneuship, which gave me great exposure to important topics for any business, such as team building and how to innovate.
I'm often told that I shouldn't include a sales job on my resumé because it isn't relevant. Frankly, I think the people who tell me that are under valuing the experience that a job in sales gives you. In my experience, there were three main areas where I grew a lot thanks to my work in retail that continue to apply to my career today.
First, I developed really strong interpersonal skills such as communication and teamwork. From my experience, retail customers come in all sorts of backgrounds, moods, and temperaments. As a result, I quickly learned how to deal with all sorts of people and how to communicate appropriately in many different situations. I also learned how to work effectively in a team, including times when I was responsible for leading a large groups. During off-site events, I was often responsible for coordinating an entire events team, as well as groups of participants as large as 150 people.
Secondly, I developed a deep appreciation for customers. Working in such close proximity to customers and helping them solve the problems they were experiencing gave me a deep understanding and appreciation for the importance of customers to any business; it allowed me to understand the importance of focusing on the customer. I learned that a company must adapt on the customer's perspective in order to adapt and solve the customer's pain.
Lastly, I learned what my values are, and how to stick to them. Sales people have a reputation of being selfish and conniving, but that's not who I am. I learned that I can stand by my core values of honesty, trust, and respect, and still be an effective sales person. By standing by my values and not stooping to immoral sales tactics, I reinforced my confidence and my moral fortitude.
The days of software developers sitting in a cubicle all alone are over; software development has more of a team activity than most other careers. The soft skills that I developed while working sales are an invaluable part of my skill set, and make me a significantly more effective team member and programmer.
Well, if you are looking for someone to build you a simple website, you are probably better off talking to a graphic designer (it will probably take them less time and cost you less). However, if you want to build a large scale web application, you have come to the right place. I have a ton of experience creating large-scale, efficient, web-based applications, and I would love to talk with you about the project you are working on!
Take a look at some of the other projects I have worked on...