Meet Joshua, a full-stack web developer who loves to tackle new and exciting challenges with an impressive background in CX and QA. Josh brings a positive attitude with him wherever he goes and excels at lifting up teammates and conquering otherwise impossible tasks by rallying people together.
He believes no problem will go unsolved when the right team gets together. A tech enthusiast, family man, and a loyal team player, Josh would look really *really* good on your team.
Let’s get to know him a little better!
What were you doing before TTS?
Before TTS, I was working as a manager in both software QA and retail. I loved helping drive teams to build great things, but at a certain point, I realized that I wanted to be more hands-on, and I wanted to help develop those great things myself.
What is your favorite quote, mantra, or piece of advice?
“There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
What is one meal you ate as a kid that you still love and eat today?
I’ve been obsessed with breakfast eggs ever since my mother taught me to scramble them when I was little. I hardly ever go a day now without some sunny-side-ups or a stuffed-full omelet.
What course(s) did you take with TTS?
I took a full-time Java Full-Stack Web Development class with TTS over about 16 weeks. This course allowed me to dive head-first into software development, working alone and with teams to build websites, front-end, and back-end, and integrate them together to make some really cool projects.
How did taking this course remotely impact how you connected with your cohort and instructors?
I’ve worked remotely before, so I was prepared for the challenges that come with it, but there were still many interesting and challenging parts of getting so many people together online. We had to work together to establish communication norms and methods of sharing information and connecting together that could bring extra depth to our collaboration. Our class came together to help ensure that everyone’s voices would be heard and that nobody willing to put in the work would get left behind.
Tell us about your favorite project!
My favorite project was our capstone, which gave us a lot of freedom to use all of the skills and tools we’d learned to make a comprehensive product.
Our group made a project called Rule Zero, which helps players of the game Magic: The Gathering to organize and categorize their collection of decks to better facilitate friendly games between players with different styles and skill levels. We used React Native for the front-end, and Spring Boot for the back-end, using the publicly available ScryFall API for game-related data. We also used Docker and Heroku to host our back-end and provide cloud-hosted user data.
While we had used React and Spring in class, we had not covered React Native, which brought its own set of challenges. In addition, we hadn’t yet integrated a React-based front-end with Spring back-ends, so there were some bumps along the way, but we also learned a lot and very quickly.
What would you tell yourself fifteen years ago that you wish you knew then?
Other than buying Bitcoin and Apple stock, I’d probably tell myself to document more of my accomplishments along the way and to keep an eye on newly developing web technologies.
How has what you learned at TTS impacted your life?
What has been the biggest challenge in your tech journey?
My biggest challenge has been marketing myself. I’ve always been the type to take on significant challenges, keep attacking until I’ve achieved similar or more effective results than I set out for, and then moving on to the next big thing. Because of this, I don’t always do a great job of showing off my accomplishments or keeping track of everything that’s happened along the way. Even now, my portfolio pages are a little outdated because I’m constantly pushing forward to the next project, sometimes forgetting to let anyone else know what I’ve finished in the meantime.
What have you learned about yourself over the past year?
I love teaching as much as I love learning! It’s always been fun and exciting to learn a new skill or subject, but working together with other people and helping the people around me with some of the challenges they’ve faced has shown me that I enjoy bringing a new level of understanding to people. It’s been a great experience to foster those new skills in people that are eager to learn.
What does the world need more of?
Empathy. So many conflicts and disagreements could be solved or avoided by learning to understand other people’s perspectives by caring for them as we do for ourselves.
What are your personal and career goals for the future?
I want to work in a position where I am writing code every day. I’ve worked at high levels and low levels of various organizations, and while I don’t mind helping with some of the team-focused aspects of projects, I want to put code on the screen and write software every day. My dream job would be a full-stack application developer, building fun and helpful software for a really incredible company that cares about its people.
What projects are you working on now?
I’m working on learning .Net MVC and C# development, and I’m building some applications for personal finance management to replace some of the crazy and convoluted spreadsheets that I’ve built over the years.
How has your background helped get you to this point?
Everything I’ve done has been in the pursuit of advancing the quality of the work that I produce. I’ve always had a passion for making and doing things better, and that has really come home when it comes to software development. The ceiling is just so high when it comes to building better and more valuable applications. It just feels like I’m finally in precisely the right field to pour all of that passion and excitement into to make a big difference with the work I do every day.
When you’re not coding, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to play video games, board games, and card games with my family and friends. I also skate and referee for a local roller derby team and enjoy yoga and weight lifting whenever possible.
Name a woman (or women), past or present, whom you admire or look up to.
I’ve always had a strong admiration for Ada Lovelace, one of the first people to see the extended potential in the original Analytical Engine beyond just pure calculation and author of the first computer algorithm.
Connect with Josh on Linkedin!
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