Meet the SDW - Senior Engineer Jim Snodgrass

What would you say, you do here?

I'm a Senior Engineer. I do everything from interviews to project management tasks, but I spend most of my time writing code in NodeJS.

I'm also currently obsessed with making sure our company-wide development work is as awesome as possible. This can mean working to make sure all of our developers have a quiet, interruption free, work environment, or it can also mean doing what I can to make sure devs are happy with their place in the company and the types of work they're doing.

Why Charlotte?

I wanted somewhere that gave me good weather for riding my motorcycle and going golfing. I also really like the proximity of the mountains which means limitless, amazing roads to ride with anyone who attempts to keep up with me.

As it turns out, since I actually enjoy my job (and also have a child now) I don't have a lot of time for golfing or riding, but I like that the weather and geography are generally there for me when I find the time.

I was actually looking all around the NC area when I came across Skookum Digital Works and decided that was where I wanted to work. So, I guess the actual answer is I'm in Charlotte because the SDW is here.

You Often Ride a Motorcycle to Work, But I've Never Seen Any Tattoos or an Earring. Ever Knife Anyone?

No knifings to which I'll admit.

I've often thought about getting a tattoo, but haven't been able to come up with anything that would still be cool when I'm old and wrinkly.

Piercings have never seemed like a good idea; I have enough holes in my body already.

That's What All the Hardcore Bikers Say.

I'm more a gentleman biker, you could say. But fast. I like speed.

Hang On or Road Rash?

Tough choice, but I'd have to go with Hang On. As much fun as it is hitting guys with chains, the challenge of making the fastest lap and hitting that perfect corner apex always gets me.

I'm Overruling that Answer So I Can Insert a Video Clip of Carnage. Road Rash FTW.

Ok. <iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DIKnjLSFRpA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Why Do You Work With Computers/Technology/Software/Teh Webz?

I didn't always. Right out of school, I actually worked for a few years in the restaurant business. The hours sucked, I always smelled like food, and I felt like I worked really hard with little to show for it.

I had already been writing HTML since the mid 90's, and with the big boom for tech workers around the turn of the century, I got into consulting on various tech jobs. So very early on, I wired a datacenter for CompuServe, migrated a company's PDA's (those things before smartphones) from Lotus Notes to Outlook, and upgraded an entire hospital infrastructure from Windows 95 to Windows XP.

I stayed on at the hospital doing second level tech support until a position opened up in the Application Development department. Once in there, I honed my fierce PHP skills on large scale deployments of Drupal and other internal projects.

So, originally, I got into technology because I was really good at it and it allowed me to use my brain. The web was a natural place for me to land because I started off enjoying the design and social aspects of global communication. I thought it was awesome that I could build something—even a super crappy GeoCities site—and everyone in the world could see it.

I still think that is awesome, really.

Drop some knowledge.

Here are two commands to build a basic Nodejs app using my module Restfuljs. It's made to quickly setup test API servers, but can also be used to just bootstrap a new project quickly with a barebones Nodejs app.

David Becher on Jim:

Jim has an amazing ability to take a complex problem, break it down into its simplest form, and have something working in a couple hours. It's hard to overstate how valuable this skill is.

Mark Rickert on Jim:

Instead of wearing his cool-looking, performance motorcycle boots around the office all day, Jim changes into flip-flops. If I had cool motorcycle boots, I'd change INTO those at the office.