Skookum Man!

Jason started working at Skookum about five months ago. Before that, he worked at a company that installed and seviced ShoreTel VoIP phone systems.

We asked Jason to introduce himself and talk about what he's learned coming from a non-programming (though still technical) career into software development. Take it away, Jason.


At my last job, along with installing the phone systems, diagnostics and upgrades to the current network were almost always needed to get the needed voice quality. The company was just five people including the owner. The relationships formed within a small team like that are awesome. So why move to NC and take a new job then? The weather! I lived in north central Ohio...and like a lot of other NC transplants, I'd have a hard time going back to grey skies and bad winters.

But from a technical angle, I also was excited about the challenge of doing and learning something new. I've had a desire to improve my knowledge and toolset for some time. Coming to Skookum Digital Works, I really didn't know what I would be doing, but it was clear they thought I had the capacity to grow if surrounded with the right teammates.

SDW does software development. I had some experience...mostly with ASP Classic (no laughing). No PHP. No node, No JavaScript, No CSS. No HTML5. Basically, no experience. Would I measure up? Would I really pick up those languages with the right guides?

Well here I am, five months in. I have not done any ASP Classic programming, but that's (more than) OK. What I have done is learned a whole lot. I've picked up more programming skills in the last five months than I had in the rest of my previous jobs combined. I have used PHP, JavaScript and jQuery, node, knockout, CSS, and HTML5. I've also picked up some design and layout tricks, and I've even learned how to stretch and use Wordpress as way-more-than a simple CMS.

And, do I like it here? Well, the work environment has a very similar feel to the small company I was at before. Everyone at SDW is awesome, smart, and willing to help when asked. Everyone here likes to operate out of their comfort zone and continue learning new things. And when someone makes a breakthrough, there's usually a tech talk to coincide.

Looking toward the future, I hope to learn as much about new technologies and languages as I can. I want to learn more node, and wouldn't mind learning Ruby at some point. I also would like to build an iPhone, iPad, or Mac app. There are things I need to be better at, and I am trying hard. My CSS, javascript, and code testing all need improving. I am learning as fast as I possibly can and look forward to learning even more. And as I move forward, a goal of mine is to help keep people informed of the new awesomeness that I find, because we all know, we will never know it all.