Team RBN Spotlight – Jason

Jason - Team RBN Spotlight December 2017

Jason- Software and Cloud Solutions Engineer

What do you do here at RBN?

I am a software engineer as well as a cloud solutions engineer. I have a strong development background, but after years of being exposed to and gaining experience using automation tools, my role has shifted. I am now as active in setting up and managing infrastructure for cloud apps as I am developing cloud apps themselves – which suits me perfectly! I do my best to exemplify DevOps culture – it helps me to be a true ‘full stack developer’ in every sense of the term.


When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I was into computers from a very early age – I’ve always wanted to be involved in technology. I also love bringing joy to others, which is why growing up I always thought I would be entertaining others through technology. As I matured and started to enter the workforce I realized I could bring joy to others in a different way – by helping them do what they do more efficiently through technology.


What things do you look for in your workplace?

There are two main things I look for. First is the opportunity for growth through constant challenges. I love learning how to use new technologies to solve interesting problems. The other thing I look for is a healthy work environment – a tight-knit group of individuals working together, rather than just cogs in a giant machine.


What’s your favorite thing about your job?

It is hard to pick just one. I have to say that it is the people working with me. We’re all very self-motivated in that we all want to do better and be better. Thankfully, we have the freedom to do so.


What is your office nickname, and how did you earn it?

If I have a nickname around the office, I don’t know it!


If you could switch your job with anyone else within RBN, whose job would you want and why?

I don’t know that I would want to switch, I love what I’m doing so much. Potentially I might want to switch jobs with Mike, the Director of Software Engineering. When it comes to software projects, he enables the rest of his team to succeed, but also rolls up his sleeves to dive in and pick up the slack where needed. He has a ‘lead from the front’ mentality and leadership style, and that is exactly the kind of leadership style that I like to employ when leading a team.


What advice would you give anyone starting out in the industry?

Be hungry for knowledge. Get into the mindset that you will learn what you need in order to succeed.


How has RBN helped you in your career development?

RBN has not only provided me with new opportunities to learn new technologies, but has also rewarded me when completing challenges utilizing the things I’ve learned. I’m constantly growing, and the experience I’ve gained is invaluable. I’ve had six years worth of experience compacted into my three years here at RBN.


What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on at RBN?

It is hard to pick just one because there are so many. I think my favorite was when I helped to develop an app used by several professional sports teams – it would show exactly where the players were on the virtual field at any given time and stream game statistics and events in real time. There were many different kinds of interesting software and hardware that had to integrate together to make that happen.


What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I have always had a fascination with VR technology – so if I had to choose something other than Cloud software it would be developing that kind of technology. If I had to choose something other than software, I have no idea.


Three words to best describe you:

Persevering, Cheerful, Optimistic


If you were the subject of a movie about your life, what would the title of the movie be, what genre, and what actor would you like to play you?

“Syntactic Sugar” a musical comedy starring Chris Pratt.


What do you do for fun outside of work?

Lots of different things – various video games, TV shows and movies. I like practicing my drum skills and learning new languages (programming or otherwise). Tabletop RPGs (like Dungeons and Dragons) is a favorite pastime of mine, though I have recently doing Escape Rooms which are a lot of fun. Now that it is getting colder outside, skiing and ice skating.


If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?

A nice, juicy rib-eye steak (medium rare), mashed potatoes and gravy, blackened peas and a glass of Chianti.


Do you have any hidden talents?

I like to think I’ve always had a knack for creative writing. I dabbled in it long ago, but now I tend to funnel that kind of creativity into RPGs.


Who’s your spirit animal?

Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.


What are your three most overused words/phrases?

Probably “Nice!” or “Awesome!” when hearing good news, or “Ya know” when trying to explain something.


What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

When I was a young adult, I spent several summers working at Camp Dearborn. I’d have to say that was the weirdest – not because the job itself was strange, but because of the funny situations I would find myself in. For example, when prepping right before the beginning of the season, we would have to clear out any wasp nests we found. I was expecting them to give me a wasp killer spray, but they handed me a baseball bat and told me to hop in the back of the truck, take a swing and hang on tight!


What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

Strap in – you’re about to start one heck of a wild ride!


What was the last song you listened to on your smartphone? Or what’s on the last playlist you listened to?

Real American by Rick Derringer