Jake Johnson Will Build Your Furniture or Your Ruby App
Jake Johnson went to undergrad for video production and pursued that career for 4 years before deciding to switch to software engineering. We’re thrilled to have him join the Revelry team and we’d like you to get to know him!
So, Jake, video production?
“Do you remember those generic career placement tests they’d give you in high school to help you start thinking about future career paths? My placement tests always landed me in STEM-related fields, but no, I had to go and be an artist.”
Jake adds that when he finally started learning programming, “it felt like I was blowing the dust off this whole part of my brain and I really enjoyed it.”
Does it make you wish you had pursued software engineering earlier?
“I don’t take the education or experiences back. Although I’ll definitely take back the loans. Can they do returns on diplomas? And, I know for sure that a CS degree is not a prerequisite for the innovative problem solving that we do here at Revelry.”
That’s true. So tell us, were there any other reasons you decided to join Revelry?
“It was really apparent to me early on that Revelry was a pretty fearless company, notably in their willingness to diversify their team with fully remote, boot camp-educated, junior-level software engineers. A majority of companies I encountered in my early job hunting days were very hesitant to explore any possible advantages to hiring non-CS degree developers, let alone having them live 2,600 miles away.
“It was a litmus test for me (and has proven true in working here) that the Revelry process is one that is not afraid to try something new, critically assess the results, keep what is useful, and discard what doesn’t work. That, for me, is a dream company to work for, so I made sure to pester Robert over the course of a year in an attempt to stay near the top of his list for openings. I feel really honored and respected to be with a company that trusts in my abilities rather than my accolades (or lack thereof).”
Persistence pays off.
Robert, our VP of Engineering, says he is pretty happy that Jake stayed in touch.
“I’m very excited to have Jake on the team finally. I’ve known him since he was fresh out of code school and we were finally able to get it together! Having someone this persistent and positive on the team is amazing. Oh, and he’s a dynamite developer too.”
Well! Now that you’ve had some time to officially become known as a software engineer, what’s your programming language of choice?
“I feel most at home with Ruby. I know it’s far from perfect and not necessarily the right tool for every job (what is?), but Ruby’s syntax greatly reduces mental fatigue for me compared to other languages I’ve worked with.
“It’s very satisfying being able to write out an English sentence of pseudocode and have the resulting code read almost exactly the same.”
You mentioned the Revelry process. We’ve honed our processes and created several internal tools as well. Which of your daily work tools is your favorite?
“Linters, hands down. I can’t recommend them enough, especially for juniors but really for everybody. If you aren’t using one, you should be. They do so much more than keep code looking clean. For example, rules pertaining to method length and complexity can be really educational and actually force you into better OOP habits. Use linters.”
Indeed. And offline, what’s your bag?
“I’m really fascinated when learning about alternative living styles (tiny homes, off-grid, homesteads, etc.) and all the DIY tech people create to sustain themselves. I end up watching a lot of DIY YouTube videos – like recently I stumbled upon a small corner of the internet that’s recycling old computer batteries into Tesla Powerwall inspired lithium ion battery banks to power their homes.”
Speaking of powering things with battery banks, the team has been wowed by your progress converting a van!
“I’m currently converting a Promaster cargo van into a (very micro) studio apartment on wheels, complete with renewable electricity and running water. The plan is to live and work nomadically, and ideally be able to explore the world before retirement. It’s really fun and very rewarding – I’m learning a whole lot of things every day on this project.”
That is so amazing. So DIY life is totally your thing.
“I get a great deal of satisfaction working with my hands and engineering my own DIY projects. When I was little I would work with my dad as he remodeled our home, and that definitely left its mark. If I need something done, I try and think if there’s a way I can build it first before I explore buying pre-manufactured goods. Believe it or not, I actually love assembling IKEA furniture (the way they design that entire experience is so cool).”