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Best Job Ever: Web Developer
April 18, 2019 | Caitlin Reiff
During this month’s edition of “Best Job Ever,” we’re featuring (drum roll)… our web development team! Last week, I sat down with Nate, Dan, Jimmy, and Chris to learn about their career trajectory, their day-to-day, their advice for up-and-coming developers, and why they consider their job the Best. Job. Ever.
**DISCLAIMER** Please take some of the below responses with a grain of salt. Our dev team loves sarcasm and hyperbole, and contrary to what they say (lookin’ at you, Dan), they do put in a lot of work. At least three hours a day.
Caitlin: Hey guys, thanks for chatting with me! First things first: How did you come to work at TDR? How long have you been here?
Nate: Matt found me on LinkedIn when I was freelancing (yeah, that actually happens, ha!). I came in for an interview and a tour and I thought, “Well, I know I swore off working in an office, but THIS company is AWESOME!” I’ve been here about 10 months.
Jimmy: I had about six months left at my previous job and a former co-worker of mine tried hard to get me to come over. It seemed like I got weekly visits from him prodding me to apply. His persistence and the fact that I already knew a few others working here made it seem like a good place to spend my time. I’ve been here for a year and four months and am loving it.
Chris: I was referred by a friend that I’d worked with at another agency. After the 25-second tour, I was sold. I started at TDR on a fine summer day, August something, two thousand and eighteen.
Caitlin: How would you describe your typical day as a developer here at TDR?
Nate: Drink some coffee, code some stuff up, drink some coffee, meet with some folks, code some stuff, drink some coffee, strategize for our team, learn something new, drink some more coffee… ☕
Dan: Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late and use the side door — that way Nick (a partner and head of dev) can’t see me. After that I sorta space out for an hour. I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real work.
Jimmy: Most days I’m turning design mock-ups into functioning websites while wondering how something so simple can be so complex.
Chris: Coffee, sometimes it’s hard to find iced coffee in the cold Wisconsin winters, I call these non-iced-coffee houses “seasonists” that have little empathy for humanity.
Caitlin: … Great, thanks for that! What do you like most about your job? About TDR in general?
Nate: The PEOPLE. They’re top-notch, awesome folks to work with.
Dan: The people. And all the birthday treats.
Jimmy: We work with a wide range of businesses and organizations, many of which I’ve never had on my radar. Because of that I get to see parts of the world and human experience I might never encounter. I also enjoy collaborating with my co-workers. Everyone brings great ideas and enthusiasm to each project.
Chris: Being a solution provider to clients’ complex problems is probably the most interesting. Being able to do so in a laid-back, team-driven environment makes it that much better.
Caitlin: And what’s the most challenging part of your job?
Nate: Keeping up with the industry and learning new things (but I like that part a lot).
Dan: Always learning new things.
Jimmy: Each project requires different sets of tools and workflows. As a result there is generally something brand new to me so having to learn quickly is a challenge.
Chris: Requirements gathering on some builds can be heavy. Fnding a balance of these creates the best final product for our clients.
Caitlin: What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on, or what project are you most proud of?
Nate: I’m pretty proud of the current portal we’re working on for The Employer Group. I’ve gotten to learn and implement custom admin pages, custom database tables and logic, and custom API integrations with payroll processing. Fun stuff!
Dan: Not dev-related, but I’m very proud of the work we’ve done for the Avid Ratings’ International Builders Show every year. In the past, we’ve spent months planning and it’s always very rewarding to see everything come together at the end.
Jimmy: I’m most proud of the Henry Vilas Zoo site. I’m happy to be a part of a community institution that helps to educate and delight through animals.
Chris: The Sonic Foundry site builds are by far the biggest in my time here. The sites are truly unique.
Caitlin: What advice would you give somebody just starting their career in dev?
Nate: The ❤️ Trifecta: love the learning, love the problem solving, love helping people. That should get you pretty far. Nobody likes a snarky dev 🙂
Dan: Always be helpful, don’t be a dick.
Jimmy: It doesn’t matter what sort of development project or languages you work on to gain development skills. It’s all worthwhile and can easily translate into other languages and skills. In the end, critical thinking, a desire to learn, and creative problem solving are the best skills to have for the job.
Chris: Always look at tasks and problems as an opportunity to learn something new.
Want to be a part of our talented (and hilarious) dev crew? Well it’s your lucky day — we’re looking for a front-end developer or full-ish stack web developer to join our team. Learn more here.