Born and raised in a small Arkansas town, our Lead Developer, Josh, got bit by the web development bug while stationed in the Army.
In between attending a few specialized military “schools” where he learned “some cool skills, like how NOT to rappel out of a Blackhawk helicopter,” Josh began expanding on his innate computer knowledge, eventually moonlighting as a website developer for colleagues and friends.
After a few attempts at making Computer Whispering his sole bread and butter, he finally hit his stride while creating a WordPress plugin that gained popularity and connected him with WE·DO Founder, Mike Mckearin.
That was ten years ago. The two kept in touch and many outsourced projects later, Josh finally joined WE·DO full-time as our Lead Developer in 2019. He’s been fighting fires both big and small for us ever since.
We’re so glad to have you as the intermediary between the inner workings of the internet and our clients’ visions, Josh. We salute you!
Here’s our fly-by Q&A with Josh:
How did you get into Web Development?
I was a combat engineer in the Army, which is basically just infantry with more explosives. I got to do a lot of interesting things in the military that most people never get the chance to do, so in that regard, it was definitely worth it.
I initially got hooked on being a “web developer” while I was in the Army. This was in the time of Yahoo Geocities and sparkly animated gifs all over websites with colorful text using the Comic Sans or Papyrus fonts. Those were the days.
Setting: cocktail party in a foreign country. Describe your job in the simplest way possible to someone who may or may not understand you:
I’m like a game developer, but not as cool.
What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
I feel like surviving my rebellious teen years needs to be pretty high on this list. But in all seriousness, I’d say writing a WordPress plugin that became a sort of “trend-setter” and eventually was acquired by a relatively large company was probably my greatest professional achievement so far.
What does a typical day look like for you, and what are you currently working on?
Typically, my day is comprised of short bursts of productive work on projects interrupted by lots and lots of emergencies (or “fires” as we call them) where I don my fireman’s hat and fix the problem.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the fast pace and complex nature of the work I do, but I don’t want to sugarcoat it. In this industry, rarely do things always go as planned, and you have to be prepared to switch gears in an instant to react accordingly.
I’m currently working on implementing some ground-level changes to a few of our internal processes that will help speed up our day to day workflow as an agency and on a smattering of client-facing websites that need some custom development work as well.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
- Problem-Solver (if you hyphenate, this could be one word)
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
Eh, nobody? I mean, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the variety of jobs my teammates do, but I certainly don’t envy them. I think I’m in the niche where I belong, as I have NO BUSINESS trying to design anything…and nobody wants me as a project manager, trust me.
What is on your wish list for your next years here?
I’d really love to see us work on further diversifying our offerings. Right now, we’re still pretty focused on websites, branding, and marketing. We’re in the infancy stages of developing some other ideas, though, and I’m super excited to see them come to fruition.
What’s your most memorable face-palm moment?
I like to take the Bob Ross approach to programming. I don’t make mistakes; I just make happy little accidental opportunities to learn something new.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
I don’t know if I can say it here, but it’s stuck with me since the Army. When I lived in the Barracks, above the door in my room, my roommate had put up a laminated sign that said, “Don’t let the bastards get ya down.” and it’s always resonated with me.
What’s the most recent app you’ve downloaded but have yet to use?
This seems like a gross mismanagement of resources. I don’t install apps unless I intend to use them immediately. I also uninstall them after I’ve used them if it’s not something I intend to use often.
What’s your favorite line from a film?
—Boba Fett (as he falls into the Sarlacc pit)
What is your guilty pleasure?
Fill in the blank:
At WE·DO, I’m happiest helping clients understand the science behind the mysticism of how the internet (and their websites) work.