And he did it with flying colours.
Allow me to digress..
Interviewing Waterloo Co-op students can be an amusing exercise. Last winter, when I ran Waterloo phone interviews for most of the day, some prospects were extremely nervous and confused, to the point of being stumped by questions such as: ‘so why did you decide to pursue software engineering?‘ or ‘have you worked on any open source projects, or have you built a website before?‘.
It was astounding to me, that for all of their smarts, talent and ability, some were applying to work at a web development shop, but hadn’t yet explored the key technologies that are fundamental to it. So it was with great relief when I spoke with Chris and a few other applicants, who clearly had their shit together.
In the end, we ranked Chris at the top on our Waterloo Co-op placement sheet. He had the web development skills we were looking for, plenty of experience coding, and yes he had great reviews from previous employers, but what was key for us was his chill attitude and willingness to be flexible and adaptive to whatever might happen.
TWG is part client services web shop, part application incubator, part event space and beer hall. The projects we work on, applications we imagine, and things that happen here can change on a monthly basis. So it’s important that everyone here is willing to bend, but not break (young grasshopper).
Chris dropped his bag, pulled up a chair, and quickly got into the hang of things, rebuilding a data import and transformation system for one of our key clients. For some, this kind of work sounds pretty boring.. but I assure you the end result is certainly not. Chris’ tool has enabled tens of thousands of music tracks to now be accessible through a web-based platform where you can search them, filter them, sample them, and buy them. Chris also jumped into the Comfortable Mexican Sofa project – our own Open Source Rails CMS, and created a number of custom add-ons like a Polling system, and improvements to the Gallery system.
I know that this co-op term was a period of real growth in Chris’ life – in terms of his work here, his career, and in terms of his growth as a person (all great btw). We’re really glad to have had Chris work with us for the summer term, and we look forward to hearing about the amazing things he’s destined to do, and maybe even a visit here at the studio. Chris – we’ll have La Villa Strangiato cued up waiting..