If you really want to upset a front-end developer, all you have to do is mention Internet Explorer. Why does this seemingly innocent web browser get them so worked up? You’ll have to read our interview with Jared Cole, UI Developer at Vail Resorts, to find out.
What is your current job title?
I started as an entry-level Front-end Developer and then became an Interactive Developer in my previous company, Movement Strategy. I’m now UI Developer at Vail Resorts.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day is as follows:
8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Arrive at the office, get settled in, boot up my computer, read some posts from my favorite tech/programming blogs, eat some breakfast, drink some coffee
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Stand-up meeting (the dev team updates each other on what we finished yesterday, what we are working on today, and if there is anything blocking us from accomplishing our objective for the day)
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Answer any emails, then meet with designers and project managers to discuss upcoming projects
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Work on some code for current project
12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch break
1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. More code!
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Push any finished code to our code repository. Have a beer with the bosses and dev team.
Sometime after that, go home.
What are your favorite aspects of your job? What are the things you would change if you could?
I enjoy solving problems and making fun, interactive experiences for users that push the boundaries in technology. I also love getting to learn new things almost every day. It keeps things interesting.
The biggest thing I wish I could change is what browsers people use. Haha! Seriously though, it’s crazy how many people use outdated versions of Internet Explorer. Supporting older browsers can sometimes double the amount of work on a project and be a little boring since you can’t do all the fancy new things the modern browsers can do.
What did you study in college? How does your major relate to your current position?
My degree is in Information Technology. I was able to take a focused course study on Web Development which is exactly what I do now. However, I feel that I learned more from on the job experience and side projects than anything I learned in the classroom. Not to say that theoretical knowledge isn’t helpful, but real-world application of the skills doesn’t always match the theoretical approach you learn in school.
What advice would you give to college students who are interested in working in your field?
Make stuff. Just keep making stuff. The more web pages/web apps/programs/etc. that you build, the better you will become. Get involved with an open source project or make a cool jQuery plugin and post it on GitHub. If you don’t have a GitHub account, make one now and start sharing projects there. Your GitHub account will become your résumé.
Ask questions and give answers on Stack Overflow. Sometimes the best way to learn or sharpen skills is by helping others solve problems. Have fun! Enjoying the projects you work on is important!
How would you recommend finding an internship in your field?
The best thing to do is search your area for tech companies and find some that do work that interests you. Contact their hiring department or HR department and ask about intern positions. Also, keep a lookout on Craigslist. Legit companies do put out ads to hire interns, just watch out for companies that are trying to exploit you for free labor!
Homework time! Listen to Jared. Go out and get yourself a GitHub account, and go post or answer a question on Stack Overflow. Do it!