Mid Software Designer
“Josh could do anything if he’d just shut up in class and applied himself.”
[My 4th grade teacher to my mother]
How long have you been at MS3?
I’ve been working at MS3 for 2.5 years.
What do you enjoy most about working at MS3?
There are two things. First, working at MS3 has put me in the company of some of the best software development talent I’ve ever worked with. They set the bar high and give me all the tools I need to reach and exceed that bar. Second, because the company is relatively small, I can build relationships with everyone, from interns and junior employees, all the way up to our top-most leadership, Aaron and Pete. I find work much more enjoyable when I personally know who I’m working for, and know we align on alot of the same values.
What makes you happy?
I believe my perspective makes me happy. When you begin seeing challenges as opportunities for growth instead of encroachments on the way you’re used to doing things, life turns out to be a lot more fun and rewarding.
What do you like doing on your days off?
Learning new things, reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.
Which 3 people in the world, if you could choose anyone, would you take to a dream dinner party and why?
Miles Davis, Brian Shaw and Paul Graham.
Miles Davis was a musical pioneer. Before I started studying software development, I had spent most of my childhood focused on music, so I wanted to do something with music for a living. I heard Miles Davis in a jazz band class in high school. The son was “So What” on Davis’ masterpiece album “Kind of Blue”. It’s really hard to overstate how groundbreaking this album was. When this album was created, other jazz musicians were playing these incredibly athletic solos over difficult and fast-changing chord progressions. Davis had the guts to strip that all down, creating songs like “So What” that are made of two simple chords. People thought the album was going to be a flop, but it wound up bieng the best-selling jazz album of all time. To this day, “Kind of Blue” sells 5000 copies per week. It’d be cool to sit down and talk with him about his life and his views on music.
Brian Shaw is a four-time World’s Strongest Man winner. He is 6’8” tall, and weighs in at over 400 lbs. He can lift a 1000+ barbell clean off the floor, and a 440 lb log off the floor and press it over his head. He’d certainly be the biggest guy at the dinner party, and probably rack up the biggest food tab (so hopefully I’m not funding this dream dinner party). Shaw’s dedication to the sport of strongman is obvious; he’s a fierce competitor, and when he’s not competing, he’s actively looking for ways to imporve his performance. We might assume that because of this, Shaw is a closed off guy who keeps his head down and just works all the time, trying only to better himself, but if you ever watch any giving person. Shaw shares a lot of his knowledge and expertise about strength training and the sport of Strongman with the rest of the world, and you don’t typically see this with elite-level performers in any discipline. I really admire Brian Shaw as someone who is incredibly dedicated to his craft, as someone who loves to share the fruits of that dedication with others. I try to bring that same mindset to software development.
The last decision was a tough one. I wanted to pick an entrepreneur, as it’s something I’ve become increasingly interested in since starting to work at MS3. So I picked Paul Graham, but not because of his entrepreneurial success (go figure). There are certainly entrepreneurs out there that are more successful than Graham is, but I think Paul Graham made the biggest impact on me. I don’t know all that much about Graham, but I love his writing style, and his essays about LISP really expanded my view of programming languages and software development as a whole. Graham’s writings are what lead me to start questioning conventional wisdom. They more or less lead to the genesis of my current mindset towards software development. It woud be fun to talk with someone who’s had such an impact on me.