About Jake, a Kelowna PHP Programmer:
Jake is a PHP Programmer, LAMP Server Administrator and WordPress and Drupal Developer. Jake graduated in 2000 with a two-year diploma in Information Technology and Applied Systems with specialties in Internet Development, Internet Administration and Wide Area Technologies. He also has a ten-month certificate in Office Administration with specialties in Word Processing, Bookkeeping and Microcomputer Applications. He has worked with an array of web technologies throughout his tech career which suits him just fine since the reason he loves technology so much is because there is always something new to learn!
Jake worked for about three years each for three different corporations in the manufacturing, healthcare and banking industries when he finally had enough of working in the corporate world and decided to change careers. For five years he took a break from his tech career to dabble in the world of holistic healing and managed a health and wellness center, also for about three years.
It was during his years away from the tech industry, that he realized he had always worked in an IT, IMIT or IS department and started re-realizing that dream he left college with of leading a team of developers. For years in his tech career, Jake wondered if he was happy with what he was doing and seriously questioned his career choice. But you see, Jake had a habit of going home from work and then working on his own projects, sometimes until very late at night. Surely he liked what he was doing if he put in an extra five to eight hours of work, after work, right?
With the help of his psychologist, he came to realize that it wasn't the job(s) he worked but the work environments in which he was working that diminished the enjoyment he had with his tech career. They also worked together to realize that with the multi-dimensional array of interests that Jake has, working as a web developer is where he finds the most enjoyment and what he is most passionate about. With both in mind, Jake has been on a mission to get back to work in his tech career in a work environment more suited to his needs.
Jake maintains his production websites on a VPS Server with WHM/CPanel while his testing and development servers are hosted locally on his laptop using VMWare and Ubuntu Server on the command line. The majority of Jake's formal training was in networking and operating systems which allows him to design and maintain his own web infrastructure. While sitting in class on programming Cisco routers, he found himself writing Java pseudo-code on a napkin and realized he preferred web development to networking and operating systems. He was working towards a Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management with the intention of obtaining an MBA in Technology Management but decided that the type of program he desired could not be found in a University program and dropped out two years into the program.
While the bulk of Jake's corporate portfolio was in a Microsoft-based environment, his own projects have always been hosted in a LAMP-based environment. You can learn about (a few of) Jake's personal projects from his Portfolio page while the work he has done for others is listed on his Résumé Page.
More About Jake:
- My favourite place to work is in a cafe - I love coffee and coffee culture!
- I like to code in a text-based environment and working on the command line
- I am always trying to find ways to increase the delivery speed of my projects
- I see being a programmer and working on a project as an evolutionary process
- Took down the network in college learning ARCNET and Ethernet is like oil and vinegar
- I was once told that due to its design, it was impossible to install a CPU chip incorrectly onto a motherboard but my gunshot ringing ears told me otherwise
- I am a (non-practicing) Holistic Healthcare Practitioner (Touch for Health Practitioner, TFH Metaphors, SIPS, N.O.T., Reiki, Crystals, Homeopathy)
- I was with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets for eight years as a drill sergeant and drum major and band, outdoor survival, rifle range and civilian instructor
- I would have received the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award from Prince Phillip had I not blown my knee out bat catching the summer I was to backpack the West Coast Trail! Thankfully obtained my Bronze and Silver.
In 2005, I started on a major side quest that would forever change my life for the better. I am an FTM (female to male) transsexual, father and spouse of 11+ years. Like most, I struggled to gain acceptance early in my transition and my career suffered because of it.
Today, I am a trans* advocate who mentors other trans* people and does guest speaking on my experiences living as a transman.
Thankfully, companies today are embracing and seeing the benefits of diversity in the workplace. I was invited to be a guest speaker for a former employer and have been awaiting the opportunity to guest speak for a second former employer on diversity in the workplace. In hello, startup, Yevgeniy Brikman talks about the competitive advantage diversity can bring your business:
As a startup, you should explicitly seek out diversity in skills, genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds, not just because it's the right thing to do (it is), but also because it will give you a competitive advantage. Research shows that diversity makes a team more likely to experiment, be creative, and share knowledge [Ashcroft and Blithe 2010, 10] and helps a company reach more customers [Martin and Ferraro 2000], attract more talent [Holmes 2014], and build more innovative products [Nelson 2014, 88]. And the numbers don't lie: companies with diverse executive boards have significantly higher earnings [Barta, Markus and Neumann 2012] and those with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 53% in return on equity, 42% in return on sales, and 66% in return on invested capital [Carter et al. 2007].
(Brikman 2016, 400)
During my time away from the corporate world, I have had the luxury of being myself at work and felt the many benefits of doing so, including major improvements to my mental health, self confidence and sense of self.
The above photo was taken of me marching in the 2016 Trans* Pride March in Kelowna, BC, while carrying the Trans* Pride flag and wearing my "Nobody knows I'm a transsexual" t-shirt, just a a few short hours after adding this section to my website.