Q & A with Rachel Cohen, Application Developer

Here is a short Q & A with Application Developer, Rachel Cohen. Rachel joined the GEO Jobe team in November of 2020 and is based out of our Center for Research and Engineering (C.R.E.) in Gulfport, MS.

Rachel Cohen, Application Developer.

Q: What is your job at GEO Jobe, and what does it entail?

A: I’m an Application Developer for the Products team, so I help build our products. Since I started I’ve been working on big updates to many of our products, including Backup My Org, Clean My Org, Admin Tools, and Web Maps for WordPress.

Q: What has your career path at GEO Jobe looked like and what attracted you to join the team?

A: I started here about eight months ago. I joined GEO Jobe because it’s a company focused specifically on developing applications for GIS, which is my main interest as a programmer.

Q: What jobs and experiences have led you to your present position?

A: I got my undergraduate and graduate degrees in anthropology with a focus on archaeology. Archaeologists use GIS a lot, so I made that my specialty and used it for my dissertation. Along the way, I realized that academia wasn’t for me but I did like GIS and programming, so when I graduated I got a job as a GIS Application Developer with the City of Philadelphia. After two and a half years I was looking for a new position and GEO Jobe seemed like a perfect fit. 

Q: What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job?

A: On the technical side, JavaScript and Node.js, and a deep familiarity with ESRI products. But also patience, the ability to systematically try different things until you find something that works, and is really good at Googling things.

Q: Any advice for recent graduates entering into the job market and aspiring to a similar role?

A: There are a lot of really good free resources online that you can use to teach yourself programming or improve your existing skills. I learned a lot of valuable skills from Free Code Camp, Coursera, and similar sites. Also, look for an internship or similar opportunity where you can actually build an application or website–if you don’t know very much about programming, you can learn along the way.

Q: What technologies and strategies do you use in your day-to-day work that are key to success?

A: JavaScript and Node.js are the main technologies I use. Specifically, I work a lot with the ArcGIS REST API and the ArcGIS® API for JavaScript.

Q: What would you like to learn more about or incorporate into your daily work?

A: Nothing in particular at the moment, I’m just working on getting in-depth familiarity with all of our products.

Rachel’s dog Petunia enjoying the sunshine.

Q: On a more personal side, do you have a favorite newspaper, magazine, blog, or sources of inspiration?

A: As someone who is largely self-taught at programming, Stack Overflow is really useful, there’s an answer to almost any question you can think of.

Q: What kind of technology do you prefer and why? (Mac or PC, iOS or Android, and other cool tech)

A: All of my products are Apple products. I’m not the kind of person who can take my computer apart and customize it or anything like that, so I like Apple products because they look nice and are really user-friendly.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

A: I’ve been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for several years. I haven’t trained since the pandemic started but I hope to start again soon. I also enjoy hiking, bird-watching, and generally exploring nature. 

You can connect directly with Rachel and the GEO Jobe team, via connect@geo-jobe.com.

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