Q & A with Andy Million, Application Developer

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

Application Developer, Andy Million.

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

A: I am an Application Developer, creating and maintaining apps written in JavaScript and Python. I work with a small team developing custom software solutions for our clients. One day I may be debugging an error and the next day, I may be retrieving data from a spatial database to transform, analyze, and then load into a map.

Q: What attracted you to join the GEO Jobe team? 

A: GEO Jobe has a great reputation across the geospatial industry. I wanted to be part of that team and help build that reputation. I was also interested in what GEO Jobe was doing. From UAV to robust ESRI tools, to custom mapping solutions, everything was appealing to me!

Andy crossing a rushing Boulder Creek to climb Tonnere Tower outside Boulder, CO.

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

A: I graduated from college with a BS in Geography and a focus on geospatial technology. After that, I worked various GIS jobs from a non-profit to oil and gas, to state/federal contract roles. These different fields gave me a varied background and experience using different tools and working for different clients. My previous role as a full stack developer and gave me a great foundation to build on.

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

A: Communication and time management are very important. Communication is especially important in a Covid-19 world where the whole team is distributed and not working face to face. Time management is key because it’s easy to get sidetracked or spend too much time stuck on a problem.

Of course, problem-solving skills are paramount for a developer role. Being able to identify the issue and root causes is a big part of my role. Taking previous knowledge and experiences can speed up the process, so it is important to think of the small details, but also the bigger picture.

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

A: Both the geospatial and development world can be tough to break into. I think it’s very important to build a professional network and the sooner you start the better. This was much easier pre-Covid, but it’s just as important now, if not more. My first developer role was because someone I knew referred me for a job. My professional network has opened many doors and having someone that will vouch for you can go a long way.

Another bit of advice is to keep at it. It can be easy to get discouraged when you apply for a number of jobs and never hear back. Keep trying and continue developing your skills. Side projects and a well-polished portfolio are a great way to capture a hiring manager’s attention.

Andy and his wife at Machu Picchu, after a 4-day hike in.

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

A: I utilize a variety of technologies, but the primary ones are Git/BitBucket for version control, Webstorm/PyCharm for JavaScript and Python development, and Slack/Google for communication.

I use Spotify for music and the occasional podcast. I also have found that using a Pomodoro timer is great for time management and “time-boxing” tricky tasks.

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

A: There is no shortage of things I would like to learn! For now, I just want to focus on my problem-solving skills and work on algorithms and data structures.

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

A: I really enjoy following adventure photographers/videographers. Seeing the incredible shots they capture of people climbing or biking in remote parts of the world is incredible. A couple of standouts that I follow are Keith Ladzinski and Jimmy Chin.

Andy and his daughter at the top of some sand dunes in Glen Arbor, MI.

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

A: I have been a PC/Android guy for a long time. Surprisingly, I just switched to an iPhone a couple of months ago. I grew up using PCs, starting in the days of DOS/Windows 3.1 so it’s always been the most comfortable choice. I do use and enjoy Mac/Linux products.

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

A: I enjoy spending time with my wife and 5-year old daughter. I also enjoy traveling, motorcycle racing, and many outdoor activities (rock climbing, mountain biking, camping/backpacking, etc). When time allows, I also brew beer and work on cars.

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From our GEOPowered Cloud to custom solutions, GEO Jobe is committed to showing clients how geospatial thinking can guide them to save time, money, and make better business decisions. The power of GIS, Simplified!