Q&A With Paul Barnes, Solution Engineer

Paul and his partner, Amy

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

A:  I am a Solution Engineer with GEO Jobe and I work on a team that specializes in customization of out-of-the-box Esri applications, Enterprise GIS deployment, and assisting clients with planning and management of their geospatial programs. I also have the opportunity to provide on-call GIS support for the California Office of Emergency Services to assist with response and recovery during emergencies.

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

A:  I am fairly new to GEO Jobe and my current path is consistent with the work I have done for nearly 20 years. I love the culture embodied by GEO Jobe and I have known several of the employees for at least a few years. While working in local government, I admired the dedication, follow through, kindness and consideration by GEO Jobe team members with whom I interacted. I am very pleased to be a part of this organization. 

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

A: I began my GIS experience in a private non-profit regional organization serving 15 counties and 37 cities. Because of the diversity of all of these local governments, I grew to be adaptable and forward thinking to keep up with multiple projects and changing environments. I then went on to work for a county government where I helped develop and refine their GIS program. Updating current technologies to more effectively manage data, provide services, meet inter-departmental and public requests, and create useful applications to streamline work added wonderful experiences and fulfillment.

Q: How do you feel about GEO Jobe’s future?

A: GEO Jobe is a progressive company with a family atmosphere and a dedication to growth, so I see a prosperous and bright future.

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

A: Communication, cooperation, and coordination are essential to be effective during planning, development, and troubleshooting. It is certainly important to develop skills in technology, but in the end it is all about the people and being able to determine appropriate solutions to streamline processes and increase efficiency.

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

A: Research constantly. Technology advances exponentially and that means the learning will never end. Focus on problem solving strategies and working through difficult challenges, but do not hesitate to walk away from a problem for several minutes to relax the mind. You will be surprised how many solutions you find while at rest. 

Paul’s daughers

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

A:  My go to tech includes notepads and post-it notes. I find that writing helps me more efficiently think through challenges, and leaves markers for review of peripheral ideas that can be explored later on. It is also nice to disengage from the workstation connection while taking a moment to document thoughts. Being plugged in for hours at a time can be exhausting.

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

A:  Working in technology requires a great deal of research, so learning is constant. I am very interested in Kubernetes Enterprise deployments, and I really like being able to customize out-of-the-box applications. I really enjoy learning about any new applications and technologies.

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

A: I follow GIS professionals and software developers on twitter, The Spatial Community on Slack, and some coding organizations on Discord. There are plenty of posts that address process and coding challenges, and loads of geek humor as well. I also really like to listen to Miracle Nutrition with Hearty White on WFMU. It is one hour a week of strange humor and uplifting self positive messages on the good old fashioned radio.

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

A:  I use PC/Windows for most of my daily tech work, and I use iPhone/iPad for other research, email, and other communication. I like to have a workstation and laptop going along with the phone, so I can separate projects by type while using several monitors. If I had space available I would definitely use eight monitors.

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

A: I love creating music, tromping around on mountains, writing, and making really ugly drawings. Drawing is great because it has a meditative and calming effect. Since I am so bad at it, I do not have the stress of caring if the final result will be good. I have also been doing a lot of full stack coding as well. 

Paul while visiting Alaska

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

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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!