Q&A with Jose Arias, Technician

Here is a short Q & A with Technician, Jose Arias. Jose joined the GEO Jobe team in September of 2022 and works out of the state Gulfport office.

Q: What is your job at GEO Jobe, and what does it entail?
A: As a Junior Developer on the Professional Services team, my role is to assist with development projects, absorb the world of geospatial technologies while taking on new challenges, and to continuously improve and build upon my programming skills.   

Q: What has your career path at GEO Jobe looked like and what attracted you to join the team?
A: GEO Jobe offered me an internship last September as a Technician after completing an 11-month program at the Mississippi Coding Academy (MSCA). About a month ago, I moved into a Jr. Dev position, and I hope to reach Application Developer as soon as my manager knows I’m ready – fingers crossed! GEO Jobe is a sponsor of MSCA, and I admire their efforts to uplift the surrounding communities with the concomitant vision of advancing tech careers along the Gulf Coast.

Q: What jobs and experiences have led you to your present position?
A: This company is unique because many of our team members have taken unconventional paths to get where we are. Before my coding career started, I was an executive chef at a restaurant in Waikiki and a writer for a magazine. Honestly, there are so many correlations and transferable skills from working behind the line that I would never have thought of before making the switch to this industry. Writing skills have helped me understand syntax, structure, and conciseness. After all, what we do as programmers is write a story and create an experience with code. 

Auroras in Talkeetna, Alaska

Q: What particular skills, talents or traits are most essential to be effective in your job?
A:  Resilience and imagination. Resilience empowers us to overcome obstacles and adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of this industry. It enables us to persist through all the inevitable challenges, setbacks, and failures. Imagination is what makes the mundane, tedious things fun. It fuels creativity and allows us to problem-solve from  different angles which can result in unique, innovative experiences and solutions for our clients. “We can do serious things, without taking ourselves too seriously.”

Q: Any advice for recent graduates entering into the job market and aspiring to a similar role?
A: My best advice is to establish habits and strategies for learning new information quickly and deeply, find something creative or relaxing to do outside of work that has nothing to do with programming, and to learn how to sleep/rest well. Creating a work-life balance starts with ourselves.

Q: What technologies and strategies do you use in your day-to-day work that are key to success?
A: For productivity, a browser extension I can’t live without is Vimium. For taking notes and managing thoughts, I use a Zettelkasten system (worth looking up!) in conjunction with Notion/Obsidian. For mental health, I practice Rāja yoga, and intersperse box-breathing throughout the day to soothe my brain. 

Q: What would you like to learn more about or incorporate into your daily work?
A: I would love to involve a mentor in my career journey. Don’t get me wrong, the team at GEO Jobe positively influences me every single day, but, like a reliable therapist, it’s always beneficial to have an unbiased, diverse perspective looking in from the outside. A friend told me he read about a manager at a different company that requires their junior developers to ask two “stupid questions” per day. Maybe I’ll do that, too. 

Honored with a Samoan tatau from Tufunga using original tapping method

Q: On a more personal side, do you have a favorite newspaper, magazine, blog, or sources of inspiration?
A: The Economist is a publication that’s helped me understand how the world works. Das Bild is a German news website that allows me to maintain my German speaking skills and lets me view the American phenomenon from a new platform. I love football (soccer), and my favorite team is Chelsea F.C. from England. Right now they have an interesting dilemma in that they have so many expensive, world-class players, but they can’t seem to score goals and win games. The team-psychology aspect of how they will come together as a team or strategize for next season will be an interesting story to follow.

Q: What kind of technology do you prefer and why? (Mac or PC, iOS or Android, and other cool tech)
A: I strictly had Apple products before working here; every product just connects and works seamlessly together. But in a surprising way, I do like switching over to the Windows computer during the week because the different environment puts me in work-mode and helps me focus. 

Q:What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?
A: I love to cook – it’s therapeutic for me. Going to farmer’s markets, finding new ingredients to play with, breaking them down, and using all my senses: Listening to how hot a pan is by the sizzle of the ingredients. Smelling the aromas that evolve over the process which reflexively create strong memories. Using touch to test the doneness of things such as pasta, vegetables, or meat. Seeing how each ingredient is engineered by nature and finding patterns. Manipulating the knife to create stronger kinesthetic bonds between mind and a physical outcome. Finally, and certainly the best part, tasting as you go to adjust the final result. Cooking is one of those things that makes us human!

Top of Kesugi Ridge overlooking Denali
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