Introducing our newest development expert, Ron Pearl.
What got the party started in terms of you pursuing development?
My brother was working in PHP back in 1999-2000 and I was working as a bowling mechanic. He showed me how awesome it was to write applications and I felt like I wanted to do it as well. My first door in was working at AOL as a regular customer service rep, and I just kept going from there.
You’ve put some miles in your career. What has surprised you about it? And what turned out just like you expected?
As I continue my career in development, it’s surprising to see how much the position has evolved. Gone are the days of the stigma for a coder of being a quiet introvert. Now anybody can do it if they are willing to put the time into learning and understanding that most of what we do is problem solving.
I don’t think I really expected anything beyond doing what I love to do: Be a coder.
Is there such a thing as a typical day in the life of a developer?
Not really. You could come in one day and have a bunch of tasks that you need to check out and prioritize in order to meet deadlines, while some days you may have an empty plate and you need to manufacture a problem to solve (aka, learn something new). I know my wife thinks I come to work, sit all day, and just play on a computer, but in reality it’s a non-stop rollercoaster of planning and thought processing.
Just look at all of the development services that the Bigfish offers to our clients – somebody’s gotta do them!
You’ve taken on a mentoring role at Bigfish. What kind of wisdom are you dispensing?
Over the years I’ve been a developer, I’ve branched out into a bunch of different aspects of coding, whether that’s working in different frameworks or just experiencing different working environments. A development role is constantly changing and coding practices are always being pushed to the limits, which turns out to be awesome because and I happen to enjoy trying new things and forcing myself to learn as much as possible as fast as possible. As a result, I think I possess a well enough rounded background to be helpful to anybody…Not to mention, I really do enjoy helping others succeed.
Give us the lowdown on your dream project.
I don’t know that I have a dream project. I am into sports and outdoors stuff, so I guess I would really enjoy building something within those genres. I’ve built an NFL pick’em website that my friends and I use personally, which has evolved over the years, and I always have fun working on that and making it better.
Give us the lowdown on your dream weekend.
My dream weekend would basically entail renting a nice cabin in the country on a lake, bringing a bunch of friends, and taking a boat out and fishing. I like to keep things simple.
It’s your turn to cook. What’s for dinner?
Ha, joke’s on you. I am married to a chef so I don’t do this much. Although, when I HAVE to do it, it’ll be something on the grill like a nice steak or wrapped shrimp.
This question has become obligatory: You’re surrounded at the office by actual (and self-proclaimed) “creatives.” Do you have any creative outlets?
I used to do photography and I certainly enjoyed getting out and doing landscape or nature photos. I also really enjoyed doing one of those painting party classes where you can bring your own beer. My wife and did this and I surprisingly ended up with a really nice painting.
A little bit country? A little bit rock n’ roll? A little bit (or a lot) of something else?
Lots of country, a good amount of rock and roll, and a little bit of console gaming. But, if I am not doing those things I’ll be with my daughter. She is my world alongside my wife, and I don’t know what I would do without them. Plus, they’re both crazy, and I’m not sure what they would do without me!
Sell me on a dude named Ron in 25 words or less.
I’m not for sale, but if I was, the target buyer would be someone looking for a well-rounded and actively progressive developer. I am someone with a love for family, a passion for nature, and a desire to be effectual at whatever I do.