At SureID, we know that people make our company great, and we really want you to meet them. So we’re starting a series of posts to highlight the people we are lucky enough to call colleagues.
This month, we’d like to introduce you to Ross, a senior software engineer at SureID.
Ross is, in many ways, a typical Portlandian. He’s an active outdoor enthusiast who skis, hikes, snowboards and snowshoes, kayaks, camps, and generally spends as much time outside as he can. He owns a motorcycle that he describes as “a nice, moderate-powered one, nothing excessive, but not a putt-putt either.” He likes offbeat science fiction (Doctor Who earned a mention), both read and watched Game of Thrones, and at least tried kombucha (“gross.”). He taught himself a lot of what he knows about software engineering, both on the job and in outside studies, and he’s definitely the type to pick up a puzzle and worry at it until it’s solved – a trait he shares with many of our fellow employees. He fits well in what is, essentially, our renewed startup culture.
“I knew I was going to be in the technology field since I was itty-bitty,” Ross says. His parents noticed that he liked problem-solving, so a lot of his childhood games were puzzle- and building-oriented. He was a kid when computers started becoming household items; by 5th grade, he was reverse engineering Apple II and IBM programs to see how they worked.
It’s no wonder, then, that he drifted toward computers early in his career. He started in hardware, “just doing basic computer builds,” but quickly moved into automation and QA and, from there, to software engineering. He stayed with his second major company until the tech bubble burst, then worked his way up in a company where he stayed for 13 years.
However, Ross wanted to move north, at least partly to fulfill the outdoorsman inside, and so he looked toward Portland. In the end, SureID was lucky to get him; when the person he was going to replace chose not to move on, Ross applied with us, and he’s stayed here ever since.
Today, Ross is a full stack developer on our engineering team (meaning he works with all parts of a product). He calls himself a “decent” user interface developer, though our senior user experience developer gives him more credit than that. And last month, we gave Ross our first Big SureID Hand award to recognize the good work he’s doing to make our company and our products the best in the industry. We love his work, and he really enjoys doing it.
Not quite as much as he enjoys swordfighting, though. He brushed that off with a shrug. adding “yeah, it’s always interesting to people.” But then, he also blithely mentioned that the fighters wear armor, “you know, so we don’t die,” so we figured there was more to it.
And there is.
Since 2000, Ross has been training with the Western Circle of Swordfighters, who describe themselves as “a small group of trained martial artists” who “provide both a realistic sword art to practice and a means to put it to use.” Today, the group has several schools teaching the Western Circle fighting style, including one run by Ross himself. Consider Ross a “black belt” in the Circle’s swordfighting style, which he describes as a modern sword martial art that assumes you’re “wearing street clothes and wielding a sharpened steel sword.” This isn’t carefully choreographed clashing and dancing; it’s real and dangerous and takes time, practice, and skill. Kind of like most of Ross’ favorite non-coding activities.
Ross mentioned a couple of other “minor” interests. Take acting, for instance. He started in Redding CA, where he both acted in and did the majority of editing for a feature-length indie film (it was available on Netflix once, but I couldn’t find it when I searched). He follows the Portland goth scene too – especially the music (Die Robot is one of his local faves). His cube is protected by Nerf guns, decorated with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings swag, and guarded by these weird black fuzzy things.
Ross is, plainly, an interesting guy we’re lucky to have here. Maybe you can catch him at SureID or a local sparring event soon!
Want to know more about what a full stack developer does? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 844.787.3431, and we’ll get you answers! Or you can learn more about the amazing technology SureID engineers like Ross develop at sureid.com/our-technology.
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