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From High School Student to PHP Developer

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Cooper Gagnon has always felt a strong pull towards technology, one that has only been matched by his thirst for knowledge and aptitude for problem-solving. He also can't say no to a challenge.

This brought him to the 2015 SMU Hackathon where he competed against both high school and university students to develop solutions to real industry issues with technology. Competing with one other student, he worked to develop the prototype of Offnet – an SMS-based application that could bring the internet to the over four billion people currently without it.

The application was awarded first place, catching the eye of not only the Halifax technology community but also Saeed El-Darahali – SimplyCast's founder and CEO. The winners were given an opportunity to join the SimplyCast Team for a summer work term, but in the end no one was selected.

This didn't deter Cooper — he reached out to ask what skills he would need to meet the requirements of the position, one of which was learning the coding language PHP. He was given one month to learn the language. Thirty days later he was offered a summer position with the company – two months before he started Grade 11.

Since then Cooper has been asked back each summer to join the SimplyCast Team as he brings his passion for technology and coding to life. Starting with bug-squashing duty, his hard work led him to work on system integrations, internal document generation, and website development. It was only in September of 2017 that he entered his first year of Computer Science at Dalhousie University.

"Pretty much everything I know about marketing, business, and website development I learned at SimplyCast," said Cooper, now a PHP Developer preparing for his second semester of university. "It's great to work in an environment where every day I am presented with a new problem to solve or challenge to conquer."

"Cooper has continually excelled since joining our team in 2015, and it's been fantastic to see him grow as a developer," said Saeed El-Darahali, reflecting on Cooper's time with SimplyCast. "He has shown skill and professionalism well ahead of his years, and we can't wait to see where his talent takes him."

A steadfast believer in the hands-on education young professionals, SimplyCast offers co-operative work terms to students every semester. If you're interested in joining the SimplyCast Team, visit our career page today.

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