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Showcasing Our Stars: Justin, System Administrator

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Justin is our System Administrator. He monitors our servers to make sure everything is running smoothly, manages office security and provides technical support. Today he tells us how he started at SimplyCast as a Dalhousie coop student and decided to join full time.

How did you get a job at SimplyCast?

I started at SimplyCast through the Dalhousie coop program and completed two coop terms before becoming a full time employee.

Which educational institution did you graduate from and what did you study? 

I graduated from Dalhousie with a Bachelor of Informatics.

How did you hear about SimplyCast?

Through the Dalhousie coop program.

What made you want to join the SimplyCast team?

I spoke with a few classmates when we were going through the coop opportunities in my second year of Dalhousie. I heard that SimplyCast had a unique work environment and that they used my main development language, PHP, for server side applications. When I learned SimplyCast mainly developed in PHP, I was interested in seeing how it worked in a large scale production application.

What would you like to gain from working at SimplyCast? What have you gained during your time here?

During my time at SimplyCast I've had the opportunity to see how a production application is deployed. Along with an agile development process I've become the company's System Administrator and learned how to build, deploy, configure and monitor a large number of servers for production use.

How would you explain what SimplyCast does?

We provide an automated, personal communication platform that enables our users to connect with their customers on a personal level at a large scale.

What's your vision for SimplyCast?

I would like to see SimplyCast rise to a scale similar to that of Google, Facebook or Amazon where we have our own data centers. I think that would be a very interesting environment to work in after having a part in building the company to that point.

Would you recommend SimplyCast to others?

Most definitely. SimplyCast is a very unique working environment that provides interesting technical challenges. It pushes people and encourages them to do their best.

What classes or training helped prepare you for working at SimplyCast?

While attending Dalhousie, I took several courses for sever side scripting with both PHP and Bash.

How does SimplyCast differ from other employers you have worked for?

From my experience on the development side of things, SimplyCast is a lot faster paced with a shorter development cycle. The culture is incredibly welcoming too. Everyone is willing to help the new people coming in and we have a lot of fun. Most of us are gamers so we have game tournaments, foosball on breaks and a few game consoles in the game room.

How does SimplyCast celebrate failures and/or successes?

SimplyCast believes in learning from your mistakes. We are all human at the end of the day. One moment for me in particular was during my second coop term with SimplyCast. I had been working in our list management system trying to fix a bug and didn't fully understand how one of our core system libraries worked. Through my testing I accidentally caused a series of strange issues over the next couple hours, leading to pain for the system administrator at the time. Through that experience I learned the hard way exactly how that library works. I was then put in front of the nerf firing squad.

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