Today we’re sharing another member spotlight for one of our long-time members, Jeff Eliasen. You’ve probably seen his smiling face (and bare feet) around the space. Next time you see him be sure to say hello and ask him to chat about coding, technology, puzzles, and/or anything related to pirates.
Jeff is a software engineer, working remotely for companies on the mainland. He’s been ‘enamored’ with computers since he was a little kid, and learned to program before his tenth birthday. He’s passionate about algorithms and data structures, and loves solving data problems. His career choice was easy. He says, “It just seemed natural to spend every day solving problems for pay.” Hard to disagree with that!
I asked him a few questions about how someone new could get into coding. He says that if someone wanted to become a developer or get started with coding, it’s a good idea to start with a coding bootcamp (which didn’t exist when he was learning programming), and determine if you like the kinds of work necessary to complete the course. He also recommends seriously considering a degree in Computer Science or Mathematics if you want to do data work (analysis, machine learning, etc.), or maybe a degree in Design if you want to design and build websites or other digital applications.
Some of the largest changes in the coding world are the availability of powerful tools to people of all skill levels. He believes this democratizes data analysis, e-commerce, and communications (and many other areas). He says that in the next few years we’ll likely see a lot of ‘pulling back the curtains on monolithic business and government entities’ and probably upsetting the current power structure.
In addition to his own coding work, Jeff is a co-founder of the group PyHawaii, the local Python meetup (to be clear, it’s about website coding, not snakes). Python is one of the most-used coding languages in the world right now and is very easy to learn. The meetings typically involve a lesson at a beginner level, a lesson at an intermediate or advanced level, and solving a puzzle as a group to learn problem-solving skills. The group meets the first and third Wednesday of every month and he encourages new and experienced Python users to join!
Jeff loves working at Impact Hub HNL because it’s well-situated around restaurants, coffee shops, and a theater, because it’s near the mall but not so close that traffic is an issue, and (most importantly, we think) because it’s filled with people that make him excited to come to the “office” every day.
Thanks, Jeff, for your time and energy! We’re excited to see you at the office everyday, too!