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Interview with Featured Junior Developer, Jason Banks 500 500 Jr.DevJobs Hunter Meyer Co-Founder & CEO Twitter LinkedIn CrunchBase Facebook Jr.DevJobs 2024 03/2015 en-US true Jason Banks, Junior, Featured, Developers, Interview
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Jason Banks

Featured Interview
Hi Jason, tell me a little about yourself

I went to Columbia for undergrad, where I studied, in order, biology, visual arts, creative writing, and finally sociology. I then went to NYU for law school, entering with an interest in education and exiting having mostly taken courses on international law and finance. Between law school and starting my legal career, I worked on a local political campaign, interned at a non-profit, apprenticed at a cupcakery, and was a fellow at a public policy organization. Following that, after practicing securities law for a few years in London, I decided to become a web developer. I'd say what's led me to where I am today is an ardent desire to try new things in order to figure out what I want and a resistance to feeling anchored by my past decisions.

What got you interested in learning to code?

A large part of why I wanted to leave law was that I did not find my work creatively challenging and I gave a lot of thought to what I could do next that might satisfy me in that way. I have always enjoyed crafting (baking, woodworking, sewing, etc.) and figured a career in making would be a good call. Once web development bootcamps/hack schools became a thing, it was a pretty easy decision to make (particularly as I suspected, rightly it turns out, there'd be a lot of overlap with law/legal thinking). I'm super happy with my choice, but I admit that if there were three or six month intensive furniture design or food photography courses after which one could legitimately pursue such a career, we might not be having this conversation today.

Do you have a favorite language/technology? If so, what makes it so special?

Ruby is really the first language I learned and thus it is where I'm the strongest and feel most comfortable. I get really jazzed when I'm faced with logic problems to solve and, coming from a frustratingly adversarial industry, I find "MINSWAN" evidence of a shockingly cooperative, neat ethos. Notwithstanding the above, I feel like I've just arrived to the party and while Ruby is the one I know best, I'm hoping to make a lot of good friends before the party is over.

Are you currently experimenting with or plan to explore any different tool or technology?

I think it would be so awesome to get into data visualization and 3D work and so have been doing a lot of reading lately on OpenGL/WebGL and have been playing around with d3.js, three.js, and Blender. I also plan to start exploring Arduino, because projects that have physical world effects are also very cool to me.

Do you have a particular project that you're most proud of or excited about?

DevJobsTweets, without hesitation. I wanted to search Twitter for jobs efficiently and effectively and I could not find a tool that worked, so I built one. Which I think is pretty kickass. And I think others use it, too, which makes me really happy.

I understand you went to General Assembly, what was that like?

I've had a lot of teachers and instructors in my life and I speak with no hyperbole when I say that my GA teachers were the best I've ever had. They were smart, engaging, genuinely interested in and able to convey practical, useful information (both about web development and the industry itself), responsive, and also adroit at addressing the sundry levels of skill in the class. I learned a bananas amount in a very short timeframe and in a retainable way. Outside of the classroom, GA provides a lot of support and resources. I'm very happy with my decision to study at GA.

What are your hopes for the future?

I think a lot about "Sweetie" from LEMZ. That is obviously the high-water mark of what can be achieved through these technologies. I also covet a lot of the stuff on Hover States. If in the future I have the skills to and have the opportunity to assist on projects that do even a fraction of the good done by those like Sweetie or are even a little as rad as those on Hover States, I'll be a happy camper.

Any advice you'd like to give to future developers?

Just try things. You probably aren't going to break your computer or the internet.