Nortal Spotlight: Jack Wagster

by Nortal Cloud team, August 18, 2020

Our next Nortal Spotlight series features Jack Wagster, one of our Software Developers. Read our interview with him below.

How did you get into software engineering?

“I had no intention of getting into software engineering until I was in college. I was majoring in Business Administration and I took a computer science class as part of a general prerequisite requirement. I fell in love with what I was learning and the challenge of it, so I kept taking more classes and stayed with it.”

What were the first technologies that you worked with when you got into the technology industry?

“The first language I learned in college was Java and I used that for my four years in school. My first industry job was also in Java, so that’s the language I know really well.”

What is your favorite part of your day on your current project?

“My favorite part of the day is right after morning stand-ups because it’s a quiet time and everyone kind of separates for a bit. That’s when I can take a deep dive into my coding and solve complex business problems. I can kind of get lost in the project and I really enjoy that.”

Which technologies are your favorite to work with? Which ones are your least? 

“Java is my favorite technology to work with because it’s easy to learn and understand, so it comes pretty naturally. Outside of languages, I love working in e-commerce. Elastic Path is a really great platform to work with because it’s extensible.

I don’t have a least favorite yet. So far, I’ve enjoyed every technology that I’ve worked with.”

Which traits do you think are the most important for success in software engineering? What about consulting?

“The most important trait for software engineering is the ability to learn and retain knowledge. There are so many new things to learn on a daily basis and projects are constantly shifting, so being able to keep up with trends is crucial. Remembering past trends and skills is also really critical.

For consulting, there are two really important traits: honesty and a knack for being personable.

When you are honest and speak to people with compassion it allows you to gain trust, and that trust will take you far in consulting. A big part of consulting is working with people and outside of being able to explain the technical side of things, creating trusting relationships with partners and colleagues is really important.”

What is the most challenging aspect of your job? What is the most rewarding?

“These go hand in hand for me. Computer science doesn’t come naturally to me: it’s something I have to work at to better myself everyday. The challenge of it not coming easy, is what drives me to keep going.”

What does an ideal project look like for you?

“I’m already working on my ideal project. I love e-commerce engagements because the online shopping experience is something everybody benefits from. The developers working behind the scenes are wanting to create the most unique user experiences that keep competition on their toes. That cycle of innovation in e-commerce keeps you busy solving complex problems and makes it rewarding to be able to go online and say ‘I built that’.”

What’s your favorite Nortal memory?

“A month after I joined, we had a LAN party in the office before the pandemic. We played StarCraft II which I had never participated in before. Everyone was really excited about getting together and teaching me how to play. That was my first experience in a work situation really becoming friends with my colleagues, so it was a nice bonding experience.”

What are some work from home habits you’ve adopted that help keep you focused?

“The best habit was the hardest habit for me to pick up, which is to separate work and home. Having a space dedicated to work helps keep you focused on the things you are doing and tune out distractions that are happening behind you. When you are done working, it helps you jump back into home life so you don’t feel like you’re constantly at work.”

You can learn more about Jack on his LinkedIn and find out more about life at Nortal on our website.

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