Get to Know Sone

Get to know Sone, who transferred from hardware and IT, to programming and web development. Sone also enjoys gaming and disc golf!

Full Transcript Below:

Cris:

What is your background in tech? How did you find tech? How did you get into it?

Sone:

I’ve always been on the hardware side, hardly any software. I couldn’t see myself doing that for the rest of my life. I quit my job and-

Cris:

Just cold turkey? Quit and said, “I’m going to start coding now?”

Sone:

Recently, I just started disc golfing.

Cris:

Oh, really? Okay.

Sone:

Yeah.

Cris:

Wow. Let’s get a game together. I’m terrible, by the way, but I’ll totally play.

Cris:

Welcome, man. Good to have you with us today.

Sone:

Glad to be here.

Cris:

Jumping in, having these conversations, getting to know the team. I’ve really enjoyed the last few, and I’m looking forward to this one. Let’s get into it. What is your background in tech? How did you find tech? How’d you get into it? What brought you to tech?

Sone:

I’ve always been interested in computers. My dad was… He seemed to be one of the first people to get a computer. We got interested in that, me and my brother, and my father. I’ve always been on the hardware side though, hardly any software.

Sone:

My first programming was… I built a website, a personal website, and it’s still hosted. I happened to check and it kind of works.

Cris:

Kind of works?

Sone:

It was before HTML5 and CSS. I guess that’s why it’s not actually rendering.

Cris:

The days of Flash and stuff?

Sone:

Yeah. I ended up attending a technical college and I learned on the hardware side. I ended up getting a job as a field service technician, driving to different locations, fixing computer equipment — their equipment. I couldn’t see myself doing that for the rest of my life. I had a couple friends that got into programming, and they said, “Hey, you should try programming.” I ended up making the switch. I quit my job and…

Cris:

Just cold turkey? Quit and said, “I’m going to start coding now?”

Sone:

Not cold turkey, but about a year after I made the decision, I was like, “Okay. I’m just going to work really hard, work long hours, and save up”, and I quit. This was back in Missouri. I quit and I came down here to Fresno, I have family here, and try to focus on software development.

Cris:

That’s cool.

Sone:

I ended up joining a coding school to get better structure, because I was just jumping everywhere, learning different languages, and it wasn’t really structured.

Cris:

Learn some of the best practices and stuff.

Sone:

Yeah.

Cris:

Because you have the head knowledge, but it’s like, “How do I best apply this, and follow standards?” That sort of stuff.

Sone:

That’s how I got into software development.

Cris:

Very cool. What brought you over to us, over to Bixly? What made you make the leap from doing code academy stuff, being the freelancer, and now, getting connected with Bixly?

Sone:

The coding school that I went to is an eight month long course. In about the fourth month, halfway in, I happened to look for software development jobs in Fresno, and Bixly came up. I didn’t want to apply right away. This was a year ago, and I wanted to finish school first. The week that I… The last week of school I ended up applying to Bixly, the first place I applied that weekend.

Cris:

Oh, wow!

Sone:

Yeah. That’s…

Cris:

And we called you up and were like, “Hey! How’s it going?”

Sone:

Yeah. Yeah. Pretty much. Yeah.

Cris:

What was that process like coming on board with us? We’ve obviously hired a few people over the years. What was that like for you? Was that something that was enjoyable, the process working with Bixly? Was that something that was a little crazy? I always love that kind of feedback.

Sone:

It was interesting, because Alexandra had emailed me the first week of my application, but it went into my spam folder, and I didn’t actually see it. A week later she emailed me again, and then I happened to check my spam folder, and I saw it. I’m like, “Hey let’s do pre…” She set up a pre-screen interview, but that was around Thanksgiving. The pre-screen interview couldn’t happen until after Thanksgiving because scheduling conflicts. Then, she gave me the coding test, but then the coding test was around Christmas, so I had to…

Cris:

It just keeps… yeah.

Sone:

It kept getting postponed. Then, I had an interview after the coding test. A few months later, now I’m here.

Cris:

Now you’re here. It was a long process, but it was worth the wait, which is good. You’re here at Bixly now. You’re obviously working with us. What are some of the things that you like about working at Bixly?

Sone:

Sometimes you get free food. You guys order food for us. You guys play games, take breaks. My previous job, I would work seven days straight.

Cris:

Oh wow.

Sone:

Towards my last year there, sometimes, I wouldn’t get a weekend off in two months. Every two months I would just… but that was my doing.

Cris:

It was self-inflicted. You would… okay. All right.

Sone:

Because I wanted to possibly save up, and quit. That was my doing. The work-life balance there was bad. Here, the work-life balance… it’s pretty good.

Cris:

It’s much better.

Sone:

It’s much better, especially compared to my previous job, but…

Cris:

That’s good. We’re obviously stretching you, day in and day out, learning new technologies and things like that. What is some of the stuff that… It may be things that we’re doing here, but it might also be stuff you’re learning on the side. What are you excited about in tech right now? What new, up and coming things make you get out of bed every morning and want to show up?

Sone:

Actually I just learned about this new –  well, it’s new to me. It was out for a while, but it’s a mapping…

Cris:

Mapbox.

Sone:

Mapping library. It’s called ArcGIS, Geographic Information System. You can use their mapping technology and you can do different things, mapping different coordinates. I happen to be trying it out last week. It was a map of Santa Monica and you could click on a bookmark and they would take you directly to it if you clicked on a certain bookmark. I was thinking of trying to play with it to see what I could do. I had an idea for an application. I don’t know if you want to…

Cris:

Jumping in these… we can offline that.

Sone:

It’s not really a secret. It’s not really a big technical… I had this idea at my previous job. I drove around a lot to different locations. I would see on the side of the road they have the roadside memorials. I was wondering, “What’s their story? What happened?”, and all this stuff. I thought that would be a good application to… you could pull up the app and you could see their roadside memorial when you click on it. You could see, “This is the person.”

Cris:

There’s this story. This is… Wow.

Sone:

Their loved ones can write a little something on there. After I found this library at the ArcGIS, I was like, “Maybe I could finally work on…”

Cris:

Start applying that to… that’s pretty cool.

Sone:

It’s been a while. I had this idea for five years. That’s what I was thinking of working on on the side.

Cris:

Don’t let that idea go by the wayside. That’s pretty awesome. Definitely, if you could help give some of these families an opportunity to have some closure, keep memories alive. That’s fantastic. We’ve obviously talked tech, which is great. What else do you do outside of tech? I know you have some other hobbies, other passions. What are those?

Sone:

I used to stream.

Cris:

You used to stream?

Sone:

My Internet’s been bad lately. My upload speed is bad. I used to stream on Twitch, but that’s on the back burner right now.

Cris:

What were you streaming?

Sone:

Mainly Fortnite. At first, I was doing Red Dead Redemption. I got bored with that and I moved over to Fortnite. There’s so many streamers out there that… it’s hard to make a living out of it.

Cris:

Could be a little bit of a saturated market.

Sone:

Thousands of people start every month. Recently, I started disc golfing.

Cris:

Oh really? Okay.

Sone:

I go out there and I’ve only been there twice, because it’s been a couple of weeks. It’s a lot of form. Your form has to be just right or your Frisbee can go…

Cris:

In all which ways.

Sone:

Any which way. The second time I went, I think my form was better, but I still need to work on it. Probably, this weekend, go again and practice.

Cris:

That’s good. Once you feel comfortable inviting more people out, let’s get a game together. I’m terrible by the way, but I’ll totally play. My form is awful, but I think it could be fun. Most definitely.

Sone:

I heard Aaron was pretty good.

Cris:

Exactly. We have quite a few people here that actually really enjoy doing the disc golf. We should probably put together a little Bixly sanctioned disc golf day and call it an outing. It could be fun. Well, cool. This was so much fun, Sone, and I really appreciate you taking some time to really have a candid conversation and talk about your backstory. Good to have you with Bixly and looking forward to doing another one of these again in the future.

Sone:

All right. Thank you.

Cris:

You’re welcome.

Alexandra:

Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of Meet the Bixly Team. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Sone a little bit better. He’s one of our favorite team members here. We’re so glad to have him here. Don’t forget to check out the special links that we have for you in the description down below. You can find a link to our free custom software guide, which will walk you through the steps of getting through planning your own custom app idea. Whether that be for web or mobile or both. Whatever your solution might look like. You can also check out our website Bixly.com. At the very top of our website, there’s a button that says validate your app idea. If you click that, you can schedule a free meeting with Cris, 60 minutes, to talk about your app idea and we’ll point you in the right direction. Until next time, this has been an episode of Bixly Tech Tuesday.