Jeff has been lucky enough to provide solutions to problems in the healthcare, e-commerce, non-profit, and shipping industries. He cares deeply about both quality and pragmatism, but mostly people. A year-round bicycle commuter, he has braved 80 blocks one-way through Manhattan, as well as Colorado winters. He thinks New York pizza is best but will eat any kind.

Read on to learn more about our newest Mojo!

Jeff Cole, Developer at MojoTech

1. Where’d you get educated and/or what jobs led you to your new job at MojoTech?

I studied Computer Science and Information Systems Management at Carnegie Mellon University. Upon graduating I lived for a time in each of the cultural polar opposites of the United States, Hawaii, and New York, and worked in healthcare technology and e-commerce. After that I moved to Boulder and have been consulting in several industries, enjoying the variety of projects and people.

2. Before your life at MojoTech, what was the most interesting project you ever worked on?

It's hard to pick just one because different projects are interesting for different reasons. I worked on a logistics management application for a shipping company where the domain was very deep, and we needed to support many special cases. The fact that the app was being used to manage the movement of very large vehicles in the real world was pretty neat too.

I've also had the honor of working with BreastCancer.org to build a personalized article delivery engine that recommends relevant content to users based on the diagnosis and treatment information they enter. I learned how important it is to be sensitive to your user base.

3. What do you enjoy most/least about engineering?

I love that engineering is applicable to so many areas of work, business, and life. It's our drive to constantly improve that makes us human, and the same set of skills can allow you to improve just about anything that people do.

On the other hand, this can be taken too far. I sometimes catch myself thinking too much about how to optimize my dish washing routine.

4. What personal characteristics do you feel are necessary to be a successful engineer?

Empathy. We're solving problems for people, so the ability to relate to people and determine their needs, wants, motivations, and frustrations is crucial. Curiosity and determination will also take you far.

5. What do you get out of engineering that you couldn’t get from any other kind of work?

What makes engineering unique for me is that it's a force multiplier. When we deliver a piece of work, we're not making life better for one person at one time. We're making life better for as many people that use our work over as many times that they use it.

6. Describe a time when you confronted a problem that really tested your engineering know-how.

I once built an integration with a poorly documented and sparsely supported REST API. Due to the lack of available information, I needed to make educated guesses about what data the endpoints expected and constantly test my assumptions.

7. Now that you’re at MojoTech, what are you most excited about?

I'm excited to help our clients accomplish their goals, and work with some bright and capable colleagues.

8. Which professionals do you turn to or what blogs do you read for inspiration?

I continue to learn from folks such as José Valim, Gary Bernhardt, and Sandi Metz. A great weekly newsletter on how to better operate in the world is Farnam Street.

9. You’ve been banished to a deserted island with—gasp—no wifi, but lots of power outlets. What one piece of technology would you bring?

You can still get a lot done with a laptop but no WiFi, so I'd bring that and a printer. I guess I'd just be stuck on Label Maker Pro version 3.2.1.

10. What technology is going to take over the world next?

Safe thermonuclear fusion.

11. If you weren’t an engineer, what occupation would you choose?

This changes monthly, but at the moment I'm going to have to go with theoretical physicist in search of a Theory of Everything.

12. What is your idea of happiness?

"It's a foolish thing to pursue." — Jerry Seinfeld

13. The red pill or the blue pill?

Red.