Taking the Web Development Bootcamp in Vancouver allowed Jackson to make the switch from mortgage broker to web developer. He now works full-time on his own business (that he founded) called Tuft + Paw which sell beautiful, modern cat furniture.
What were you doing before you attended Lighthouse Labs?
Before attending Lighthouse, I was a mortgage broker and I had just started my first ecommerce store selling masquerade masks.
What made you decide to apply to Lighthouse Labs?
I needed to develop a custom app for my shopify store, so I hired a developer on Upwork. However, the process was extremely frustrating because I was not able to communicate technically with them.
Tell us about living in Vancouver as a Developer?
There seems to be lots of jobs available in Vancouver. In general, the tech scene is very strong here. I don’t think you ever need to worry about employment if you’re a developer. However, it seems like there are a lot of junior developers and not as many senior developers. So I’ve found that the quality of jobs goes way up once you become a bit more senior. Otherwise, you need to accept a lower salary for the first few years until you build up some experience.
Any great Vancouver meetups you like to attend?
I like the ecommerce meetup hosted by The Jibe. There’s also an online forum called ecommerce fuel that has a very tight knit crew that meets up every few months in Vancouver.
Tell us about your first year as a developer. When did you find a job?
I got a job right after graduating Lighthouse Labs as an MVP builder. I would build MVPs for clients using Rails. After my first job as a developer, I realized I was better as a project manager, so I got a job as the ecommerce manager at Wiivv. One of my first tasks was redeveloping the website, and the fact that I could communicate technically with the developers was crucial to the success.
What has the culture been like?
It’s very energetic; work hard play hard, with lots of passionate people.
Have you been working on any side projects?
I started a new company called Tuft + Paw and we sell beautiful modern cat furniture. It’s been growing really fast and I recently quit Wiivv to work on it full time. Having development experience is a huge asset, as I can create my own custom apps and advance website functionality. Becoming a developer also helps you improve your problem solving techniques, so overall it’s been a great experience.
What technologies are you currently working with?
What advice would you give someone who wants to become a developer?
Go to Lighthouse Labs! Don’t focus as much on pay, instead look for good companies that would look good on your resume and help you build experience doing something you’re interested in.