What’s your name?
I’ve been a developer since…
I’ve been developing software since 2008.
How did you become a developer?
I was the designer at the University of Manitoba students’ newspaper, the Manitoban. A colleague learned that I had made a totally dumb website as a joke one time, so they asked me to make a new website for the publication. I figured, “How hard could it be?” and 5 months later I was a software designer, specializing in publication content strategy.
Where are you located?
What do you do at Farm At Hand?
I write codes that make the Farm At Hand app work, and I help with designs where I can, and I try to make people laugh a bit.
Why did you join Farm At Hand?
After working at the Manitoban, I worked at Farm Business Communications, which is a publishing company devoted to Canadian farming. One of my minions there was Dan Bernardić, who now works at Farm At Hand. When Farm At Hand was hiring last year, he contacted me to let me know it’s a really great place to work, mainly because of the people who work here. These days, everyone needs software, and writing software doesn’t necessarily require a deep level of interest in the subject matter. From my perspective, it’s the team you work with that really makes the situation work or not. When the people in the company are as devoted and great at what they do as they are at FarmLink and Farm At Hand, you just naturally end up becoming personally invested in the work.
I’ve been in the farmily since
What’s your experience with farming or agriculture?
I once planted poplar trees on farmers’ fields outside Portage la Prairie for some kind of tree planting experiment. It was the worst.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about farmers and/or Agriculture since you joined Farm At Hand?
I’ve learned a lot about the breadth of activities farmers could potentially undertake on their farms, and how often it seems there’s not much of a connection between the activity and the impact that activity has on the farm’s bottom line. But when these activities can be understood more easily in the context of the whole operation, their actual value becomes easy to understand. That stuff motivates me a lot to produce software that enables farmers to paint holistic pictures of their operations.
What has been one of your favourite moments?
I joined the company team to play in Manitoba’s Grain Challenge hockey tournament. I haven’t played hockey since grade 4, but I watch a lot of hockey, so I assumed it would be pretty easy. Well, I was terrible, but it was crazy fun.
What are you most excited about?
I’m just generally excited to see how Farm At Hand changes. We’re working a lot more directly with farmers these days, and really focusing our efforts on responding to farmers’ real-life needs. I don’t claim to know what’s around the corner for the app, but I know it will meaningfully impact the way farmers work, and the chances they will grow and succeed.
What’s the one thing you would like a farmer to know from the general public?
Over here from the safety of my highrise downtown apartment, farming seems romantic and whimsical. As a boy, I used to spend evenings visiting the biggest field I could reach on my bike simply for the joy of casting squinty-eyed gazes across the horizon, grumbling farm-ready phrases. “Storm’s brewin’…” I would say to myself, a long sprig of grass balancing upon my bottom lip. But then I would remember I’m a bit of a sissy boy, and I’d go home and play video games by myself.