Meet the Team: Five Ws with Jonathan Whang

March 25
blog author

Appno Blogger

Appnovation Coop

1) Who are you?

Hello, my name is Jonathan, most people call me Jon but lately that's been getting kind of annoying as we have hired two other "Johns / Jons" in the office. My closer friends call me all sorts of things that range from Johnny or my last name (Whang) to Whangimus-prime in reference to my love for Transformers (figures, shows and everything in between).

Outside of work I am a bit of a gym rat and enjoy most sports, with basketball being at the top of that list. I think if you ask people in the office they'd say I'm a straight shooter, which is a nice way of saying I'm frank/direct. I wouldn't necessarily disagree with that, but I'd like to think of it as just being honest with everyone. In general I'd say I'm easy going and approachable, partied really hard during high school and university years, but these days I tend to prefer just staying home and taking my dog Uno for walks.


2) What is your role at Appnovation and what does it entail? What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

Over the years I've taken on the role of being a "lead" developer. In the Appnovation world that means you act as traffic controller for the development side and handle management of the different environments related to a project. It also means you sometimes take on the more interesting tasks which tend to be challenging at the same time. A usual day consists of debrief scrums in the mornings, or mid mornings depending on the client, backlog grooming meetings, prospective client project estimates and most days just coding and completing stories. There is time allocated for mentoring and career development meetings, but for the most part I like to be head down focused on project delivery.


3) Where are you located? Where do you hail from originally?

I currently am stationed at the Vancouver office, but spent the majority of my formative years in the Philippines so I am able to speak in Filipino apart from English. I've settled into Vancouver and have my own place so I'm in it for the long haul. It's a great city with lots of personality and that standard west coast chill vibe.


4) When did you join Appnovation?

It's been five years and change since I joined Appnovation which means I've experienced two of the four office moves, coming from a small basement-ish unit to two bright floors of open concept modernness.


5) Why do you do what you do? Why did you decide to join Appnovation?

The first job I took coming out of BCIT was working for a small "from my basement" company that specialized in doing Microsoft office mods. I was coding in using Visual Studio and making custom toolbars for Excel/Word basically. The opportunity came around that Appnovation was hiring Drupal devs and I had always wanted to learn and work with PHP as opposed to a proprietary system like Microsoft. One thing led to another and I ended up landing the position and instantly fell in love with Drupal, mainly because of it's flexibility and extensibility. It strikes a very good balance between Front End VS Backend and Existing (contributed) modules VS Customization ability.

I enjoy what I do because at the end of the project I get to tell my mom, dad and friends "Hey guys, check out this site I built". Projects are so diverse, you are always seeing something new while at the same time able to lend your past experience to it, which is a hard combination to find. Most of the time your work ends up being redundant and you get so good at it you're bored, or it's completely new every single time and you feel lost every time you get assigned something. I like being innovative, trying new things and being able to feel like I'm an integral part of a team and that's generally the culture here in the office.