Ambassador Profile: Jesse Shaver

Photo protrait of DO-IT Ambassador Jesse Shaver
DO-IT Ambassador Jesse

My name is Jesse, I was a DO-IT Scholar in 2003. I am a software developer for a small software consulting company in the San Francisco Bay Area. I develop custom web and mobile applications for customers in languages including Java, Groovy, C#, and JavaScript. I have worked on software projects for industries ranging from publishing to bio-medicine to finance.

I have a bachelor's degree in computer science from Goshen College in Indiana. Throughout college, I had a broad range of internship experiences from small companies and start-ups to IBM, Microsoft, and NASA. These internships gave me invaluable hands-on experience in the industry and taught me how to learn a new organization and get up to speed on a new team. I received hands-on experience in everything from software testing and development to performance tuning and benchmarking. I was given an amazing window into how each of the organizations work and an opportunity to see what I liked and disliked at each organization. In all of my internships I was a contributing member of the team with substantive projects that allowed me to improve my technical skills and contribute real value to the organization. In one internship I estimated that my hardware setup would retail for somewhere north of half a million dollars.

My disability is dyslexia, which means that having spelling checker tools are incredibly important when I write documentation and code. Despite the challenges it presents, I think my experience with dyslexia has made me good at thinking about problems and components in terms of the systems they are a part of rather than just individual pieces, which is a major benefit in my job.

I became interested in computing because I think of myself as a problem solver. I enjoy understanding problems and finding solutions to them. A lot of my job is doing exactly that—figuring out what it is that the client needs and the most effective way to meet that need. Computers happen to be my platform of choice for solving problems, which is what I am most exited and passionate about.

I think it is valuable to think about computers as a tool—a means of reaching an end. People in the technology field can impact the world by using computers and their knowledge to solve issues that they find personally important. For me these have ranged from developing cutting edge medical tools for doctors to helping people access important services easily.