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Employee Spotlight – Jeff Ward, Development Project Lead

Posted on January 8, 2019 by OliviaOlivia

As a project lead on our development team, Jeff works to ensure Linux Academy standards are met and that each team member has the information, assets, and resources they need to be successful and to complete projects on time. He leads the team from a project and technical perspective and works to understand what other teams are building and how those applications will impact the student. Learn more about what Jeff does at Linux Academy and why he loves working here!

Currently listening to: You can find me listening to EDM (Armin Van Buuren – A State of Trance, Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten), but also ’90s rock/punk (Offspring, Green Day, Weezer) — or Christmas music lately because my wife is obsessed!

1. What do you do at Linux Academy?

I have been with Linux Academy since July 2016. I started as a Senior Developer and moved into the Project Lead/Team Lead role roughly 12 months later. I have now been a Project Lead on the development team for the past 18 months or so.

2What did you do before this?

I worked at a company in Chicago as the lead web developer. I was moving to Texas for family reasons and happened to find Linux Academy through a recruiter. Have not looked back since!

3. What do you like most about what you do? 

First and foremost, knowing the efforts of myself and the development team as a whole bring new, better, and impactful ways for our students to learn. I think, like many creators, I love making something out of nothing — creating features and services that fulfill a need where nothing existed before. Another aspect I really enjoy is helping mentor team members and watching them grow into leaders themselves.

4. What’s your favorite part of working at Linux Academy?

The culture. Everyone is there to help when needed. Feeling like part of a team. We celebrate the big and small milestones and always know there is someone you can look to if you are stuck or just need encouragement. The company truly cares about its employees, and it shows in many ways. It is by far the best place I have ever worked.

5. What are you most looking forward to at Linux Academy in 2019?

Helping change people’s lives through education. Growing the team here at Linux Academy to support that mission in order to enable us to reach and impact even more students.

6. What are you currently learning?

I’m currently digging into AngularJS and furthering my knowledge in Ruby on Rails, as the development team uses both daily. I’m also looking at doing some of Linux Academy’s own AWS courses in the new year to pick up a certification or two on the cloud side of things.

7. What do you like to do in your free time? 

Online gaming, spending time with my family and friends, and family game nights.

8. Favorite food?

Steak, pasta, wings, lamb chops, pizza.

9. Favorite quote and why? 

“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love comes along and gives us a fairy tale.” It’s a quote my wife found years ago — that’s kind of our life: We were not looking for each other, but it just kind of happened!

10. What’s something you’re really excited about right now?

Having the adoption of our daughter finalized!

11. What do you like to collect?

Pets, apparently — we have seven dogs, 10 cats, two hamsters, and a beta fish.

12. If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?

To be able to travel anywhere just with the blink of an eye — I have family in Chicago, Florida, Toronto, and Bermuda, and it would make it so much easier to visit!

13. You’re a new addition to the crayon box — what color would you be, and why?

A mix of green and blue — aquamarine, I guess you can call it. The color of the ocean in Bermuda — I grew up on the beaches there and miss the water!

14. Teach us something we may not know in 10 sentences or less.

I am from Bermuda. I met my wife in an online game 18 years ago and moved to the United States after being married. I love hockey — I will watch any game, any time! I also am a big fan of Disney! We go to Walt Disney World as often as we can — it’s one of our happy places. I always say I go for the food — she goes to be a princess.

15. If you could interview one person (dead or alive), who would it be?

My father — I lost him suddenly five years ago and wish I could have one more day to ask him anything.

16. What’s one thing on your bucket list?

A trip to Europe with my wife — France, Italy, England. I love the history, architecture, and food.


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