My Name Is Jordon Biondo — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Sparta, MI | Photo by Jordon Biondo, Aha! Engineering

September 17, 2021

My Name Is Jordon Biondo — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

by Why I Joined Aha!

What are your hobbies? I am constantly discovering new activities that fascinate me. Over the years, I have played the piano, repaired old motorcycles, and even explored the world of recreational lock picking. Most recently, I earned my pilot's license and joined a flying club. No matter what the activity is, I enjoy focusing intently to figure out how something works. Once I reach a high level of mastery, I am ready to move on to my next challenge.

Pushing myself from novice to expert is thrilling — I am continually learning everything I can about new fields.

As a kid, I spent much of my free time playing video games. I even managed to create my own basic game (it involved a turtle hopping from log to log). Yet it was not until high school that I began learning to code in earnest. This was the mid-aughts — the peak of the mobile app craze — and simple games were garnering millions of downloads. I bought some programming books and taught myself a few languages, hoping to create a viral app. But I quickly realized that I would need more knowledge and coding experience to become a successful developer.

So I studied computer science in college. Each summer I interned at a company that makes 3D modeling software for architects and interior designers. After learning the company's proprietary programming language, I created internal code libraries for the other developers at the company. To my surprise, building software for my colleagues was even more rewarding than making video games. I understood exactly what my end users needed, so I could offer meaningful solutions to their problems.

After college, I built web applications at several B2B software startups. Each new role required me to learn a different programming language, and I relished the challenge of mastering languages I had never used before. My favorite was Ruby — I found its simplicity and efficiency to be liberating. In addition to my development work, I gained significant experience with product management. It was exciting to collaborate with product and design teammates on product planning and release management.

Figuring out how to excel in each new role motivated me to keep moving forward — I grew from web developer to senior developer to director of software development.

After five years at a B2B e-commerce company, I was ready for my next challenge. I wanted to join a larger company where I could take on more complex projects and build software for people like me — folks who planned, designed, and developed products. Aha! immediately came to mind since I was already an enthusiastic user of Aha! Roadmaps.

The interview process was illuminating. I distinctly recall speaking with Jonathan Steel, an Aha! engineering lead. He was extremely knowledgeable and easy to talk to. We had a long and edifying discussion about everything from how to evaluate dev tools to the specific library he used for the mockups tool in the app. This conversation sold me on Aha! — it was clear we shared similar values around transparency and a desire to drive positive change.

Now as part of the usability team, I ensure the consistency and accessibility of our platform. I have contributed to large design changes across our settings pages, modals, and alerts. I also worked to update the fonts we use — keeping our software usable, beautiful, and modern. And I do it all in Ruby, my favorite programming language.

It is a privilege to be part of a team that is always striving to deliver better tools, better performance, and a better user experience.

If you are wondering what collaboration on a distributed team is like, the answer is simple. Aha! has mastered the art of remote work. It is not only possible to have productive conversations with someone in another time zone — I often find that communication is easier than when I worked in an office. Everyone here is incredibly responsive, and I feel trusted to do my best work.

Although programming started as a hobby, I am fortunate to have been able to turn it into my career. What keeps me going is my desire to continue learning all that I can alongside my talented teammates. Together we are solving problems and building superb software for an amazing group of customers.

That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.

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