My Name Is Steve Lamotte — This Is Why I Joined Aha!
March 13, 2020

My Name Is Steve Lamotte — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

by Why I Joined Aha!

It only got me in trouble a few times. As a kid, I loved taking things apart — especially electronics — to try to understand the inner workings. I destroyed a few items along the way but always had the support of my parents. After I expressed an interest in computers, they bought me a Commodore VIC-20. This changed everything for me. Instead of disassembling it, I learned everything I could about how to program in BASIC and write assembly language.

I would describe myself as an inquisitive person — extreme curiosity drives me forward.

I was fortunate to realize very early on that I wanted to program computers for a living. I studied computer science at the University of Manitoba, then joined the City of Winnipeg as a junior developer. I designed applications and challenged myself to learn many new technologies in my free time. Before long, I was showing senior developers on the team how to use new tools to increase productivity.

One day, my project manager pulled me aside and suggested that I might enjoy consulting. After a few years, I realized this was true. I was ready to tread my own path even though it was risky. It would be up to me alone to find clients and make sure they were happy. And I made it happen. I worked on development projects for companies in a wide variety of fields, including finance, tax, payroll, online promotions, and public transit.

Learning how things worked at each organization was rewarding, continually feeding my curiosity.

One of my favorite assignments was at Winnipeg Transit, where I led a team in building cutting-edge public information systems. I supervised the transformation of their infrastructure and introduced server virtualization on a large scale. It was here that I discovered Ruby on Rails. I immediately fell in love with the language and soon joined the small Ruby community in Winnipeg to keep learning.

At this point, I had worked for many years as a consultant. I decided to take a few months off to travel and recharge. When I returned home, I felt a pull to work closely with a team again and started looking for full-time roles. So when I noticed a DevOps position at Aha! on We Work Remotely, my interest was piqued.

Here was an opportunity to use Ruby daily at a fast-growing and profitable company. I grew even more excited as I read about Aha! and the company values, especially transparency and service. The interview process left me impressed. It felt more like a series of comfortable discussions rather than the adversarial approach I had experienced in the past.

Since joining the Aha! engineering team, I have mostly done behind-the-scenes DevOps work. I help to make our infrastructure more resilient, secure, and performant. I also maintain our staging environments and implement both internal and customer-facing improvements to the application.

Whether I am helping a fellow engineer deploy or discovering a new part of the app, I learn something every day.

I love reviewing my teammates’ code because I get to share my knowledge and discover new ways to solve problems. I also enjoy using the annual education stipend that every teammate at Aha! receives. I earned a certification that has already directly benefited my DevOps work.

The engineering talent at Aha! is truly top-notch. The transition from being an independent contractor to a teammate has been especially validating. Everyone is smart, helpful, and kind — just as advertised. It is an absolute joy to be part of something so special and work with teammates who value curiosity as much as I do.

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

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