My Name Is Steven Petryk — This Is Why I Joined Aha!
It started with a trip to the bookstore. As a kid, I had always enjoyed tinkering with things. So when I spotted a book on web design, I was intrigued. I asked my mom if we could buy it and immediately began devouring the content. It was amazing. I could not believe that this information was freely accessible to anyone. And I loved it.
First, I built a little website for my mom’s vegetable co-op. Then, I moved on to making sites for friends and neighbors, eventually creating more complex online experiences for local businesses.
By college, it was pretty obvious that I should study computer science.
I moved to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida. Although my course load was engaging, I wanted to move outside of the classroom and meet new people. So I decided to get a part-time web development job after my first semester. Eventually, I moved to an engineering role at a mobile application consultancy, where I built web experiences that complemented the mobile apps we shipped.
Consulting work was fun and high-velocity. It allowed me to quickly explore many technologies. I also contributed a lot to open source — I was happy to see that I was not the only one excited about how easy it is to teach oneself programming.
However, I knew I was missing a critical skill: building codebases with a team.
It is surprisingly easy to build up a new codebase by yourself, but modifying and adding features to an existing one is hard. I wanted to work on a large application with a team that had lots of experience, so I began my job search.
My roommate worked for a fully remote database company. He saw Aha! while looking for his job and told me I might want to look into the open roles on the engineering team. After seeing his enthusiasm for working remotely, my interest was piqued.
I researched Aha! the same way I approached any new topic — I read everything I could find. I read blogs and reviews. I read about The Responsive Method (TRM). This was a philosophy that I agreed with and I found myself beginning to embrace it in my work.
I applied online and heard back from Aha! quickly. Speaking with co-founder and CTO Dr. Chris Waters and engineering lead Alex Bartlow showed me that I would be working with competent people. I loved the thought that everybody I would be working with also went through such a rigorous interview process.
Since joining, I quickly found out that Aha! is the place for me in terms of skills, maturity, and lovability.
I enjoy working with customers and using TRM to make them happy. The engineering team always tries to think of new ways to make our software better, more performant. I am building new skills as well. I often get to partner with other engineers and focus on how to improve existing code.
My favorite thing to do, though, is to find places in the application that can benefit from a quick performance boost. Our customers might never consciously notice it, but I know it makes their experience using Aha! just that much better.
I appreciate how we celebrate the work everyone does — across the various Aha! teams. It is a culture of sharing and learning. Everyone is given opportunities to present current projects, cool tricks they discover, or challenges they are facing. And the support of the team is always there to help you along the way.
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.