Jesslyn Landgren has an impressive attention for detail, from her expansive to-do lists to a keen eye for engineering. Prior to attending DigitalCrafts‘ 16-week full-stack web development program, Landgren was a student in the University of Iowa Geoinformatics masters program, which is where she started picking up programming languages and product design for the first time. Geoinformatics is a science that uses technology to address the problems of geography and cartography. Now, she’s using her development and coding skills to explore new frontiers in mapping.
After accelerating her education in the bootcamp, Landgren wants to make her skills shine at an agency or small dev team. Cross “hiring amazing dev” off your list today by hiring this hustler.
What program are you currently enrolled in?
I am currently enrolled in DigitalCrafts’ 16-week immersive full-stack web development program as well as their UI/UX Design elective.
What is your previous education?
I completed my undergrad degree at Georgia Tech in Environmental Engineering. Before attending DigitalCrafts, I enrolled in a masters program in Geoinformatics at the University of Iowa, which I should finish up in May. In my masters program, I had a lot of flexibility with courses and was able to spend some time in the computer science department picking up Python, Java, and getting an intro to user-centered product design.
When I knew I would be headed back to the Atlanta area, it seemed like a great time to accelerate the process and DigitalCrafts was a great fit for me.
What was your work experience before aspiring to become a web developer?
After graduating from Georgia Tech, I worked for three years with an environmental consulting firm in Iowa City, Iowa. My responsibilities included equipment tracking and hazardous material reporting for an electrical transmission utility. We were already using a database to automate portions of the reporting process, and eventually started building a web-based system for field audits. I found myself itching to get involved and unable to idly watch as others were building that system. I started looking for ways to gain the knowledge that would allow me to do that type of work full-time. A few months later, I applied to my graduate program.
What technology and tools are essential to you as a developer?
A lot of what I have found most valuable to development are just good task management tools and strategies, especially collaborative ones. I set up a lot of the planning and presentation of our two group projects using the Google Drive suite, which is super fast and has great sharing capabilities.
I don’t worry about following any particular to-do list method that may be popular at the moment, I just make sure I get things recorded somewhere in one way or another. I’ll make task lists for overlapping time periods, combine work and personal tasks, carry over tasks from one list to the next. I use both paper and mobile apps — I don’t go anywhere without my moleskine or Google Keep.
Writing things down forces me to name what I’m trying to accomplish, and then when it’s Monday morning and I’m short on caffeine I just have to open up my lists and pick something to tackle.
How do you stay informed and on top of emerging trends?
I try to pay attention to how my professional role models are connected; who they follow, where they contribute, etc. Since I’m new to this industry, whenever I read an interesting article on Medium or elsewhere, I try to get in the habit of immediately taking a few moments to google and see what other projects the author is working on. This allows me to learn enough about the topic and tie it back to something I already know. Getting it off my list right away and in small amounts helps the process seem more manageable.
After DigitalCrafts, what’s next on your list to learn?
I have a big interest and some prior experience in information and geographic visualization theories. Now that I have the right skills and experience to build my own applications, I want to put that knowledge to work and really learn all the ins and outs of current dataviz, mapping, and cartography libraries and tools such as D3, HighCharts, Leaflet, and CARTO’s builder platform.
Are you interested in working for a startup, agency, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
I’m primarily interested in agencies or mid-sized companies where there are good systems in place for training junior developers, ideally somewhere small enough where I can still get to know the whole team. I started off as an engineer because I love learning every detail behind how things work, and I code best when I’m building a project from start to finish, so eventually I want to make my way into a role where I am able to be involved with project at multiple points in its life cycle.