Jonathan Melin is a web and app development dynamo rounding out his final week at DigitalCrafts. As a ‘jack of all trade, master of most,’ Melin has an affinity for linguistics, design, and all things full stack. This father of three is ready to tread some tech waters, so bring him aboard while you can.
What program are you currently enrolled in?
I am currently enrolled in DigitalCrafts 16 Week Immersive Web Development Bootcamp and will graduate on June 17th. In the last week of May, I graduated from their 12 Week iOS App Development Elective. Our web development bootcamp covers full-stack web development including both the MEAN & Lamp stack.
What is your previous education?
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies with a Minor in Music from Toccoa Falls College in 2009. I continued my education at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master of Arts in Bible Translation in 2012, where I studied biblical languages and linguistics.
What was your work experience before aspiring to become a web developer?
After graduating with my Master’s, I spent about 3 years in the construction industry, working primarily as a roofing contractor, helping customers work with their insurance providers in order to replace or repair their damaged roofs. Over the past 8 years, I’ve also spent about 4 years in customer service as an Outside Operations Attendant at two different TPC golf clubs as well as about 5 years as a delivery driver at two Pizza Huts and a Domino’s.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
I’m a developer with an eye for design. I enjoy all aspects of the full stack, but I am stronger on the front end at this point. I enjoy being able to make something from nothing and see the immediate results on the page. Web development is great because I get to use both my creativity and technicality to make websites from scratch. I don’t see a white page as a burden but as a blank canvas. In addition to web development, I consider myself to be skilled with linguistics/languages and as a musician. I’ll facetiously borrow a phrase from one of my brothers who once said something like this about himself: “I try to be a Jack of all trades, master of most.”
What technology and tools are essential to you as a developer?
I would have to say my computer tops the list. Google, Stack Overflow, and W3Schools tie for second. No, really, a good text editor, a good browser, and a good work ethic are all you need to make the magic happen. It’s not primarily about the tools. It’s about the technique. It’s like playing music— I’m not all about the gear. Just give me a set of drums and I’ll do my thing. Sure, it’d be nice to own a $10,000 drum kit with top-of-the-line cymbals, but that won’t make you a good drummer. If you learn how to develop from scratch and learn the core concepts, you can adapt to any new technology or tool that comes along.
How do you stay informed & on top of emerging trends?
A fellow classmate (who left us in week 10 to take a job as a front-end developer — who does that?!) keeps us up to date on our Slack channel, so I never have to do any research on my own. I kid. I kid. Seriously, though, Google is your best friend for researching the newest trends. However, I prefer to see if something is tried-and-true before I jump on the bandwagon. Plus, I tend to be an unconventional rebel and like to go against the grain. I’m not the guy who’s always clicking the “Now Trending” button to see what’s hot. But I do absolutely love to learn, so bring on the new technologies.
After DigitalCrafts, what’s next on your list to learn?
Having a linguistics background, I’m primarily interested in speech recognition, natural language processing, and machine translation. I haven’t yet decided how I will tackle learning those concepts, but they’re on my list.
Are you interested in working for a startup, agency, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
All of the above. It depends on the specific job and the company. I may feel more comfortable with a stable company that’s been around for a while, but I would also love to be in an innovative and exciting startup environment. Ultimately, I think I’d like to set sail with a startup of my own, but I need to learn to swim first.