Staff Spotlight: Joe Larson, Integration Engineer

January 16, 2018 by Sam Puckett

Fulcrum is an awesome field data collection platform because of the amazing people behind it and we think you should get to know them!

Our last Staff Spotlight introduced you to Jason, one of our Software Engineers. We’d like to start off this year by introducing you to Integration Engineer Joe Larson!

Staff Spotlight: Joe Larson

Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into this industry.

After my first summer working for the Forest Service as a wildland firefighter, I realized I enjoyed the mapping technology used during fire suppression operations. I changed majors to Forestry and Natural Resources and pursued a GIS minor (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo). I almost went down the path of becoming a licensed professional forester, but I couldn’t resist the call of becoming more involved with technology. So I focused on GIS and the related tech that is involved in it; relational databases, web, scripting, etc. For a while, I straddled working with both GIS and natural resource management while working for CAL FIRE. But when the opportunity came to work for Spatial Networks, I left the trees behind and went full geo geek.

What does your job entail?

My job entails serving in various roles within Fulcrum and Spatial Networks. Primarily, I work with Bryan McBride on the Professional Services team, where we work with customers who are in need of advanced and focused support for special projects. I also help where I can with support, documentation, testing, research, and content. I enjoy being in a utility player role, where on any given day I can be engaged with customers, testing new Fulcrum features or functionality, and hacking on some JavaScript for a Data Event… all in the same day.

What’s the most rewarding (or challenging) part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing people discover Fulcrum, “get it,” fall in love with it, and get things done with it. I was a Fulcrum customer before my current role and went through a similar epiphany myself. It’s very satisfying to help people use our amazing platform and tools on real-world projects.

In 2017 I got to travel to Kenya to do on-site training for a customer, as well as to Boston for FOSS4G, and a couple trips to SNI HQ in Florida for our semi-annual “All Hands” meetings. I always enjoy traveling, whether it’s for work or pleasure, so I consider that part of my job rewarding.

The most challenging part of my job is: switching gears; tabs and apps.

Whether it’s having 20 tabs open or 12 apps running and ⌘+tab ‘ing through them, and - oh yeah - Slacks and emails coming in, it can be hard to switch gears between projects and work. To add to that, Professional Services work can vary between SQL, Haml, GIS-munging, JavaScript, and ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I often find it challenging to stay focused, but as time goes on, I’m getting used to it and have learned when to simplify, snooze, or shutdown (apps or the whole laptop!).

What’s something you’re excited about right now?

I am really excited about seeing the SNI team grow. We’ve been growing in a few different directions and it’s empowering to see an expanding group of talented and great people working together toward delivering successful solutions.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Knowing that the East coast already has a 3-hour head start! Then coffee, music, and on to the days’ projects.

What do you do outside of work?

Outside of work I’m usually out with my wife Paula walking our golden retriever Bruce. Further than around the neighborhood, I love hiking the Sierra Nevada mountains, exploring the coastline/beaches of Central California, and traveling someplace new.

Joe doing something

What is something you’d like people to know about you?

I love cooking stuff from scratch, bbq’ing (tri tip and linguica), and most varieties of craft beer. If you’re ever passing from SF to LA (or vice versa) you should stop somewhere in San Luis Obispo County and holler at me to meet up. We have some incredible vineyards and wonderful wines here, as well as great beaches and various tourist attractions.

We’ll be back next month to introduce you to another member of the SNI team!

Want to come work with us? Check out our available positions and apply today!

Sam

About the author

Sam is our Content Marketing Specialist. She does the heavy lifting when it comes to writing, proofreading, editing, and strategizing our content.

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