We're so excited to bring on another developer to the RAD Team that we couldn't help but brag to the world. Here's a quick bio from Taylor Stib himself, the newest RAD Nerd:
I was born in Wisconsin but moved to Arizona in early elementary school, so I consider myself an Arizonan. I grew up in Scottsdale with my parents and older brother until I went away to college at Yale in New Haven, CT. After graduating with a B.A. in Economics, I moved back to Arizona with my girlfriend to find a web development job.
My work experience is pretty diverse and has exposed me to all types of industries and company sizes. My parents owned a local restaurant for several years and I learned what it is like to be an entrepreneur, owning and growing a small business. On a different note, I spent summer internships working for AXA and Northrop Grumman, two multinational corporations, which gave me exposure to large, corporate environments and the formal hierarchies that go along with such companies.
The summer before graduation I participated in an immersive “tech bootcamp” hosted by the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, and learned the technologies to develop web applications similar to the ones RAD builds for our clients. This certainly validated my previous interest in computer programming and web development that I had explored on my own throughout high school and college.
On a personal note, I love to be outdoors in the beautiful Arizona desert. I took for granted how awesome the weather is in Scottsdale and how easy it is to get to a great hiking destination, until I was in Connecticut for four years. Aviation is also a hobby of mine and there is no better place to be a pilot than here in Arizona. The abundant sunshine and nearly cloudless skies make for an amazing sightseeing adventure over the Valley. A perfect weekend of mine would be to pilot my own plane up north, spend a few days hiking the Grand Canyon or Sedona, and then fly back and be ready for work on Monday.
What made you want to join the RAD team?
RAD has all the qualities of a company that I was looking for while searching for jobs. They are a successful and growing company, they still have a small team and startup atmosphere, and they make custom software that helps other local businesses reach an even higher level of success. I think this mix of qualities puts them above most other software and tech startups because they are committed to delivering quality products and forming great relationship with clients.
What inspired you to become a developer?
While interning at Northrop Grumman, I was presented with a very tedious job that looked like it would take several weeks to complete manually. After two or three days and thousands of copy-paste keyboard strokes I knew there had to be a more efficient solution. That night I went home and researched how to program a very simple VBA macro for Microsoft Excel, and implemented it the next day. After clicking one button to start the script and see about 100 spreadsheet rows populate with data within a second, and realizing that had just saved me about 20 minutes of work was so energizing that I looked for anything else I could automate with a program. Several years and many new languages and frameworks later, I wound up here.
Favorite blog you follow and why you follow it?
My favorite blog to follow is fivethirtyeight.com because they write about a unique spread of topics, like economics, sports and science, and present their data with insightful graphs and visualizations. They employ some of the most interesting statistical techniques to sports, like Sabermetrics for example, and try to make predictions or argue why one player should receive the MVP award, or where they rank among the all-time greats. They tackle seemingly normal topics but dive deep into the available stats and develop statistical models to explain their reasoning.
Favorite Ruby Gem?
My favorite Ruby gem is Nokogiri as I have used it in quite a few projects to scrape the web for data, which isn’t surprising considering a background in statistics and economics.
What web tool could you not live without?
The most essential tool that I use is probably my password manager Dashlane. This application helps me make sure that I have a unique and extremely strong password for the 120+ services that I need login credentials for. For example, “nD*e79K2’;8.#dSA,9” is a great password but it is nearly impossible for someone to remember dozens like this on their own which makes Dashlane so valuable. Not only does it store your passwords and usernames but it can auto fill forms and auto login to websites on any type of device you use. This is definitely something every internet user should check out and see if they can benefit from it.