Rob is a Software Engineer, fiction writer, and a bookworm. He grew up in Green Bay and graduated with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. His professional journey started two years earlier, however, when he became the first Engineer at Swoop Search, a tech startup in Madison, Wisconsin. Throughout the next five years, the company grew from an idea into a successful business. Rob, of course, played an essential role in the company’s development.
In addition to being a great Engineer and teacher, Rob is also a perfect example of someone who refuses to stay boxed in. In the programming world, it’s common for developers to only focus on their area of expertise. For example, a web developer might not always be interested in learning how hardware works. Or a backend developer might not always pay much attention to design or the User Experience. But Rob’s interest and experience traverse the technical landscape - from websites to databases to backend indexers to hardware. And as a writer, he similarly draws influence from different genres like poetry, cinema, and fiction.
I think all types of people will enjoy hearing what Rob has to say. If you’re in the tech or science world, Rob’s take on writing beautiful code might speak to you. If you’re a reader or writer, Rob’s philosophy on storytelling and creating something “magical” might inspire you. And if you’re someone who has interests across artforms and professional fields, Rob’s take on doing what he loves and finding transferable skills will hopefully encourage you to do the same. Please enjoy this episode of Portrait, with Rob Jauquet. 00:00 - Highlights & Introduction | 02:10 - Why Rob only eats twice a day and only wears a coat three months out of the year | 03:08 - Rob tells the story about how he got involved in Swoop and explains what the early days were like | 07:03 - Rob talks about his favorite and least favorite days while working at Swoop Search | 10:10 - Rob reflects on the factors that characterize exceptional software developers | 13:38 - Robs talks about what it means to write “beautiful” code and shares his favorite project. | 18:01 - Rob explains how he would try to learn about programming if he were to start from scratch. | 24:00 - Rob compares his process with for writing code to his process for writing fiction | 27:06 - Rob’s writing routine | 28:00 - How a small book Rob wrote in fifth grade inspired his current sci-fi novel | 31:03 - The authors, books, and movies that have influenced Rob the most | 34:49 - How Rob thinks about storytelling | 36:47 - A childhood memory that Rob holds dear | 39:26 - Rob’s favorite travel experience and his thoughts on solo travel | 42:16 - Rob’s favorite purchases for under $100 | 44:29 - One thing that Rob holds to be true, but that very few people would agree with him on. | 45:55 - Something Rob changed his mind on in the last five year | 46:53 - Rob’s favorite failure | 49:25 - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for Rob
Camera: SoundJay's Camera Shutter Click 03