We had the pleasure of hosting a UVM computer science student, Jackson Hall, who job shadowed at Stirling Technologies for the day. At the end of the day, we asked him to write a blog post about his experience here! Here’s what he had to say:
“Today I was fortunate enough to get a peek at the inner workings of Stirling Technologies. Thomas Stirling, University of Vermont Class of 2010, founded Stirling Technologies as a UVM sophomore and was kind enough to offer this job shadowing opportunity through UVM’s Job Shadow Program.
When I first arrived at Stirling Technologies, I found myself in awe of what they had made of their modest third-floor office space in Winchester, MA. A mural reminding me of a Google Doodle filled one wall, Steve Job’s “stay hungry. stay foolish” quote from his 2005 Stanford commencement address was artfully printed on another. Pops of color were everywhere, and large glass windows partitioning the room were filled with handwritten notes and sketches. Everything felt clean and slick—a fact that didn’t surprise me having previously browsed their portfolio of client websites, all being of equally stunning design.
After a warm welcome from Stirling’s team, as well as excited sniffs from Mr. Stirling’s golden retriever, Jalapeño, I got right to work with an online introduction to WordPress, then spent time researching website designs of Stirling’s competitors to come up with ways to further improve their own site.
We then drove to a “Project Kickoff” meeting for one of their newest clients, where Stirling’s team talked about their plans to overhaul the clients’ outdated website. They discussed what types of values the business wants to put forth through their online presence, as well as broader marketing strategies for the company’s grand reopening. Sitting in on the meeting, I found the team’s method of questioning quite interesting, specifically how they were able to elicit answers from the client that quantified the design aspects they hoped for in their new site.
In the afternoon, I got the chance to have one-on-one conversations with some of Stirling’s staff. Lead Developer, Brian, told me about his daily workflow and responsibilities. We talked about my own career aspirations, and I showed him some programming projects I had created in school. UX/UI Designer, Sarah, showed me how she turns a client’s vision into a wireframe mockup, and eventually into a full-fledged live website. She gave me a few specific tips on programming practices that will be helpful when I have to keep large, complex projects organized. Mr. Stirling himself offered me candid advice about the difficulties and rewards of managing a startup from a college dorm room—a journey I hope to soon begin myself. It was incredibly inspiring and validating to hear his success story in person.
In summary, I got a “full stack” experience. I discussed idiosyncrasies of compilers, SCSS, PHP, and Bootstrap, talked about my entrepreneurial visions, got to sit in on a client meeting, and got a taste of the vibrant atmosphere inside this passionate business. It was so valuable to see what it’s like to work for a company like Stirling and how all of the team’s unique roles function together. Thank you all so much to everyone who helped host me!”
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