No Need to Say Sorry! Senior Software Engineer Josh Ward Can Help You Thrive in the Game of Life!
Josh Ward exudes passion and dedication. His commitment to collecting board games reflects his allegiance to academia and helping other developers expand their knowledge.
“I fundamentally love learning and have a big passion for learning and teaching,” Josh said. “I love to have knowledge, distill knowledge and share that knowledge with other people.”
Learning the Rules of the Game
In Josh’s Game of LIFE, coding and board games go hand in hand. His devotion to developing started in his early years of high school after programming scripts on his school calculator.
“I think I fell in love with board games probably around the same time I fell in love with programming, which is somewhere between thirteen and sixteen,” Josh said. “I discovered programming, but I also discovered board games, and so I became passionate about it.”
Josh Ward with his collection of over 280 board games consisting of old classics to newer favorites.
“I always wanted to go to school for programming, but it wasn’t until later in my life that I actually really did it,” Josh said. “I went back to school and did really well the second time around.”
After graduating, one of the companies Josh worked for contracted with IntelliTect, partnering him on the same project with Grant Erickson, Intellitect CTO. This mentor and mentee relationship lead Josh to apply to IntelliTect years later.
“I really liked Grant and, therefore, really liked IntelliTect,” Josh said. “It’s hard not to like Grant. The ability to work on lots of different projects attracted me to IntelliTect too. Also, I like being able to jump around and work with different people and work on different projects.”
Helping Other Devs Level Up
About two years after starting his journey with IntelliTect, Josh spoke with IntelliTect CEO Mark Michaelis about starting a mentorship program at IntelliTect.
"Josh is passionate about investing in other people on the team. The investment is not just in
improving their tech skills, but also in coaching them personally as they navigate customer
processes, including navigating broken processes. He also guides team members in IntelliTect
future direction, and perhaps most importantly personal challenges."
Josh’s interest in helping junior developers “level up” lies in his own experiences and challenges as a college student.
“I’ve always had a passion for twenty-something, college-age people,” Josh said. “For me, that period was one of the hardest times of my life, and I didn’t feel like I had a lot of people. So, I love being available to people who might be going through that hard part of their life as well.”
“Josh and I have been meeting every other Monday morning for several months,” said Joseph Riddle, IntelliTect software engineer and Spokane Python User Group leader. “We have spent time discussing technical programming bits and non-technical topics, like how to grow as an engineer. He really listens to what you’re saying and provides great insights.”
The Not-so Trivial Pursuit of Knowledge
Josh’s strategy for distilling knowledge involves showing the other players his cards, leveling the playing field through openly sharing information essential to reaching the final solution.
“I don’t think people need to be told how to think. People just need more facets,” Josh said. “The more sides of the coin they can see, the more knowledge, facts, and ideas they can be exposed to.”
As a semi-retirement plan, Josh has contemplated teaching at Eastern, like some of his coworkers. But, for now, the cards haven’t entirely fallen where they need to for him to pass GO and collect his title of Professor Ward.
“I like to be challenged, and I like to challenge other people,” Josh said. "In almost every aspect of my life, I hate being stagnant at any point. I always strive to improve myself, and with that, just kind of comes striving to improve others around me. Teaching is just one of the ways to do that.”
Want to Learn About Other IntelliTect Team Members?
Check out previous Employee Spotlights on:
• Meg Woodford, A Plant-tastic Software Engineer
• Kevin Bost, A Biker with an Affinity for Mentoring
• Mike Curn, An Enterprising SDET with a Passion for Improving
• Grant Erickson, A Puzzler Who Uses Software to Maximize Relationships
• Andrew Scott, An Analytical Thinker Who Crafts Innovative Solutions
• Kelly Adams, An Engineer with a Fanatical Devotion to Quality
• Brian Jones, An employee who’s been with IntelliTect long enough to call it accidentally “IntelliTechture”