Skykit Employee Spotlight: Ben Johnson, Software Engineer

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At Skykit, our team prides itself on ensuring that our solutions are innovative and easy to use. Meet Skykit team member Ben Johnson, our employee spotlight, who builds APIs that enable customers to showcase more content, faster and easier.

What excites you most about what you are doing at Skykit?

Our team’s adaptation of the data science tool JupyterLab for development purposes—we call it “Hammer,” as in, “when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” It gives us an extensible means of interacting with our apps and devices through code, meaning we have the agency to answer customer requests that go beyond what the apps currently offer, and quickly. Sometimes it even exerts pressure on feature development, since the code is already there.

What about technology do you love?

It’s probably passe at this point, but I love how technology allows us to tell stories backed by data. Specifically, technology allows us to tailor emotional impact to the question, “how much?”

What are you most looking forward to in 2022?

When my California-based girlfriend flies out to visit. That, and playing an open mic for the first time in six years.

What is your favorite coding language?

Python.

What kinds of projects do you like to work on while not at work?

Singing. I started watching video tutorials and doing virtual lessons in June 2020. On work-from-home days, I can be found doing mindless scales while typing, but at half volume (it’s called “dynamics”) so my apartment neighbors don’t hear.

Proudest accomplishment?

Taking on a new challenge with singing.  And also, when I quit my coffee shop job to finish my undergrad 10 years after starting.

Favorite book/podcast or TV show you’ve read/listened to/watched during the last two years?

Podcast: Radio Rental, true life paranormal stories with Rainn Wilson as a host/character actor.

TV show: Brand New Cherry Flavor, with runners-up Maniac, Arcane, and Undone (I like Rosa Salazar).

Book: (in progress) Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke. And—if it counts, Disco Elysium, a text-heavy video game by Studio ZA/UM. I’m still waiting on the Estonian-to-English translation of A Sacred and Terrible Air, by ZA/UM’s founder and head writer, Robert Kurvitz.

Strangest/favorite place you’ve been? Why?

Summer 2021, while visiting home in San Diego, I drove east for a few hours on a lark and came upon a massive inland lake, Salton Sea, in the desert, with no idea where I was. It was fenced in with warning signs about toxic algae, surrounded by decrepit, half-inhabited neighborhoods covered in graffiti, around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. It turns out the Salton Sea, “derives its fame as the biggest environmental disaster in California history.”1 The feeling I got there still piques me.

Skykit is always looking for new team members to join our amazing team! Check out our openings and reach out if you are interested in learning more.

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