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April 30, 2018
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Molly Blake

STEM Students Shadow Day!

While folks were hanging out at Denver’s civic center for the 420 festivities, two enterprising high school students from nearby STEM school were spending the day with some of the FRONTSTEPS team members. 

Organized by STEM students, the teens arrived (early!) and got to work. They started by spending time with Sam Oh, our Director of Marketing. He was impressed by their curiosity, particularly since it was clear marketing didn’t lite their fire.  

“I think it’s great to be curious and start to see what’s out in the working world,” said Oh. He encouraged the boys to stay engaged amid changing technology and emerging careers. 

Off they went to the engineering side of our office, what we lovingly call, “The Dark Side,” where Noah Whitaker, a FRONTSTEPS Developer, started by stressing soft skills and looking at company culture over a higher paycheck.

“Focusing on a company’s culture, and an enjoyable work environment with a good work/life balance will do more for them in their career and mental well-being than a small, or even large, pay bump,” said Whitaker.  And while sipping on Capri suns, they got a taste of the FRONTSTEPS tight-knit, family-like culture, first hand when the CEO popped in.

“Being able to communicate technical and abstract concepts to people of all technical ability levels is one of the most powerful tools to possess in a technical position,” said Jamie Clymer, CEO. 

Speaking of technical concepts, Blake Sherwood, our Enterprise Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer and Matt Vegas, Senior Software Engineer, were excited to hear that the students were well versed in some heady topics. 

“The fact that one of them had looked into containerization with kubernetes, and the other had looked into malware was really impressive,” said Sherwood. 

“The boys expressed interest in the areas of cryptography, digital forensics, and application security which was very exciting to see and unexpected,” added Vegas who then handed the students off to the FRONTSTEPS Vice President of Engineering, Shawn Beeson. Beeson is the father of a high school senior and knows full well that  this time in a person’s life is full of important decisions that can drastically impact their career path and general direction of their lives.  

“I think it’s great that these you people are engaged and actively seeking information that will help them make the most informed decisions possible as they move into college and start to lay the foundation for their adult lives,” said Beeson. 

Kai and Michal were kind enough to even send follow up thank you notes, an art that should not be overlooked! 

Thank you for this great opportunity to see FRONTSTEPS. It was great to learn more about what software companies do and how the many parts of the company work together to achieve a final product. It was beneficial to hear their stories about how they got into the programming and how they have changed to keep up with their jobs. It was a great experience, and we got a lot of good advice on how to be successful and how to shape what you learn for their field. Thank you for this experience for this great time to learn more about what everyone does at FRONTSTEPS! Kai. 
I wanted to tell FRONTSTEPS thank you for allowing me to spend the day with them for the job shadow. I am so grateful that I was able to participate last minute, and it really speaks for their openness and willingness to teach students. Opportunities like this are what makes school mean something. Michal

We look forward to next year and hosting more students at FRONTSTEPS! 

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