My Name Is Stephen Becker — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Stephen Becker Aha! Ruby on Rails developer

I like solving a problem. To me, this means creating with a purpose. Legos, birdhouses, dinner — the format does not matter. What I enjoy is building and learning something new so that I can build more and learn more.

Software is an unlimited field of learning and building. The only restraint is my own imagination.

I took programming in high school and made games in C++. When I went to college, I taught myself Ruby for a programming languages class. Later, when I joined the workforce, my first employer noticed I knew Ruby and moved me off a big, old Java project and on to a new SOA Ruby team. We used Rails to stand up services that needed to move faster than the massive Java app team could.

So, why code in Ruby? The short answer is that it makes me happy. And it has given me the opportunity to build against many “whys.”

I have built Firefox and Thunderbird plugins and updated and maintained the Chrome plugin for a streamlined contact management system. I have worked with a diverse range of companies from Amazon to a startup called TINYhr, which created employee engagement surveys. I even built a back-end system for a boutique wine site that offered artisanal wines at an affordable price.

Most recently, I was working for a consulting company. Between each contract, I would review opportunities at different companies. One job posting in particular jumped out at me — from a company called Aha!

In researching this company, there was one message that resonated — focusing on the reason behind the work.

I find that it is important to have an implicit “why” for whatever work you are doing. As a developer, it always helps to know the reason behind the problem I am solving — then maybe I can even come up with a few other ideas to solve the core of the problem.

So I reached out to the Aha! People Success team. Soon I was speaking with members of the engineering team. Everyone was friendly, but what was remarkable to me was the transparency. The conversations were fun and I could envision myself collaborating with each person. It was refreshing.

Since joining the Aha! team, I have been impressed by the company’s dedication to its employees. We do meaningful work and keep learning. And we are appreciated for it.

There is comprehensive onboarding training around both the product and product management, which shows a level of investment that I have not found with previous employers. While the training is intensive, I was still able to set up my environment and get a commit into production in my first week. 

My work so far has included adding new security levels to Aha! Notebooks, working on app notifications, CI Docker config, Racc parsers, and (of course) code reviews. I enjoy helping people out where and when I can.

The dedication to the team is echoed in the onsites as well. Getting everyone together twice a year in a destination location is amazingly fun. There is a rare openness with what is going on with the company — both success and challenges. The level of transparency is above and beyond.

That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.

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