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My First Job in Tech Q&A: Spencer Hamilton, Front-End Developer at Jane

Why did you want to become a Front-End Developer over other positions in Tech such as a Back-End or Full Stack Developer?

I have always had a difficult time narrowing down my interests enough to single subjects. For example, it became a mission of mine in my undergraduate degree at UBC to take at least one course in every faculty available (such as Science and Forestry).

Each new school year I would confirm what I needed to take, what I wanted to take, and then also choose something that I knew very little about but was interested in learning more. It was a bizarre way to finish a degree – especially leading into a master’s degree – but I believe I learned so much more because of the diversity of my classes.

The same variety of knowledge required for Front-End Development – and web development in general – is what drew me to learning to code in the first place. I’m comfortable knowing that there’s so much more to know.

While I have not coded long enough to solidify a preference for Front-End over Back-End development, I lean towards Front-End development because it combines problem-solving and design – and both evoke forms of creativity.

Just as I had been keen to write papers that were highly readable, I enjoy creating features that are highly useable and adaptable. Similarly, I have always been fascinated with design and aesthetic and how each can be used to elevate the experience of using software.

What education and path did you take to become a Front-End Developer?

It was only recently – after reading the Stack Overflow Developer Survey in fact – that I realized my path to becoming a Front-End Developer is highly uncommon. After completing both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Political Science I felt on track towards going for a PhD. While awaiting my PhD decisions, I had taken the Intro to Web Development course at Lighthouse Labs in Vancouver, which I had heard about from a few friends and took out of pure interest.

I had always been interested in coding and the tech industry in general – and saw myself in that industry – and that Intro course brought it to the next level, I was hooked. I told myself that if my PhD applications fall through then I would take the next giant step at Lighthouse Labs which is their Web Development Bootcamp as an alternative. The same September I would have started my PhD, I instead started Bootcamp at Lighthouse Labs and finished that November.

What is Jane Software?

We provide a system and platform for clinics of all specialties to run their practices. Some of the awesome features of Jane include scheduling, online booking, charting, and billing, which are all connected to a clinic through the same platform.

At Jane we also take design and originality seriously – and allow clinics to adapt Jane to their unique style, brand and specialty. While our code team at Jane is comparatively small for a software as a service (SaaS) company our size, I am continually inspired by the creativity and ingenuity of our team to make Jane faster, smarter and more intuitive. Everything to know about Jane can be found on

Describe your day-to-day as a Front-End Developer at Jane Software.

One of the best parts about working at a blooming tech company like Jane is that a regular day can look completely different than the day before based on new priorities.

Of course, we have regular and scheduled meetings as a code team, QA sessions and a list of bugs to solve but day-to-day we also have to be ready to adapt and focus our attention towards new considerations and directions.

For me, this is my ideal state of work – multi-tasking and constantly adjusting priorities to fit those tasks.

What is the career path for a Front-End Developer? How do you see your career progressing?

I am quite excited to be a part of Jane’s rapid growth in the upcoming years. The main goal in my job search after bootcamp at Lighthouse Labs was to find a position that gave me the opportunity to continue learning and one that would challenge me.

The motto at Lighthouse Labs is that the bootcamp lasts 10 weeks, but the schooling and learning continues far beyond. My hope is to keep this sense of humility while I progress as a developer and continue to challenge my knowledge. Another hope of mine is that with gaining more experience at Jane I will be able to help and mentor others just as those at Lighthouse Labs and my code team did and are doing for me.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you’re working on at Jane Software?

We recently made one of our largest releases to date that focuses on cementing a solid foundation to launch Jane well into the future. This involved reconfiguring almost every aspect of Jane and adding a bunch of new features that incorporate many of the nuances of billing and insurance.

This change also meant a large plunge into making Jane fully adaptable for billing and insurance in the United States. In addition, this release was an opportunity to re-build and re-imagine the tools that the code team uses to build and run Jane.

What advice would you give to those interested in developer careers?

I’m sure I’m not alone when I used to think that tapping into a career in the tech industry – and especially as a developer – seemed like something for a select group of people who had chosen that path from the very beginning of university or earlier, despite seeing myself there.

What I have begun to realize more and more is that the path I took towards working in the tech industry was not something that got in the way of becoming a developer, but rather something that has helped facilitate my growth as a developer.

Where I feel my path has helped me most is that being a developer subscribes you to a career of learning – and re-learning – the way you work, your tools and how you solve problems which was the essence of my academic career.

That does not mean that it was in any way easy to learn, and that was tested with many 12-hour days learning to code, but I had always kept in my mind that each new day meant growth. By the time I finished Bootcamp at Lighthouse Labs I knew that I was eager to learn so much more and that has not changed even slightly today!

Thanks to Spencer and Jane Software for taking part in the Miles My First Job in Tech series, sharing great insight into Tech careers and the path to get there!