Inside Smarty - Ryan Cox

May 2, 2023
Smarty has a unique culture, and some amazing people work here. Come learn all about Ryan Cox and why he's this month's spotlight at Smarty!

We have the luxury at Smarty of working with some fantastically intelligent, kind, friendly, and in many cases, funny individuals. Today we showcase one of those fantastic individuals, Ryan Cox.

Ryan has a history of high-quality performance while problem-solving and team-building at large software companies along Silicon Slopes. You want experience? Ryan has experience.

We're talking 61 years collectively in Java, Javascript, Typescript, SQL, Angular, AWS, and loads more. As a key developer at each company he's ever worked at, he's keeping the ball rolling by improving the quality of work we do here at Smarty every day.

Ryan Cox's employee photo.

But that’s just his professional bio. To really know who Ryan is, we asked for some clarification.

What do you do at Smarty?

"I help make verified address information easily accessible to other software developers."

What's something surprising you've learned since joining Smarty?

"How valuable ensuring addresses are correct can be."

As a software developer, where do you go to stay sharp in your skills?

"Stack Overflow, Hacker News, Reddit. Here I'll find various company and personal blogs for content and they usually have discussions that are interesting."

What do you like most about your role at Smarty?

"I enjoy solving coding problems and feeling like I'm contributing to the company's success."

What's the most challenging part of your job?

"Not enough time... I need more time to get all the important things done."

What projects and accomplishments here at Smarty are you most proud of?

"I worked on our ZIP Code to Geocode internal processor, making it faster and easier for developers to debug. That was satisfying and meaningful."

What talents of yours do you enjoy honing outside of work?

"I love skiing and woodworking."

What do you love about skiing?

"Skiing allows me to enjoy being in the mountains near the trees, breathing fresh air. I enjoy the challenge, both physical and mental. Nothing like tackling new terrain and learning new skills."

Our very own Ryan Cox out skiing some serious powder. Ryan showing off is amazing, but frozen beard.

What do you love about woodworking?

"With woodworking, I am allowed to be creative and problem-solve, all while producing something in the physical world. Programming is a whole other beast and takes place pretty much only in my mind. It’s nice to have something I can build with my hands and see."

Ryan showing off his woodworking skills.

Who inspires you?

"John Carmack. He makes (or made, he recently left Meta's VR team) good video games. He also has solved some novel programming problems."

Have you learned anything valuable in your time at Smarty so far?

"Be nicer to people. We're encouraged to eat lunch together each day so that we can get to know one another across departments. We go on company team-building trips, travel together, and talk a lot. When you spend that much time with folks, you learn a lot about them, and it gets easier to be kind to them. When we disagree, we’re encouraged to reconcile and make sure we're "good" instead of producing long-term enemies."

"This is part of what makes Smarty's culture so unique. We interact a lot more outside of just asking each other for work stuff. It helps to understand what our coworkers' value and what makes them who they are. It helps you be more patient and understanding when things are going rough and happier when things go well."

What is your most joyous discovery?

"That I could get paid to tell a machine what to do all day."

Got any tips for folks in the software industry?

"I'd suggest you learn a couple of technologies in your stack really, really thoroughly. From the ground up. Be able to communicate to someone that doesn't understand how those things are built and how they work."

We love having Ryan on board and look forward to learning more from him and more about him.

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