On the Record with Rose: Jose Canahui

Jose Canahui

Jose started at Perfect Sense in June 2018.

This week Rose went on the record with Jose Canahui, a software engineer, who came to Perfect Sense after graduating from Virginia Tech. Jose has played a critical role on projects for clients like Sotheby's and Vodafone New Zealand. During their conversation, Jose spoke about the characteristics that have made him successful at Perfect Sense, the impact of a high school teacher, and the value of connecting with co-workers over lunch.

You started at Perfect Sense after graduating from Virginia Tech? What brought you here?
I first met Parker at the CSRC Career Fair. I had gained exposure to web development through free-lance work and an internship while I was at Virginia Tech and those experiences aligned with what we do here at Perfect Sense. I thought Perfect Sense would provide a great opportunity to work with high-profile clients, gain valuable experience, and continue to work in a field that I love. Beyond the work, I was also taken with the company's commitment to service.

What is the most recent project you worked on? Can you tell me about what we built and your role on the team?
I am currently working on Vodafone New Zealand as a front end engineer. I have to make sure that the site looks good for launch and that users will have the best possible experience.

What inspired you to become a software engineer?
During high school, I had a great teacher named Mr. Baker. He was very different from other teachers. During the first half of each class he would lecture and during the second half we could do whatever we wanted. We always had projects to complete, so I learned a lot about time management. That freedom also allowed me to dive deeper into computer science, spend time working closely with Mr. Baker on my projects, and fall in love with the subject.

How do you feel that you have grown as a developer since you started at Perfect Sense?
My biggest growth has not been technical, instead it has been learning how to take ownership for my work. Someone else can define the requirements, but I am responsible for understanding them, owning them, and delivering something great to make the client happy.

What traits are most important to making you successful at your job?
A sense of ownership, problem solving, and the discipline to stay focused and complete your work on time are very critical.

What trends or technologies in computer science excite you the most?
As a member of the client services team, I work with a variety of different clients, which allows me to explore different things that clients want to use on their sites. Recently, one client wanted to use React and I got to learn much more about it and really liked working with it. I have also been learning more about custom elements which is a totally different way to think about web pages. More broadly, I am also interested in learning more about AI and machine learning.

I read that you had an internship at Custom Ink during college? How did your internship help prepare you for your role at Perfect Sense?
I think it helped me learn how to work within a team. I worked closely with a team of six professional developers. They treated me as a peer, held me accountable, exposed me to JIRA, and taught me how to write reliable code.

Besides the people, what is your favorite part about working at Perfect Sense?
It's a split between the coffee and the lunches. If it weren't for Anne, I would be spending a lot of money at Starbucks across the street! The lunches, more importantly than saving money, allow an opportunity to eat with your co-workers and build a closer relationship.

What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of the office?
I like going to the gym, reading philosophy, and finding new coding trends through a variety of side projects.

What was is your favorite movie ?
My favorite movie is Donnie Darko. I think it's a pretty deep movie. Every time I watch it, I find something new.

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