As a senior software engineer with PatientsLikeMe, an online community designed to share information that can improve the lives of patients diagnosed with life-changing diseases, Jeremy Weiskotten helps build and support the social networking platform for a growing number of patient communities. "I've also built a variety of administration tools to help analyze and manage the content that is shared among patients, caregivers, and other members of our communities," says Weiskotten.
Weiskotten considers his customers to be not just site members and external partners but also internal marketing and research staff. He works with designers to mock up solutions and then brings their designs to life. "I enjoy working with Ruby on Rails-after slogging through Java for a few years, Rails has made programming fun and productive again," Weiskotten says.
In A Day's Work:
On the weekdays that he isn't telecommuting, Weiskotten takes the train and often uses the time to get an hour of work in. "Some ‘train projects' take on a life of their own," he says.
While PatientsLikeMe doesn't practice it formally, Weiskotten has become a fan of pair programming. "I've learned a lot from my teammates because everyone has a unique background," he says. He also spends time reading blogs and using open source code to keep up with the latest trends in software practices.
Most Memorable Customer Encounter:
"I was once at a customer site for a few days and noticed that a printer had been running continually, requiring an employee to feed it reams of paper. I finally asked what was printing and he said, ‘The vice president wants a copy of every employee's time card.' With 30,000 employees, and a two- or three-page time card for each, I asked him how big his wheelbarrow was. He agreed that the VP probably wasn't expecting a 70,000 page report."
View From the Desk:
"Our workspace is on the second floor of a converted twine factory with a lot of old brick and exposed wooden beams that give the office that stereotypical startup feel. My desk is near a wall with large windows overlooking a quiet section of Kendall Square in Cambridge."
"Most of my free time is spent enjoying my two young sons. I'm a big sports fan, particularly the Red Sox and Patriots. I also like a good microbrew and just about any movie as long as it's not a romantic comedy."
If Not Econtent, Then What?
"I'd be the worst wide receiver in professional football."