Meet Harry Fleming, Software Development Engineer at Skilljar

Meet Harry Fleming, Software Development Engineer at Skilljar

February 22, 2017
Skilljar News & Updates

We are very excited to welcome Harry Fleming to the Skilljar team as a Software Development Engineer! 

Harry will be managing technical relationships with our clients and assisting with their configuration, solutions, and setup.

Welcome Harry!

Q: What three words would you use to describe yourself?
A: Upbeat, Inquisitive, Persevering

Q: What’s your favorite place to visit in Seattle?
A: In the city at least, it would be the observatory at Columbia Center. Catch it on a good day, and the view is unbelievable. You can see everything up there - ferries making their way to Bainbridge, helicopters landing at Harborview, the sun setting over the Olympics. Whenever family or friends visit and want to go to the Space Needle, I take them to the skyscraper instead.

Q: Tea or coffee?
A: Coffee, but there's room for both in life!

Q: What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
A: A good backpack. I've started quite the collection - something for every occasion.

Q: What inspires you?
A: People who can maintain a sense of empathy for others even when going through tremendous adversity themselves. It's far too easy to stop caring when it feels like the world has stopped caring about you.

Q: How did you first hear about Skilljar, and what interested you about the company?
A: I was contacted through a recruitment site called Hired. What really interested me about Skilljar was the opportunity to work on software that helps people learn new things. I'm fascinated by the surge in online learning communities in recent years; it's a game changer how many resources are available to learn something new with just a laptop and an internet connection. My YouTube feed is littered with things like Crash Course, In A Nutshell, and various history and science shows.

Other than that, I was excited to work for a smaller company and get my hands dirty with a much broader range of responsibilities than I'd had before. I've heard the startup world can be an exhilarating and worthwhile learning experience.

Q: Describe your last experience with online learning.
A: I guess the most recent was Khan Academy. I knew my onsite interview with Skilljar would have a session on web dev concepts, which I hadn't practiced in some time, as most of the interviews I'd done at that point were all algorithms and data structures questions. So I flipped through Khan Academy's web development courses, and was pleasantly surprised. Much of it was refreshing old knowledge, but it never hurts to empty the proverbial cup every now and then. And I love what they've done with the platform - the embedded quizzes and instantaneous feedback make it a seamless experience.

Q: If you were going to offer a course online, what would it be about?
A: Ah, so many to choose from, but here's one. I don't think I'm qualified to instruct it, but after taking a volunteer-run alpine climbing course with "The Mountaineers," I'd love a more interactive way to learn climbing concepts on your own time.

Rock climbing skills are quite hard to learn on your own. Watching someone else do something, via video or even in person, simply won't cut it. For things like knots and ropework, you have to get the muscle memory down yourself and be able to identify mis-ties. Knowing when to employ a move or maneuver on the wall is similarly experiential, and I've yet to see any interactive resources for making that mental connection, nor understanding why the move works and how the physics play out.

Building anchor systems is another tricky concept. Doing it in a safe, structured environment is one thing, but identifying viable natural anchors in the field is an entirely different beast. Paper diagrams are too limited in my opinion - I think you need more interactivity and real-time highlighting of the important bits.


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