Tell us your story: Who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
Hi! I'm Jordan, a web developer and instructor based in Toronto. I co-founded the digital studio Up at Five, where I get to work alongside incredible folks to help bring business owners’ visions to life on the web. I also have the privilege of teaching some pretty rad developers at Juno, Bridge School, and Canada Learning Code.
How did you get your start in web development?
I started in web development after having worked at a tech company for a time as the only non-developer. I wanted the language to participate in the problem solving I saw my colleagues taking on. I signed up for a web development boot camp, looking to develop a technical literacy I could leverage with future digital teams. I ended up completely enthralled with the day-to-day of writing code, debugging, and constant learning. I never looked back!
What motivated you to start your own digital studio, Up at Five?
So many things lined up to make Up at Five feel like the obvious next step. I had an amazing business partner, a supportive community, the prospect of exciting and challenging work, and all of these together were an excellent recipe for an incredibly fulfilling business venture. Five years later and this company has taught me so much. I have learned from some very smart, insightful people and have been able to build a rewarding and adventurous life around work I love. At the outset running Up at Five often felt like asking “is this possible?”, now it feels like more of a questioning of “which possibility next?” and that feeling is incredible.
Who or what is a constant source of inspiration for you?
Without question my friends. Watching the folks I care about move through their lives and kill it is the best motivation to show up every day. I am overjoyed to celebrate our wins together and grateful to feel supported and provide support when those wins feel more out of reach.
What's next for you in 2020? What's something you're looking forward to?
We are making some fun changes and pivoting our business in 2020. I think that’s part of the excitement and challenge of being a business owner, you have a lot of agency in how your career grows and progresses. Personally, a lot of my goals are related to my community. I want to start up a breakfast meetup for folks running their own businesses. I’ve had so many fruitful conversations with small business owners about tips and tricks we’ve picked up and I would love to formalize this exchange in some way. Plus breakfast!
I also plan to start up a queer running group in Toronto (if you are keen on trying your hand at running alongside other queer folks hit me up).