Connector Spotlight: Jason Martin
June 3, 2022
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
How would we describe Jason Martin, Director of Engineering here at Connected? That’s a tall order, but if his professional experience is any indicator, he’d likely enjoy making a game out of it. When he’s not coaching, mentoring, and empowering others to reach new heights, you’ll often catch him building LEGO, colouring, playing with dolls, or anything else involving his kids. With a love of football that transcends both sides of the pond, can you guess his favourite product that lets him do that and so much more?
Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on?
As the engineering practice grows, recruitment efforts take up a fair bit of my time. But, as a result, I can proudly say our engineering guild recently grew past 100 team members, and there’s no sign of that momentum letting up.
We’re constantly looking for opportunities for our practitioners to explore new technologies and learn new skills. Internal projects for Connectors in-between client projects can serve a dual purpose: helping Connectors grow their skills while building tools that help us succeed in a remote-first environment. I’m helping lead Project Atlas, an internal project allowing Connectors to discover and build connections with others in the same geographic region.
I also do a lot of coaching and mentoring with engineers and engineering managers. It’s vital to always empower the team with the tools and support to succeed. This mentality carries over into my work with day-to-day operations of the engineering guild; be it helping with staffing decisions, establishing best practices, career pathing, and more.
What’s the most interesting challenge about the project?
That which keeps me the busiest is also that which is proving the most challenging – recruitment. With our shift to remote work, we can expand our reach to hire from all over Canada. But many companies are doing the same, so it’s a competitive market for hiring software engineers.
Fortunately, Connected has a reputation that really sets us apart. We offer diversity in clients and projects, exciting and challenging work, and our values, especially teaching and learning, provides opportunities to our engineers that few can match. We couldn’t be more committed to our engineers and the incredible work they produce.
I quickly learned the importance and power of ensuring a strong team dynamic, especially when remote-first. That’s why it’s a core focus and something that we’re constantly evolving and improving; all based on the input of our practitioners.
Where did you work before Connected?
With 5+ years, I’m definitely one of the veterans here, but before Connected, I worked at the well-established gaming studio Big Blue Bubble. Before that, Beeline Interactive was a leading worldwide developer and publisher of mobile games. Over the years, I’ve garnered a lot of experience in game development across various platforms, including PC, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and mobile (iOS, Android, and even pre-smartphone J2ME-based devices).
What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?
I’m fortunate to say that I’ve done a lot in my career that I’m proud of. From the groundbreaking work we did on the Facebook Portal (now Meta) to early discovery work in the vehicle security space for Ford.
And that’s just with Connected!
Before that, I was also super proud of my contributions to the Smurfs Village game played by millions. Lastly, I’m proud of my work on Monster Pet Shop. It was a small but fun team, and it was my first opportunity to lead which made the success of the game that much better.
Do you have a mantra you live by?
“Success travels in the company of very hard work.” – John Wooden
What do you love to do outside of work?
Reading, colouring, LEGO, puzzles, crafts, playing with toys/dolls, and any outdoor activities like soccer or going to the park.
Oh, and that’s all with my kids if I didn’t mention it.
And when I’m not reading their books, you can find me reading my own or playing sports like basketball, golf, and soccer. I’m also a big football fan (American and European) and, of course, hockey. New Orleans Saints, Aston Villa, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are my teams. Go Leafs Go!
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what album, movie, and book would you take with you?
Album – Joyful Rebellion by k-os
Movie – Inglorious Basterds
Book – 1984 by George Orwell
Describe yourself in three words.
Determined, considerate, and tall (ask my kids and they’d undoubtedly throw silly in there too)
And finally, what’s your favourite product and why?
I love my iPad. FaceTime for keeping in touch with friends and family. And I get apps like DAZN for streaming sports, I can read books, newspapers, and magazines, I can play games (I recently took chess up again), and it goes where I need it to, from the couch to the bedroom.
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