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Brilliant People of Omaha: Josh Shapland, Software Developer, Blue Cross Blue Shield

josh

Josh Shapland is a technical lead software developer for Blue Cross Blue Shield. He works closely with Blue Cross Blue Shield’s architecture team to help guide them to developing the best solutions for the company.

We recently sat down with Josh to talk more about his position, and how his career path got him to where he is today.

 

AIM: How did you end up as a software developer?
JS: I went into college pursuing pre-med, and somehow wound up here. As part of the pre-med program I ended up taking a couple of computer science classes and really enjoyed it. I had always been very technical and was always playing around with computers at home. When I took those software development classes I kind of was like, “Oh, maybe I should actually do this.”
I would say it was primarily those college courses and then just always being that person who everybody would come to, to fix their computer and stuff like that.

 

AIM: What’s the biggest misunderstanding about what you do?
JS: I’d say the biggest misunderstanding is that it’s not just coding. It’s not just me on a headset at my desk all day. More often I am working with different people and different areas of the company to try to problem solve, more than I am heads down at my desk writing code.

 

AIM: What’s the best part about working for Blue Cross Blue Shield?
JS: I’d say the best perk of my job is probably the flexibility. I don’t have to be in at 7 or 8, I can come in at 9. I can leave early if I need to. I can work from home if I need to. Flexibility is probably one of my favorite things that Blue Cross offers.
Another major perk is the amount of growth opportunities I’ve had since I started. I started off as an intern, and I’m already up to a technical lead role on my team within just four years. The amount of opportunities that I’ve had within Blue Cross, and the coaching and the guidance I received from the internship has really been another great thing about it. I’ve always been supported and they allow you the flexibility to make mistakes. If you do, you learn from them and it really helps.

 

AIM: Do you have a side passion project you’re working on now?
JS: Yes, it’s a Windows Store app called, Timeclock that I wrote for my wife that helps her keep track of her time at the office. I actually published it out to the Windows Store and am selling it for $1.99.
Basically it allows her to clock in and out like a basic time clock, and gives her the opportunity to export that data to Excel, backing up all the data in the Cloud.

 

AIM: If somebody wants to do what you’re doing, how should they get started?
JS: I would say if you want to do what I’m doing, you have to be passionate about software development. I would just recommend diving in. I wouldn’t say you have to go to school. You can learn on your own and get in and work on projects that you’re passionate about.
From there, you can develop a portfolio of projects. If you go the school route, you’ll learn a lot of the things that you need, but I’d still recommend working on things on the side. That’s what we look for when we’re hiring people. You have to be passionate about what you do.

 

Are you interested in finding a job like Josh’s? Check out the latest openings at Blue Cross Blue Shield here.

 

Brilliant People of Omaha: A series of discovery.

Welcome to Brilliant People of Omaha. In this series we will sit down with local brilliant individuals who love their jobs, have excellent career advice and are ready to share their story about how they came into their current position.

We will talk to a variety of people in this series including: developers, designers, managers, CEOs, interns, etc. Everyone has a story, and we are here to uncover it and see what we can learn from the brilliant people around us.

Do you have someone you’d like to nominate as a brilliant person of Omaha? Drop Melanie Lucks a line at mlucks@aiminstitute.org. We’d love to hear from you.