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Meet JP

What do you do at Lookahead and how long have you been working with us?

I’m a bit of an old soul with Lookahead. Steve told me his idea for starting his own company, back when we were having drinks at The Baxter Inn many moons ago. Officially, I’ve been with Lookahead for over five years. I’m a partner and technical recruiter. Essentially, I help our clients build amazing product development teams, and I help awesome developers and tech leaders find great companies to work with.

What’s your background? Where were you in the tech industry before joining Lookahead?

I’m an engineer at heart, and graduated with a computer engineering degree back in 2003 in Vancouver, Canada. I worked as a software developer for the first five years of my career. I then moved more into people leadership, becoming a team lead, and then a development manager for the next four years. After I moved to Sydney in 2010, I became an Agile software professional, performing roles as a consultant Scrum Master, product owner and Agile coach. The major technologies I worked with earlier in my career were Microsoft, C# .Net, C++, and VB. I’ve even done a bit of FPGA (field programmable gate array) programming, and early mobile app development with Embedded C++ for devices like the Palm Pilot and the Compaq iPaq.

If you weren’t at Lookahead where would you be working or what is your dream job?

I want to be in a job that allows me to engage my passions, helps people, and hopefully also has a positive impact on society. As corny as it sounds, I feel that I am able to do all that at Lookahead, so for now and into the foreseeable future, it is my dream job. As an engineer and technology professional, I would’ve never envisioned myself loving this role, but I really do! How funny is life!

First Car?

A blue 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier. It had a moonroof, CD player and subwoofer. I loved that car! Unfortunately it wasn’t built very well, and quickly broke down multiple times over the years. Funny enough, I’ve only owned Japanese-made cars since then. Next was a Toyota, then a Honda, and now we have a Mazda CX9, which fits my growing family.

Hidden Talent?

I used to play the alto saxophone in a jazz band back in high school. I actually received a scholarship to study music at university, which I turned down as I also got a scholarship to study engineering.

Proudest Accomplishment?

Being a father to two young boys and being able to balance my career such that I can spend quality time with them at this age. I’ve had both my boys whilst being at Lookahead. It’s such a blessing and privilege to be a father. It’s also the toughest job I’ve ever had, but also the most fulfilling.

Favourite Sports Team?

I have many favourite teams! All time favourite sports team would be my Vancouver Canucks NHL ice hockey team. In other sports, I support the Seattle Seahawks NFL team, the St. George Illawarra Dragons NRL team, and the Sydney Swans AFL team, of which I was a season ticket holder for years, before having kids!

What piece of technology seems like magic to you?

As an engineer it’s hard for me to answer this question, as I’m naturally inquisitive and try to deeply understand how technologies work from a fundamental level. Given my background, I’m able to research and learn about things at the first principles and physics level, so it doesn’t seem like magic. Having said all that, when I first saw a microwave oven in action a long time ago, that certainly seemed quite weird and magical. I mean, an oven takes ages to heat up food. How did this machine do that in a few seconds?! So, I think in some ways, that might have sparked my interest in learning, and trying to understand how things work, particularly from a technology perspective.

What’s on your Bucket List?

Many things are on my bucket list. With my family, I’d like to travel to every continent including Antarctica, and cruise the Panama Canal. A ‘Round the World’ cruise would be amazing as well. I’d also like to learn different languages; particularly Spanish and to pick up French again. We learned French in school, as I grew up in bilingual friendly Canada, but lost it over time as I haven’t had a chance to use it since moving to Australia. Also, being important enough to be interviewed for a written profile piece, so tick, that’s one item off the list ;-)