An interview with Jarod

This is the second in our interview series for the community (check out the first one here). Today we’re talking to @jarod.smilkstein who works here at Automox.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Jarod, and I’m an SDET here at Automox. I’m a Boulder native, since before pre-school anyways. If you haven’t gotten the impression from all my other posts, I’m a huge CU fan and will occasionally attend any CU sport events. But basketball is my favorite! I love being near the mountains, and spending time in them when I can. I fell in to software in 2004, and immediately started scripting (Perl).

How did you come to work at Automox?

I came to Automox in November 2018 (coming up on a year already?), and I love it here! I was originally enticed by the possibility of working for such a small company, getting in early and really being able to contribute and see my impact. I was also in the security space for several years before, and really like the thought that the things we do can have a real, meaningful impact in the world. Besides that, I immediately liked the people I met here, the culture felt right, and the passion for what we are doing was contagious.

You are the president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the ALS association - how did you get involved with that charity?

I first got involved in the ALS Association in 2001 after my now-wife’s mom was diagnosed with it. The Rocky Mountain Chapter really helped us at the time, as it was mainly the two of us acting as caregivers. We started going to the walks and fundraisers then, but a couple years later it afflicted another member of her family, one of her aunts. And then another aunt. And then an uncle. I knew I wanted to be involved more somehow. At one of the galas (fancy dinner, silent auction, etc.) they mentioned they were looking for new members for the board of directors, and I decided that’s how I could give back more. I’ve been on the board since 2011, and just became president this year.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Well, I touched on it a bit above, but a lot of my evenings (in winter/spring anyways) are spent at CU basketball games. I also love endurance events, completing a Leadville 100 mountain bike last year, and my first trail marathon just a couple weeks ago. Also, just out spinning on the bikes with my wife, especially if the ride just happens to stop at a brewery somewhere along the way. We also love to travel, and have combined those passions a couple times, taking a biking trip across Switzerland (Geneva to Konstanz) and another time across northern Italy (Bolzano to Venice).

Favorite quote, saying or motto?

One of my favorite quotes is “It’s never too late to become what you always wanted to be”. I learned after using that for a long time it was a misquote from George Eliot “It’s never too late to be what you might’ve been”, but I stick with the way I learned it :wink: . It inspires me to keep moving forward, pursue my passions, and reminds me that we can always grow. My most-used movie quote is from Ocean’s 13, after the good guys donate all the bad guy’s money to charity, and the baddie says “you think this is funny?”. George Clooney responds “Well, Terry, it sure as sh*t ain’t sad”. It’s become one of those random things we say when things are going well. Often when my wife and I are sitting in the sun at a new brewery, enjoying a cold beer, one of us will just say “Well, Terry”.

Thanks Jarod! If you have any question you’d like to ask him, please post them below.

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“It’s never too late to become what you always wanted to be”.

Just waitin’ for the money to fall from the sky. :wink: Nice to properly meet you, Jarod!

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I’ve always wanted to be a giraffe so I’m glad to hear I just need to be patient! Great interview!

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I believe in you!

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It took me many years to finally become who I wanted to be.

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A librarian? Or a geek?

Definitely a WIP for me

I didn’t figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was in my 30s and made the career switch into community management. It’s a newer career, so not something I would even have known about when I was in college. Your dream job might not even be invented yet!

I’ve always been a geek, not a real librarian (don’t have the MLS). A Marine for 33 years. I was so busy being caregiver to my mom when she got sick and my kids, that I lost who I was. A few years ago, I decided I need to just be me. Went back to school, got my degree, grew my hair out. My motto is “Be happy with who you are”.

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@GeekyLibrarian… 33 years?! You must be the CEO of Crayola by now!

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dim, crayons is a new thing, and I’m old school lol

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So… chalk?? Charcoal and clay?

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