Jonah brings his exceptional knowledge of Magento, the Drupal API and solid front-end development skills to each project he leads. He has been the lead developer on several of our largest implementations including Precor, Domu and most recently our open source Magento extension development with Amazon Payments. Jonah also holds a Magento Developer Plus certification, a credential earned by only the most expert of Magento developers.
Jonah has a B.A. from the University of Washington (a double major in Psychology and Communication), and 10+ years of experience in web application development. He comes from a long line of Northwest engineers, is a natural coder, and celebrates all his birthdays at The Crab Pot along Seattle’s Waterfront. Currently coding (on non-Seahawk game days only) from Bremerton on the Olympic Peninsula with his sidekick Rooh.
The Six Things You Need to Know About Jonah Ellison
What is it like living in Bremerton, Washington?
It’s an hour ferry ride from Seattle, and really convenient to get to the city. I like being close to the Olympic Peninsula and the Olympic National Forest. I like to do hikes and trail runs through the forest and my dog, Rooh, loves it as well.
What do you recommend to people visiting Bremerton?
There’s a great golf course in this area, really beautiful. There’s also some good breweries that serve a great scotch ale. I particularly recommend Silver City Brewery. And of course the hiking.
How did you transition from a major in Psychology and communication to development?
I’ve always been into programming, and in college I created a startup that was a social networking site called Umatch. We were trying to sell it to student bodies - there were a lot of people trying to do what Facebook did during that time - but it was great experience as far as coding. I taught myself PHP and MySQL and eventually I got a job at the University of Washington working as a web developer. After that I was then hired in the private sector and went from firm to firm.
Psychology is definitely a fun and intriguing subject and I’m still very interested in it. I just recently read Strangers to Ourselves by Timothy D. Wilson, a great book about the adaptive unconscious. Another favorite of mine is the book The Practicing Mind, which focuses on the psychology of being in the present and focusing on the process instead of the final end project.
What was your first computer?
It was something I built myself, a 386 20MHz IBM with a 40MB hard drive and 2MB of RAM. I got it in ‘92 ‘93, when I was about 9 or 10 and trying to create my own computer games. We eventually ran out of games to play and I wanted to make more on my own. They were "Choose Your Own Adventure" type games and I think that’s how I initially started to learn programming.
How did the Crab Pot tradition get started?
I found the Crab Pot when I worked at Gage Design and really liked the tradition we had of going every year during Memorial Day weekend. You order a big bowl of seafood, things like crab and oysters, and it’s all mixed together and they dump it on the table in front of you. You eat it all with lots of butter and it’s great.
What’s your favorite book you’ve read?
I really like science fiction, some of my favorites have been Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, Dune by Frank Herbert, and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
If you have any additional questions for Jonah, or just want to send him a note, send him a tweet @jonahj!