Our employees are a big part of what makes Digium a fun and unique place to work. Not to brag, but we truly have some amazing people with numerous backgrounds and different personalities, all of whom have a real passion for what they do. In fact, we have a lot of people ask what it’s like to work at Digium and how to become part of our team. So, we decided to kick off a new Get to Know Digium: Employee Spotlight series where we ask employees about their roles inside the company as Digiumites (our name for team members), as well as their life and interests outside of Digium.
We’ll kick off the series with Scott Griepentrog, a long-time, avid Asterisk user and a Digium Software Developer.
Briefly describe your education and career prior to joining Digium.
I’m mostly self taught. Generally, by the time I had the opportunity to take a specific computer related course, I had already dug into the material and learned it on my own. However, I did greatly value my time at Purdue University, where I learned as much about what I didn’t want to do as what I did, putting my career path into focus.
What first turned you on to working for Digium?
I was looking for a new challenge when I came across a tweet from Erin Spiceland looking to hire developers for a web project — which later turned into Respoke. I had been using Asterisk for almost a decade, and had a lot of respect for Digium’s origin from an open source project. I thought it would be great to work for Digium, even if just on a temporary contract, and was asked to the join the Asterisk team instead.
What projects have you been involved in at Digium that you are most proud of?
I’ve been working on a wide range of areas of the Asterisk source code as I get up to speed, mostly bug fixes but some new features as well. Lately, however, I’ve been specializing in the DPMA module that interfaces to and configures Digium’s IP phones.
What is the most satisfying thing about your job?
I love fixing bugs and adding new features – especially ones that bugged me previously when I was implementing Asterisk systems for customers. Also, getting to work with a team of really smart people who know their stuff.
When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be and why?
When I was growing up I wanted to be an engineer like my dad, building things that could benefit people. I was always tinkering with electronic parts and building things – my first project was creating a combination radio receiver and flashlight for my mother by sticking both in the same box with a toggle switch. Later, I enjoyed wiring up old telephones with a battery to make an intercom, and built a robot with rubber band driven wheels that you could drive around and turn on a fan to pick up dirt off the floor.
Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
I enjoy spending time with my wife, building and playing Cigar Box Guitars, writing code, Jazz music, and fixing antique furniture.
How do you get involved with your community? Are there any local groups or organizations you are involved with?
I help out with the local entrepreneur organizations, assisting where needed with my networking and telephony experience, and doing training classes in software development techniques. In fact, I’m doing another training session here shortly that is an introductory lesson for PHP*.
*Get more info here
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be? What would you do within that week?
Either Edison or Tesla immediately come to mind. But I think being a Betazoid would win out, since being able to sense other people is something I’ve always dreamed of doing. It would make solving interpersonal relationship problems a whole lot easier.
Three things, all at the same time: a) travel the world with my wife, b) finish off some software projects I’ve been wanting to have the time to do, and c) playing gigs and selling cigar box guitars anywhere that I can. I’d have to set up a small manufacturing concern first to keep me supplied, of course.
What advice would you give someone entering the workforce today?
First learn how to learn. Then don’t stop learning, doing, and creating. Solve problems and navigate obstacles in the most creative way you can think of.
Would you like to give any shout outs to anyone?
My wife Crystal — who was happy to move down here from Indianapolis even though it meant giving up our favorite Jazz club. We’ve been married 14 years, and enjoy the warmer weather and lack of snow shovelling. She comes to work with me occasionally when she helps fill in part time at the Digium Beans & Bytes Cafe.
What others have to say:
“I learn something new every time I interact with Scott. He is a wealth of knowledge about so many things in the world of technology and always genuinely glad to help” – Justin Hester, Asterisk Technical Trainer
“Scott Griepentrog approaches everything he works on with great enthusiasm and a Frankenstein-esque willingness to tinker in things that would leave some of the less experienced of us in our offices curled up in a fetal position. I certainly admire his competency. He’s a great asset to the software engineering team”- Jonathan Rose, Digium Software Engineer
Connect with Scott on LinkedIn and Twitter
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