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Tagged: Blog | Life at Altus

Altus Employee Spotlight October: George Guja

This month we’re shining the spotlight on George Guja, one of our Software Developers.

George joined the Development Team at Altus Assessments in June 2018, bringing with him specialized knowledge and many years of experience. He studied software development at Mohawk College in his hometown of Hamilton, and while completing courses, he worked a night shift at Mohawk College’s IT department, where he monitored the school’s systems and ensured students and staff had proper support.

After graduating, George quickly worked his way up to become a Software Specialist in the IT department, before joining a startup in Hamilton that was exploring the possibilities of digitizing social good. These two positions allowed him to hone his programming skills in Meteor, a specialized full-stack platform that Altus Assessments uses. As such, when Altus Assessments was looking for a new software developer, George was perfect for the job.

“George is a dream to work with. He’s collaborative, understanding, and super patient. He’s also very good at explaining complicated dev concepts to us non-technical person and we REALLY appreciate it. I feel privileged to be able to work with him!” Kaylie Greaves, Head of Customer Success

George works to ensure the maintainability and scalability of the system, and loves the challenge of quickly scaling it up to support many applicants taking the CASPer test each year. The Development team rolls out new features every two weeks, so he gets to frequently work on new projects, and enjoys working collaboratively in a larger team where he can see the different ways people approach the same problem, while continuing to grow in his skill set. 

“George is a super collaborative teammate and goes out of his way to make sure he owns his tasks. This means understanding every aspect of the task – i.e. business logic, rules and limitations around the task. More importantly he shares this information with every team member to ensure everyone is on the same page.” KJ Chabra, Lead Software Developer

When not at work, George continues to challenge himself in his many hobbies, including mountaineering. After doing extensive research on how to prepare himself physically for more intense climbs, he spent the past summer climbing the Tatra Mountains in Poland, where his family is from. Another mountain George plans to tackle is the beautiful Mount Shuksan in Washington, which he keeps top of mind with a beautiful canvas print of it on his desk. His ultimate goal is to climb Mount Denali, the tallest mountain in North America which stands at 6,190 metres!

If he’s not braving the elements on mountains, he likes to explore Virtual Reality technologies. Having bought a VR headset just a year ago, he has progressed from using existing applications to creating his own. While some design fantasy worlds, George prefers to focus on how to make existing experiences as realistic as possible, so that one day others can experience a plethora of things, like learning to fly a helicopter, or scaling glaciers in Greenland, that they otherwise can never experience. We are eagerly waiting for him to bring his headset to the office soon so we can try out his programs!

George’s cat Blackie, and pictures from the Tatra Mountains in Poland