Here's our next installment of In The Driver's Seat, the Social Driver Q&A series.
Meet our Web Developer Cooper Joslin who thrives on solving intricate website mysteries at Social Driver. From fixing funky styling to embracing diverse coding languages, Cooper relishes being the "Internet detective" clients turn to. Explore the journey of growth, contribution to nonprofit missions, and finding a home in our inclusive work environment.
Name: Cooper Joslin
Title: Web Developer
Location: Washington, DC
What do you do at Social Driver?
I'm a web developer, and I primarily work on our maintenance sites. People send in requests to fix something, and I'm usually the one who takes care of it.
What do you like about your specific job at Social Driver, your day-to-day, your role?
I feel like an Internet detective, and that's such a fun feeling. I really enjoy it when clients send in the most off-the-wall stuff, like "How in the world does that stop working?" or when certain parts of the website need redoing. I have a lot of fun figuring out the solutions to those types of problems. I also like having to pull from a variety of different coding languages and just figure out the most efficient way to fix some of the weirdo problems that come in.
When you're working on a project, what do people usually come to you for help with or what are they typically looking for expertise in?
Basically, any website-related thing. Project Managers often reach out and ask questions like, "Hey, the client is trying to do this. Can they do that? And if so, can they do it themselves, or do they need us to do it?" A lot of scoping questions like that, but sometimes Strategists ask me about development things or if something can be done in the CMS.
From a client perspective, what do our clients typically ask you or come to you looking to understand?
Clients often send in requests regarding certain parts of their website. If anything stops working or the styling looks funky, or they're trying to implement something new on their website, that's usually what they ask for help with.
Can you tell me about a particular project you've worked on recently that you enjoyed or are particularly proud of?
One that comes to mind is the Victory Fund. They did a rebrand, and we had the opportunity to work with them to update their website. It wasn't a full redesign from the ground up, but we kept the bones of the site and restructured the styling. I got to do almost all of the front-end work for the Out for America site, which was super fun. It's a very beautiful and complex map, so diving into the code line by line was really enjoyable.
Do you consider yourself an expert in any specific area or skill related to your role?
Maintenance as a whole is my thing. From day one, as a Junior Developer, I was setting up maintenance accounts and onboarding clients into maintenance. I really enjoy seeing those types of requests through, whether it's changing hosting providers or just building a new component on a site. I like the requests that require some sort of investigation, which make me feel like an Internet detective.
What drew you to Social Driver, and why were you interested in working here?
I was an English major in college, then I went into journalism, and I graduated from grad school in 2020, which was a challenging year for job hunting. I transitioned into web development because I had a lot of personal experience building websites. When I moved to DC, I researched cool places to work, and Social Driver stood out to me because of the company culture, which was evident from their website and social channels. I knew it would be a good fit for me, and once I started my development role here, I fell in love with it.
What have been the highlights of your time at Social Driver so far?
One of the best aspects is working with our clients. I really enjoy working on nonprofit sites, knowing that the work I do helps them achieve their missions. Also, every Monday morning, I get to catch up with the whole Dev team, and that's a highlight because we have many smart and talented developers here. I learn a lot from them, and it's great to see all the cool projects everyone has been working on. Also, I recently got promoted, so that's super exciting.
Do you have any tips or recommendations for someone considering joining Social Driver?
For new hires, I'd recommend jumping on Slack. It's a fun way to get to know other Social Drivers, and there are channels for everything. If there's not a channel for something you want to discuss, you can request it, and it will likely be created. Social Driver is supportive and inclusive, which I appreciate. When I changed my name and pronouns, HR was very responsive and made the process smooth. The inclusivity here is excellent.
Do you have a favorite Social Driver value?
I love "Put people above everything else," but the value that has made the biggest difference for me is "Ask questions even if you think you know the answer." I've learned so much that way. Even when I think I know the answer, I ask and get a thorough explanation, which is really helpful.