Not Just Skating By

Photo by Jack’s mom!

Jack Cole, Spartan’s latest hire as a software engineer and a lifelong resident of San Francisco, turns 30 years old this month. While in and of itself that’s not a major life achievement, if you ponder at Jack’s LinkedIn profile, you’ll see that he’s been working for close to 26 years. That in itself is a life achievement.

Jack grew up inside Skates on Haight in San Francisco’s historical Haight-Ashbury District, started by his parents 45 years ago. As a toddler, Jack was introduced to the multicultural clientele who visited the shop to purchase skates, skateboards, and plenty of free advice. As the store is frequented by the many tourists who visit San Francisco, he grew to learn of the people from other places, be it France, Japan, or Brazil, had different expectations that staff needed to adjust to enhance the customer experience.

It was also at the skate shop that Jack was introduced to computers, although at the age of 5 he seemed more intent on crashing the computer than actually being productive. After his parents grew tired of constantly having a technician come and repair the computer after Jack’s “work”, his parents thought maybe it would be best to teach him how to use the computer and all the wonders that it may bring. So, for the last 22 years, Jack’s been fiddling with computers and code, culminating in a degree from San Francisco State University.

During this time, Jack worked with his parents to bring the business into the modern age, helping to modernize Skates on Haight’s internet presence and eventually it’s online stores. Simply by osmosis, Jack became the go-to-guy for all his family’s tech needs as the enhancements he made increased the family’s business to the outside world.

Jack thrives on personal challenge. As a lifelong San Franciscan, Jack could have sought employment anywhere in the United States but chose to look for work here in Silicon Valley because he knew the competition would be fierce in industries that he had little knowledge. He specifically was interested in Spartan. “At a smaller company, there is a bigger weight on your shoulders to perform, a larger skill-set required, and it’s even harder just to get hired.” Jack said. “I saw this as a personal challenge, like a badge of honor. Since I started, I’ve already faced some great challenges that have immensely expanded my knowledge in the field of computer science.”

Jack is always ready to help out when needed and has that unique ability to explain complex situations in a way that anyone can understand. Quite different from the little boy who, at 4 years old wouldn’t utter a word. Luckily he was brought out of his shell by his kindergarten teacher, Gary, who’s patient method of pulling the best from within has led Jack to where he is today.

“It’s pretty incredible what human engineering has accomplished” states Jack. And we think it’s great that you are a part of what we can accomplish at Spartan.