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Ben MunatSoftware Engineer since Nov. 2007
Ben's computer life had a big detour in the middle of it to get his creative ya-yas out. After writing his first code on a TRS-80 in the late seventies, he started his Computer Science degree at Hampshire College in 1984. But life intervened and led him into playing in various rock bands in Portland in the late eighties and early nineties, then managing bands, engineering studio recordings as well as live performances, booking one of the country's most celebrated alternative rock nightclubs for six years, working as music editor for a alternative newspaper for six years, etc.
After straying from the music biz into the soul-draining world of banquet work, Ben decided it was time to pick up where he left off in the eighties. He entered Evergreen State College in spring of 2003 and wrapped up his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree by the following spring, receiving his diploma just shy of twenty years after starting it.
Barely a month after graduation, he lucked into a temp job with the Beluga Software Developers Cooperative in Olympia, WA. Despite the stern warnings that they would never make him a member/co-owner due to his limited experience, less than a year later, Ben was celebrating his membership. He learned a lot about Java, system administration, and web application architecture while at Beluga. His most prized experience while at Beluga was writing a Fish Hatchery Management system still in use at WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife Hatcheries.
Life soon intervened again however, in the form of a job offer with ChipIn, a web start-up in sunny Honolulu, HI. While at ChipIn, Ben made the jump from Java to Ruby on Rails... and has never looked back. Ben played a big role in the design of ChipIn's enterprise donation tracking system and learned a lot about Rails and JQuery along the way.