Instructor Spotlight: Shane Da Silva – Intro to Web Development Lead Educator | Senior Software Engineer

By Ben Blair June 3, 2015
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BrainStation is excited to announce that Shane Da Silva, Senior Software Engineer on the Internal Tools Team at Hootsuite, will be joining us as the Lead Educator for our Intro to Web Development course in Vancouver this summer! Throughout his career, Shane has worked in several areas of the Vancouver technology landscape. Shane has a strong history implementing front-end systems and processes to early-stage startups using frameworks like Angular and React. He’s currently very interested in WebRTC and the possibilities it creates for future developers of web communications technologies.Read on to learn more about him. 

Shane Da Silva - Intro to Web Development Lead Educator | Senior Software Engineer

What is your technical background (school, jobs) and what led you to where you are today?
I started my career as a junior developer at a local advertising agency. They did great work but when I found myself wanting to work on iOS apps I decided it was time to move on to a more digitally focused agency. After spending some time dabbling in mobile development I eventually came back to the web and took a strong interest in front-end development languages like Javascript. 

In 2012 I joined a startup called Brightkit, which was working out the Invoke Labs incubator in Gastown. As lead front-end developer I had the opportunity to work with of exciting tools and frameworks like Angular.js. After around 18 months with Brightkit we were acquired by Hootsuite Media Inc. I’m now a Senior Software Engineer at Hootsuite and have had the chance to work with a few different teams since we joined last summer. I’m currently working on the Internal Tools team where we build software for our partners as well as for internal use.

What are some of your favourite hobbies?
Coding and learning new technologies of course. I love setting some time aside when I can to dig into some cool new framework I’ve read about and try to build something functional with it. I grew up playing a lot of soccer but these days I seem to just play during the dryer months. I also do a lot of hiking. Usually just short local hikes but I’d like to try an overnighter like Black Tusk this Summer if I can.

What are you most excited for this summer with BrainStation?
Everything. It’s been really great to see the response the city has had to the free workshops we’re putting on. The enthusiasm people are showing for learning the content has me excited for the beginning of classes. It’s going to be a lot of fun to see the students progress throughout the semester. 

Who do you look to for inspiration/mentorship?
I look for someone that I can “click” with. I’ve found the with many mentors I’ve had that I’ve gotten along with them very well. Also, they constantly challenge me to improve and expand on my skill set by introducing me to duties and successes. That’s not to say you have to be best buds though, I think the main thing you to keep in mind is when looking for a mentor is that it’s a relationship. And just like any other, there needs to be good communication and respect from both sides.
What books, blogs, social media accounts do you recommend to follow to learn about Intro to Web?
One of the great things about web developers is that for the most part, they love to share. So there’s a huge number of resources out there to learn from. Here’s a few:

  • CSS-Tricks (Posts primarily about new features in CSS)
  • Sitepoint (Loaded with great resources on learning HTML, CSS and tons of other topics)
  • HTML5Doctor (Focused on HTML tutorials for those just starting out and for the more advanced)

What is your favourite aspect of Web Development?
I’d say “the ability to create” is the most attractive part about web development. It can be similar to the joy from playing Lego Simcity as a kid, and to some extent the act of writing.
Also, always having  something new to learn. If you approach it with the mindset of trying to stay ahead (or near) the curve, you’ll never be wanting for something new to learn and apply again.