Dec. 30, 2021

Robbie’s Origin Story: Learning to Code, Learning to Hire, and Taking the Entrepreneurial Leap

If you’ve ever wondered where Ship Shape got its shape and how Robbie became Ember’s number one fan, this episode is for you.

Robbie and Chuck revisit the early chapters of Robbie’s career, including the gigs he loved and the corporate structures he hated. They talk about lessons learned, taking the entrepreneurial leap, and what’s on the horizon. While Robbie’s career has hardly been a linear path, the most exciting and fulfilling journeys rarely are. 

Key Takeaways

  • [00:44] - Whiskey review and a brief overview of Pinhook. 
  • [06:23] - Robbie’s introduction to the digital world.
  • [13:15] - College and his bridge to JavaScript.
  • [16:06] - The first startup Robbie worked at.
  • [18:30] - The start of Robbie’s post-grad gigs. 
  • [21:20] - A proud whiteboard-ing moment. 
  • [24:23] - What Robbie learned at Red Hat. 
  • [30:28] - Where Robbie fell in love with Ember. 
  • [34:56] - The next step in Robbie’s Ember career. 
  • [36:55] - Where Robbie had the stereotypical startup experience. 
  • [37:22] - Robbie’s return to Ember. 
  • [45:25] - The start of Ship Shape and the value of networking. 
  • [49:52] - Robbie’s thoughts on React.


[23:39] - “I think all of computer science boils down to understanding the Big O notation of the thing you’re doing. That’s it. If you know what’s most efficient, you can look up how to do it.” ~ @rwwagner90

[25:14] - “It comes back to my approach to hiring anyone. You hire good people who want to learn things and will do well, and they’ll do well at any technology.” ~ @rwwagner90

[45:39] - “Honestly, there were a lot of times, and you’ve been around for some of them, where I’ve been like, ‘alright, let’s just stop and go back and get real jobs because we don’t have enough money and we’ll just stop doing this.’ But it always works out. And we continue to grow and you just have to trust that it’s going to work out.” ~ @rwwagner90


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