From Hardcore Coding to Nature's Roar

Brendan Goodenough - Developer for Crystallize

I have always been passionate about computers. I was learning and actively coding when I was only in the 7th grade! At first, I focused on smaller personal projects. But those small projects sparked my later passions as a professional, as I quickly learned more about the field and developed my skills.

Finding Your Place

I moved into software development and computer science and found a job as an intern at a corporate company. As it turned out, that was not the place for me. There was no real culture there. I decided to join a start-up, where the team was great, the culture was awesome, and I could work alongside dedicated colleagues. Here I found my niche and learned that it’s essential for me to be in a company culture that allows growth, where I can be mentored and mentor others, and where we all contribute. I appreciate cultures and teams with diversity in profiles - companies encouraging you to pursue your ambitions.

Company culture is imperative for growth and development.

I got introduced to the people at Crystallize, where currently I work, at the ReactNorway conference in 2019. We hit it off, and shortly after that, I joined the team in Skien. I was initially creating boilerplates to improve the developer experience. But a year later, I now focus more on the backend side of things. As my responsibilities continue to shift, I get to develop and learn and impact the company’s growth.

A few years back, I had a private YouTube channel. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved creating videos. Like most kids do, right? But I saw that there was potential for more educational videos, so I started making my own. When I joined Crystallize, I also got the opportunity to contribute to the Crystallize video channel’s set-up with tutorials and informational snippets.

Nature's Roar

I love Norway’s nature. I’m an outdoorsy person, so living here fits me perfectly. Many things are actually quite similar to New Zealand, which is my home-country. People in both places seem to like their space, and there’s always easy wilderness access be it the forest or the beach. Whatever you prefer, you’ll find it nearby.

Sometimes, I need a break from coding (believe it or not)! That’s when I take my bike for a ride. I’m passionate about mountain biking and hiking. Some of my favorite moments are when I combine the two, and by that, I mean using the bike to get me to a trailhead where I can then start my hike.

In New Zealand, I did a lot of longer hikes. Like, for days. I’ve hiked up a few of the volcanoes as well. Seeing new spots and taking in the scenery helps me clear my mind. I like hiking up hills, to see the view. No matter how grand or simple, to me, it is always rewarding.

There is just something freeing about nature.

When it comes to longer bike-rides or hikes, it’s great to travel with close friends or a group of people. Some of the best conversations happen while hiking and experiencing nature together. For shorter trips, like an evening hike, I also enjoy the solitude. I like bringing my camera for nature, or astrophotography.