Charged Chats

Charged Chat with Mike Daoust

Charged Chats are a series of interviews featuring inspiring voices from the pros. What motivates them, what inspires them, and what can we take away from their stories to charge ourselves up.

Tell us about your career path. How did you get to where you are now?

That’s a really windy road for sure, but I’ve always known I’ve wanted to be involved in programming. Growing up homeschooled I had a rather unparalleled opportunity to try and focus on finding hobbies that I enjoyed. Once I discovered programming, I knew I wanted to make a career of it.

From there, I enrolled in computer Science, took some side work in freelance web design, and kept gradually refining my area of work along the domains I was passionate about.

Describe your current role?

Today, I’m the lead programmer at NORCAT. Primarily, I manage some of the ongoing projects here and focus on tools development for the rest of the developers. We primarily focus on the realms of VR training tools.

How do you stay motivated when you’re going through a rough patch?

Self discipline mostly. 2+ decades of engrained practice to push through when I don’t feel like working has given me an excellent baseline. Beyond that though, taking regular breaks (whether I want to or not) and making sure to maintain a healthy social life around the office are both immeasurably useful tools to staying sharp productively.

Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone looking to follow in a similar career path?

Don’t settle for doing things your not passionate about! Sure you WILL be required to, in the course of your career, work on some boring content… But by and large if you reach a place where you feel like your entire job is a passionless chore, then it’s time to start looking elsewhere. Not only does it make all the difference in motivation, but it helps you specialize within the skillsets and disciplines that you work best in.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?

Learn when to say no. Constantly agreeing to every deadline, scope change, new project or feature set that comes your way is a fast track to be undervalued and overworked. Learning how to be honest about what you can and can’t do is invaluable.

Anything else you’d like to say to the community?

If you’re a developer in Sudbury, reach out! There’s a lot of us out here, but we’re very badly connected. The stronger our community becomes the stronger our industry as a whole can grow to be.