Day in the Life: Ocean Pittenger, Interactive Developer
Dec 13, 2016
“I was a photographer, and had a degree in photography from Appalachian. Then, I was a stay-at-home mom. Then I went back to school and got a programming degree.”
Ocean Pittenger, interactive developer, may not have chartered the straightest course to Centerline, but over the course of almost two years, she’s certainly made her mark. How does one go from photographer to developer?
“I knew I wanted to go back to school, and I knew I wanted to be in kind of the same field. I went back for web design, and once I was in the program I started doing programming along with the designing, and decided that I liked it better,” Pittenger explains. “I like the problem-solving nature of it, it’s kind of like a puzzle. It was challenging. I had been in the subjective world for a really long time, so it was nice to be out of that.”
Once she was out of school, Pittenger worked at both an agency and a North Carolina state office as a developer. She realized pretty quickly that she was more cut out for agency life.
“At an agency, I learn something new every day, and with every project. Every project involves learning a new technology, or a new way to use technology. It’s nice to work with creative people – it definitely keeps me on my toes,” said Pittenger.
While every day may teach a lesson or two, it was her first year at Centerline that taught Pittenger some truly valuable lessons.
“Be willing to learn always,” said Pittenger. “Be willing to go outside your comfort zone, because that’s the only way to learn new things. No developer knows everything – that makes me feel better about things when I’m working on something. I learn a lot from my team.
“We have a stand-up every morning at 9 a.m., where we pass around the hacky sack and talk about what we’re working on, if there’s anything we may have difficulties with, or just how the project’s going. That’s usually a good time to bring up if you could use another developer’s help. When needed, I reach out to a more senior developer to ask them how they would do something, which is a great way to learn a new way of doing or thinking about things.”
If you know Pittenger, you know that reinventing herself as a developer is not the only transformation she’s gone through. She’s run five marathons since starting at Centerline. Four of those were in 2016 – she was Boston Qualified at one, became a Marathon Maniac, and also ran two half-marathons and Cupid’s Undie Run.
She’s currently training for the Golden Gate 50k in San Francisco. Yes, 50k. That’s an ultra-marathon.
And she only started seriously running about six years ago.
So how does a developer, working full time with two children, find time to train? Two words: Fitness hours. Centerline believes fitness is a vital part of leading a healthy and fulfilling life, and therefore sponsors two hours each week for fitness outside of lunch/personal time.
“Fitness hours are one of my favorite perks! They allow me to fit in workout I wouldn’t have time for outside of work. I mainly use them for HEAT classes to incorporate cross-training into my running schedule. I can do these workouts during the day, and not take more time away from my family,” said Pittenger. “They help me clear my mind to come back and focus. If there has been any stress in the day, taking a fitness hour helps to alleviate that. When coworkers join, it’s great for camaraderie, and connects me with people outside my department.”
Since starting at HEAT, a fitness studio offering classes for Centerliners, two years ago, Pittenger has cut two minutes off her mile.
Want to kick off the new year working out like Ocean? Here’s her weekly workout plan — we wish you luck…you’re going to need it.