Joe Stump on How Recoding Websites as a 20-Year Old Advanced Career

In Chapter 12 of 16 of his 2009 Capture Your Flag interview, Joe Stump shares two early career confidence building experiences. As a 20-year old, Stump is tasked with building out large scale websites and e-commerce architectures. This trust, aimed directly at someone others might deem too young for the responsibility, shapes Stumps perception for what is possible as well as his appreciation for being responsible and accountable with large projects. Over time, Stump builds upon these, ultimately landing a lead architect role at Digg.


Erik Michielsen:  What life experience did the most to bolster your self-confidence?

Joe Stump: I would say there were a couple things where people took chances on me and I succeeded.  One of them was Keith at Portable Computers when he took a chance on me to rewrite – I mean he literally handed the keys to the kingdom over to a 19-year old kid. 

So I rewrote the whole website in PHP, and that went well, which directly led to me getting the job at Care2.  Matt there took a risk again.  Here is this 19-year old - I turned 20 two days after the interview.  So here is a 19-year old kid from middle of nowhere Michigan and he took a chance, moved me out there and I worked on a huge website.  Those are probably the two big things where people took chances on me that forever changed the course of who I am and what I do.