Employee Spotlight: Eric Ward
Here's what I do for Website Pipeline: everything technology. From software to servers I'm knee deep in it all.
What project/goal that you worked on are you most proud of?
Since day one, if it involves technology at Website Pipeline, I’ve been involved at some level. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last 16 years, and I take a lot of pride seeing our customers grow their businesses using our platform.
Right now, my main focus is preparing our systems and software to offer a 100% data accuracy Guarantee from the ERP to Website by year end. This is much more difficult than you might expect. Our sync tool moves billions of records each month from hundreds of different clients that all have different hardware, software, and connectivity. Offering a 100% guarantee by the end of 2015 presents a very interesting challenge, but we are well on our way. To capture immediate benefits from the work, we have broken the project into 3 major phases.
- Phase 1: Stop Data Leakage – Our error ratios are low, but when you are moving billions of records, even a .01 error ratio adds up. With the guarantee, we can’t lose any data.
- Phase 2: Data Consistency - We’ve built an internal system that is constantly monitoring, correcting, and alerting of data inconsistencies. This process works tirelessly 24x7x365.
- Phase 3: Improved Change Tracking – solidify our change tracking capabilities so we never miss a change in the ERP. If it changes, we know about it and send it to the website.
I’m involved in many other non-technical projects, but the vast majority of my time goes into my true passion - technology.
What's the funniest thing that has happened at Website Pipeline?
Not all of these I remember may be appropriate for social media, but here goes. Over the years there have been too many moments, to list just one. Here are a few in no specific order:
- Playing golf with Eric and watching him wind up and swing as hard as possible, and miss the ball. I think it was hole 18 after many beverages. This might have been 2003 or 2004.
- Watching Gary spider monkey people on Bourbon Street @ 4 AM. And yes, I went down like a sack of potatoes when he hit me.
- Hearing Nathan cry out in pain when fukushima nerf darts hit him in the leg, arm, face, eye - pretty much anywhere. Not sure why I find it so amusing, but it often brings me to tears.
Which movie or TV character would you be if you could choose?
I'm going to change this to a book character instead of a TV character. I'll let you in on a little secret. I have an addiction to fantasy teen fiction books and end of civilization books. I read 2 – 3 of these type of books a month. The character I associate with the most is Captain Lee Hardin or BK. In my head, I'm a badass like these guys, but in real life - I'm just a dork. I also read at least 2 – 3 technical books a month to feed my other obsession - technology.
Yes, I'm a dork. I love to learn about new technologies and read fiction. If you haven’t ever read a teen fiction series - here are few of my favorites: The Reckoners, I AM Number Four, Legend, Penryn & the End of Days, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, 5th Wave, and The Eye of Minds.
What's your favorite hobby?
Boating and summertime at the lake. My favorite time is on the boat with family and friends. I grew up going to the lake with friends and family and continued it into my adult life. It doesn't matter what we are doing on the water, from teaching people to water ski, wake boarding, knee board, barefoot skiing or the ghetto air chair behind the boat.
Well, sort of:
I also love to go fishing with my sons. Not the fishing part as much, but hanging out with them. I feel at home at the lake and out on the water.
Tell us about a cool celebrity encounter
I haven't really met anyone famous, but I would love to have lunch with any of the following people: Ben Foss, Bill Gates, Dave Ramsey, Robert Kiyosaki, Malcolm Gladwell, Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Lencioni, Daniel Pink, Bill Joy, and Steve Wozniak.
I'm a die-hard Dallas Cowboy fan, so meeting Jerry Jones, Tony Romo, Troy Aikman, or heck any current or former player, would be incredible.
If you know any of these people- hook me up!! I need a celebrity encounter
What programming languages are you fluent in?
I get this question from a lot from non-programmers. I believe once you understand the fundamentals of programming, it's all syntax. I’ve programmed in at least 20 different languages and love learning new ones.
My obsession with computers and software began on my 10th birthday when my grandparents gave me a computer. It was the size of a microwave, and it had a state of the art green screen. From the first time I touched the keys, I was hooked. I would read every manual and book I could find about software and the operating systems. It was the early 80’s and technical books were scarce. I actually had to go to the library to get a book. That thirst for technical knowledge continues today. It’s my hobby and I’m lucky enough for it to be my career.
Eric is one of 60+ Website Pipeline employees (well, he's an owner, but he works here everday), all of whom are in North America (we have one awesome Canadian). He was voted "Most Likely To Injure Someone With Nerf Darts" in high school. You can learn more about the Website Pipeline culture on our website, or visit our Meet The Team page to see more WSP employees.