News Archives: GPRC Alumni Developed Software Appetite At GPRC
Monday, August 17th, 2020
GPRC alumni, Colby Garland developed software appetite in GPRC's Computer Systems Technology diploma program.
Colby Garland first became interested in computer technology by tweaking gaming software on his parents’ computer. Thanks to his GPRC experience, he’s turned that childhood pastime into a successful career he loves.
A lifelong Grande Prairie resident, Garland completed his Computer Science and Technology Diploma in 2015.
He’s is now employed at Teleo Technologies Inc. located in the heart of his hometown. The company specializes in helping businesses solve their online information challenges with hardware and software solutions.
As a software engineer, Garland works as a programmer, developing apps and apis –interfaces that allow applications to communicate with each other.
“I’m currently working on a few different projects. On one of them, I’m working on the backend for a stretching app. I’ve been working on and maintaining this for the better part of a year now, writing the api. I’ve been writing the logic and tests for this api and writing the integration to the app,” says Garland.
“I’ve also been working on the frontend and backend for an asset tracking app for tracking lower valued assets. I write the backend logic and tests and the front end user-facing component as well.”
Garland started out web programming at imageDESIGN where he used his learning from GPRC to program a wide variety of websites and backends.
“Having the strong skills GPRC teaches helped me ease into my professional roles readily. Developing is usually a collaborative situation and working on projects with other students gives you some of that experience right from the beginning.”
He credits instructors David Gregg and Franco Carlacci for being particularly helpful in inspiring him to continue programming and learning.
“What I appreciate most is definitely the encouragement to continue learning GPRC instilled in me. Software development, particularly web development, changes daily,” says Garland. “The things I learned when I first started programming have already been replaced with different technologies. I go home every day and my wife asks me, ‘What new thing did you learn today?’ GPRC gave me the power to problem solve, logically and methodically. That’s the best tool any developer can have in their tool chest.”
Garland says machine learning and artificial intelligence will become increasingly prominent in solving current and yet to be encountered problems.
He looks back fondly on his early taste of computer technology.
“Programming always seemed fun and computers have interested me since I was a little kid. I remember when my old neighbour installed a dirt biking demo on my parents’ home computer and we spent hours tweaking some configuration plain text files to get it working correctly. That was probably my first foray into computers.”
Now he’s thrilled to be in an ever-changing field.
“Programming is, in itself, a tremendously rewarding career. I’ve written code I’m extremely proud of. It’s a great feeling having a piece of software that you either wrote or contributed to, and it helping someone solve a problem or market their business. I enjoy doing something that really, truly benefits people.”
Garland’s delighted he can pursue an exciting career in his hometown.
“There are a lot of opportunities for a tech-minded person in Grande Prairie, whether it be IT, automation, web development or business app development. There is a wide variety of veins a person could choose to specialize in within the community,” says Garland.
“A young person being interested in software development is a wonderful thing. There are so many different ways to pursue it and so many opportunities. The beauty of software development is that you can work from your house remotely or within the office of a local firm. I am constantly learning and evolving.”
Building websites, apps and apis isn’t Garland’s only pride and joy.
As a guitarist and vocalist, he released his first album, Lakewood, in 2016.
And in January 2019, Garland and his wife, Robyn, became parents to daughter Amie.
“Having my daughter has easily been the single best thing in my life. She’s such a wonderful person. I love spending time with her, seeing how she sees the world around her.”
Learn more about GPRC's Computer Systems Technology program here.