The A-Team: Jonathan Roig
Meet an Asymmetrik Software Engineer
Nov 18, 2021
Meet Jonathan Roig – Asymmetrik software developer, musician, rock climber, and hermit crab enthusiast.
After searching for a place where he could work on meaningful, complex problems and grow his skills as a junior software engineer, Jonathan joined The A-Team this summer. “Asymmetrik’s emphasis on mission stuck out to me. Though that was the initial pull, what really made me want to join was the people. Everyone here has been very supportive…I love the connections I make with everyone and it keeps me excited to work every day!”
Here, we get to know Jonathan and learn about what makes him tick!
One thing you need to know about Jonathan is that he loves solving puzzles. Whether it’s software engineering or rock climbing, he brings the same enthusiasm to each challenge. Of climbing he says, “Each wall is a problem-solving exercise and making it to the top of the wall brings satisfaction because it means I have figured out both the mental and physical solution to the problem that works best for me.”
And though he was a Linguistics major, Jonathan was hooked in the same way while taking an Introduction to Programming class during undergrad. “As someone who grew up doing logic puzzles for fun, the puzzles provided by the programming problems drove me deeper in. I eventually even took a Computational Linguistics class to bring my two academic interests together. Language modeling and much of Natural Language Processing remain some of my favorite parts of Computer Science.”
Finding Inspiration in Music
Aside from climbing and software, Jonathan finds inspiration in all things musical. When he was young, he took piano lessons to strengthen his weak fingers, and discovered his true passion. “While my fingers took years to strengthen, I ended up falling in love with music performance and of course later picked up percussion and vocals. I still have skinny fingers to this day, but I have a whopping muscle under my thumb from hitting those keys. And that finger strength is really coming in handy for rock climbing!”
And in college, he even managed the Yale Precision Marching band. As manager, he was responsible for organizing every official gathering of the band, including rehearsals and performances, both home and away. In fact, the position kept him so busy that he wasn’t even able to play an instrument that year. But, he wholeheartedly believes it was all worth it.
“It was an immense amount of work, but it brought me an immense amount of joy. And what I’m most proud of was that the band grew to twice its size that year. I’d like to think I made the group a welcoming, comfortable, and fun one and I think it is this same energy that explains why I love hosting people at my house for dinners and hangouts now!”
- He’s a hermit crab enthusiast: “I keep hermit crabs as pets. Not in the little cage you get at the beach, but in a 55-gallon fish tank. I have two right now and am hoping to get 2 more soon. The tank has 250 pounds of sand, two water tanks, coral, moss, wood, dried cactus, and lots of places for them to hide. I love watching them climb around and interact with each other and making mini salads and dishes for them.”
- He’s been baking since he was 8: “My most popular request is definitely my flan, but I think my flashiest work has been my piña colada cake. My family and friends constantly contact me to make desserts to the point that I’ve considered making a business out of it.”
- Roller coasters are his thing: “I specifically to make annual visits to Six Flags Great Adventure in my home state of New Jersey, which consistently opens record-breaking roller coasters and still has the tallest one in the world. I spent much of my childhood thinking I wanted to design roller coasters one day due to my obsession with Roller Coaster Tycoon (and some small part of me still thinks that would be fun).”
- He taught high school math for two years: Through Teach for America, Jonathan taught at Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy in Baltimore City. “In any given class, you could find a student who was on a 3rd grade math level sitting next to someone on a 10th grade math level. It was my job to teach them all the same. I learned so much about the ways the education system fails the students who need it most, and I did my best to not fail my students as an inexperienced but willing young teacher. My first class of students are seniors this year and will be graduating in May. I’m so excited to see them walk across the stage!”