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Meet Josh Hurst: The Fast Interview

Josh Hurst, Front-End Engineer at Fast, with his family


Josh Hurst

Role: Front-End Engineer

Team: Fast Site

What do you do at Fast?

I’m a front-end engineer for the Fast Site Team. We have ownership over the Fast.co marketing site and the signed-in consumer experience.

Describe your typical day at Fast.

I check email, then dashboards to make sure everything is running, attend stand-up meetings, conduct interviews, and coding.

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?

My dad was a JCPenney manager, so we transferred a lot. I’ve lived in Idaho, Montana, and Utah. Being shy and introverted, I was forced to grow if I wanted friends. I played a lot of sports as a result.

What led you to engineering?

When I told the LiveRez CEO, “I’m interested in engineering,” he sent me to a senior engineer who gave me a book. I started building sites, kept learning and trying new things, and one day, the company gave me a project – and here we are.

Where were you before Fast?

A small vacation rental startup called Nakori, and before that, LiveRez for 11 years.

Why did you say yes to Fast?

Fast is something I'm very passionate about. As the family tech, I'm always resetting passwords, and I want to contribute to the problem Fast solves.

What are Fast Engineers doing that catches your eye?

A few things: blameless culture, introduced by Tyler Julian (senior software engineer, RAP Team). Nobody points fingers – the focus is on fixing. Also, we have a design systems team dedicated to creating reusable code for other engineers. And our Fast site uses incremental static regeneration, a feature of the Next.js platform that solves a real business need.

What’s the coolest problem you’ve solved here so far?

The way we plan to deploy each iteration of Fast.co and allow editors and marketers to change content without engineering involvement will be very interesting. Stay tuned.

What was your first job?

When I was 16, I stood on the road in a cell phone costume and waved at cars for $10 per hour.

What career path did you almost take?

My major was electronics engineering technology. Part of that is computer science, so I took Intro to Computer Science. If not for that class, EET is where I’d be.

What’s your favorite thing about being an engineer?

Creating something from nothing. Pouring your knowledge onto a blank canvas or empty editor through keystrokes is the most incredible thing. If someone's really excited about an idea, I'll get excited about coding it for them. It’s cool to get to work on others’ visions and bring them to life.

And I love being part of a team that rallies together to build and launch something (like the new Fast.co), and to say “we did that.” That’s always a proud moment for me.

Describe your desk setup.

I have an IKEA standing desk and stacked monitors: a 38” Dell and a 4K, 27” Dell above that. 

What food or drink is always at your desk?

A gallon of water and a pack of Trident gum.

What’s something you’ve found at Fast that stands out?

Speed, team building, culture, and most of all, trust. I’ve never felt the trust that Fast awarded me so early on: they handed me a project and said, you own it, see it through. On my second day. It’s amazing; we trust people to own things so quickly.

One thing about you that is forever true?

I’m very empathetic. I can truly understand and think about how you feel in all situations.

What's something you regularly do, but you know you shouldn't?

I eat snacks when I'm bored.

Morning person or night owl?

Both. I have a little one that gets me up first thing. Before, I was a night owl.

Advice for engineers wondering what to do next?

Don’t put on your resume what you don’t want to do. Do things that only bring you joy.

The most used app on your phone?

Spotify. I listen to music all day long.

Your non-negotiables for life?

Treat others with kindness, and engage in service whenever you can. And if you're ever unhappy, don’t spend another minute on it. Life is way too short.

Where can we follow you?

LinkedIn, Twitter