Contributed by Jacob Kennedy.
I didn’t think there would be a lot of business for a web programmer in Prince Edward County. Let’s be honest, the landscape is dotted with silos and grape vines fill the spaces between corn fields and cow pastures. What you can’t see are the hundreds of small businesses that rely on tourism and good, inexpensive advertising to survive. It turns out being a web programmer in Prince Edward County can be a very busy occupation.
I started my business, Kennedy Data Solutions, in high school with grand schemes to write the next big app that would make me rich. My first project was a client database for a law firm (ok, my dad’s law firm, but they’re still using it). In university I started dabbling with websites but it wasn’t until I started working at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited that I put any serious time into coding dynamic web pages that used database backends.
When I started coding dynamic websites everything was proprietary and nothing was shared. Companies guarded their work with great secrecy and small business was kept on the outside. One-man coding shops just didn’t exist. Somewhere along the line the coding community decided that everyone would benefit by openly sharing their code. It’s a radical concept but the phrase “a rising tide floats all boats” really applies here. By giving away the basics the entire web exploded with dynamic content giving rise to blogging (even the term ‘blog’ wouldn’t exist without the open-source community), micro-blogging like Twitter and social networking like Facebook.
Having a strong database background has given me a major advantage in this brave new world. My favourite response to clients is, “there’s nothing we can’t do on the web today. If you can dream it we can do it.”
I can be found many days at the Wellington arena, the soccer fields of Picton, the ball diamond in Ameliasburgh, tasting wine at the many wineries or lounging on the beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park.
Jacob is one of the many creative “cottage” industries enjoying the quality of life in Prince Edward County. If you are interested in learning more about investing in our Creative Rural Economy, contact us here at the Economic Development Office.