Member Spotlight: Rob Jurd

Posted by · February 1, 2016 8:00 am

Rob Jurd (tagit) got his start with technology like any other rambunctious kid: by breaking stuff. He had a habit of disassembling things and quickly had to teach himself how to put them back together. When he left high school, Rob was at a loss as to what his career path should be. Luckily, after taking a survey in the back of University of Sydney’s course catalog, he discovered that his penchant for destruction could serve him well. Thus, an engineer was born. 

In his time at Sydney University studying electrical engineering, he played with hardware, took computer programming courses, and met his future wife, Brionie, who would go on to get her degree in the more specialized field of bio-medical engineering.

Jack of All Trades

After graduation, Rob’s job search was aided a bit by nepotism as he landed a gig with a company in Sydney. This position was where he got his hands dirty for the first time with many different technologies. One day he would be soldering a hard drive, the next building servers, and the day after that, he would be writing code for web designs. It was this varied workload which solidified his status as a Jack of all trades.

When this position led him to his current hometown of Adelaide, where he began working for a greeting card company as the only IT resource. He feels that this experience of working with and for a group of people with zero technical skills has not only improved his problem solving abilities and technical chops, but also led him to be a business analyst of sorts. He had to think creatively and make judgement calls about how his recommendations would impact the company rather than just focusing on individual tasks.

“I think that’s really helped me deal with people on Experts Exchange,” he says, “I can give a real-world perspective and help them look at problems in a different way.”

He feels that looking at the whole picture helps to prioritize efforts and make the most informed decision for your situation. Fore more on this philosophy, check out his bio.

Why Experts Exchange?

Rob joined Experts Exchange in 2007 to help him problem solve and keep up with new technologies while working in the greeting card industry. He quickly earned free premium membership by answering questions about Flash. When Flash fell by the wayside and was largely replaced with JavaScript he shifted gears and now holds a genius rank in JavaScript.

Today, Rob is a stay-at-home parent for his two children, Aiden and Elliott. They are five and 16 months old respectively, and Rob relies on Experts Exchange to keep him in the game while also caring for and playing Lego with his family. “[Experts Exchange is] a great outlet to get some grown-up time,” he says. Without his involvement on the site, Rob feels that he wouldn’t be able to keep up on current technologies and stay sharp.

What Makes Experts Exchange Special?

Rob has been volunteering as a moderator on Experts Exchange since 2014, working closely with company leadership to give the community a voice in the process of updating and creating products. He stays active on the site as an expert as well, answering questions and helping new members learn the ropes. He feels that Experts Exchange gives members a unique way of getting solutions to their problems, in which people can learn learn something every time they interact with one another.

“The value is in the interaction, not just the answer. You just don’t see that on other sites,” he says. The experts want to truly understand the problem and help other members learn. He notes that, “…that’s why participating in your questions is so important. Be patient, the results will be much better.”

What’s Next?

Rob will be the contributing expert for Experts Exchange’s upcoming webinar on February 22, 2016, showcasing how to ask better questions. He is very excited to be a part of educating new members to help them get the most out of the site. To hear Rob’s tips and tricks for getting questions answered on Experts Exchange, register for the webinar here.

He also plans to take advantage of one of the latest features, Gigs. As someone who works from home, he’s excited by the new ways members can earn money on a site that has historically been volunteer-only.

The Man Behind the Mod

In his free time, Rob enjoys spending quality time with his family. He prides himself on being an active dad, making sure to spend more time playing Star Wars in a creekbed with his kids rather than sitting on a park bench as a spectator. “I’m a big kid, really,” he says with a grin, “I think the monkey bars are just as fun as my kids do.” His Fitbit keeps track of his activity levels and in conjunction with his practice of Kyokushin Karate, motivates him to live a healthier life.

Home ownership also becomes a sort of hobby when you have an engineer’s proclivity for tinkering. Rob mused that if there were a topic area for repairing children’s toys, he would be earn a Guru certification in no time.


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