“Sure, let’s do it.”
That was Ben Gobeil’s response when his college roommate – a finance student – asked if Gobeil could build an automated trading system for the stock market.
Gobeil knew very little about programming at that point, and even less about finance, but no matter. He got to work researching and started building the software. In the end, he created a program that would automatically check the overseas markets when they opened to help guide moves in the U.S.
“It was awful code,” Gobeil said. “We made absolutely zero money. But it was a pretty fun experience, to be honest. It was one of the first times I made a project and really started believing I could do stuff with software.”
Gobeil, 27, went on from there to earn his degree in computer engineering. Now, he’s a senior software developer for Divisions Maintenance Group, a tech company that provides facility maintenance to tens of thousands of customers around the country.
He spends his days writing code in F#, a less-popular coding language but one Gobeil loves nonetheless for its functionality and productivity.
Striking out on his own
Gobeil grew up in Sainte-Thérèse in southwestern Quebec. He was always pretty good at math and science, and his career could have gone any number of directions after grade school. At one point, he wanted to become an inventor. He thinks his parents probably wanted him to go into medicine. But in the end, computers won out.
Gobeil enrolled at the Université de Sherbrooke to study computer engineering, and after earning his degree and completing several internships, he landed a job at a security software company. The work was interesting, and Gobeil liked it. He was promoted to a team lead role, and he quickly realized he liked coaching and helping others in their careers as well.
At that point, Gobeil was writing most of his code in C#, but he started to develop an appetite for F#. When he looked at some of the resources available to learn F#, though, he found them lacking. So he decided to make a move.
On Feb. 28, 2020, Gobeil quit his fulltime job to become a freelancer and to make and post videos about F#.
About 10 days later, COVID-19 shuttered the world.
Finding a new home
Eventually, Gobeil started feeling like he wanted a more long-term contract. The catch was he knew he wanted to work specifically in F#. That’s when he heard about DMG.
It didn’t sound like a technology company at first, but the more Gobeil learned, the more he wanted in.
First, DMG is upgrading and overhauling its entire technology suite, which was appealing.
Second, Gobeil loves problem solving, especially if the problem is complex. With DMG, he knew he’d be challenged creating new products for an industry not historically steeped in tech.
And third – perhaps what sealed the deal – Gobeil knew he’d be able to write in F#.
So when he got the job offer, he took it.
DMG is all about innovation, and that’s what made Gobeil fall in love with computer programming in the first place.
“It’s going to be really amazing in a few years,” he said, “leveraging all this new technology and tools. It’s pretty cool to be a part of it.”
About Ben Gobeil:
Hometown: Sainte-Thérèse in southwestern Quebec
Current residence: Sherbrooke, Quebec
Start-date with DMG: 2021
How he spends his free time: Visiting with friends, playing golf and learning about blockchain and cryptocurrencies
What’s one thing on his bucket list? Writing a book about a principle-based approach to writing software
What’s one thing you might not know? Gobeil used to play a lot of music and played in several bands, including a heavy metal band at one point. He played guitar, drums and bass, depending on the other musicians involved at the time.