Using his skills and talents to help others is something of a passion for Lance Shepard, both at work and in his personal life. As our resident Web Developer, one of the things Lance enjoys about his job the most is, “When I’ve written something that a user wants, or doesn’t even realize they want, and it helps them with their job.”
A lifelong programmer, Lance was introduced to basic coding at his high school. Originally planning to go to college for computer engineering, he ended up moving to the programming side of things. “I was more interested in the programming and design of computers. It’s problem solving, figuring out how to solve a puzzle. When I get something right, I feel a sense of accomplishment that I got something to work.”
Part of EIM’s team since 2021, Lance appreciates the difference between his days working on a team of developers (bigger, much more long-term projects) and working as the main developer at a small business. “In this type of environment no two days are the same. If I have to troubleshoot problems, that could take minutes to days or weeks. If I’m writing something new, that could take from minutes to days, or weeks. So it’s always something new and interesting. Right now, I have some long-term projects and some very short-term projects. It’s just the nature of programming you know, somebody says, I want something that does this, and they get it and then they realize…that’s not exactly what they want. And so you’re always changing something you’ve done, but I understand that’s part of it. It’s kind of a fun time trying to figure out what the user wants, to help them do their job. I enjoy that.” Throughout the week, you’ll find Lance doing things like updating internal tools, fixing occasional bugs that crop up in our systems, or running mass updates for our customer records when, say, a state’s tax code changes—but it varies greatly depending on the programing needs of EIM’s various departments.
Recently, Lance has also been exploring bringing a new internal tools system online at EIM. It’s a big project, but he’s hopeful that in the near future he’ll have brought in a more user-friendly suite of internal tools will be accessible for all of The Label Experts, and support them in the label creation process.
Outside of work hours, you’ll find Lance’s family and their small army of farm animals nestled away in rural New Hampshire. Come December, you’ll find Lance stepping in for doppelgänger Santa, taking photos with children and pets at local feed store The Cheshire Horse. In warmer times, Lance and his wife take their horses to go trail camping throughout New England and New York. In addition to the daily care and feeding of their horses, dogs, sheep, goats, ducks, and chickens, there’s another passion project that Lance and his wife hold close—being dog foster parents.
They’ve been fostering for many years—their most recent partnership has been with the organization For the Love of Labs, a dog rescue that helps transport Lab mixes and other dogs in danger of euthanasia to New England to find new homes. Fostering can vary from dog to dog—some fosters stay with them for as little as twenty-four hours, but some can take longer to find new homes in the area, and will extend their temporary stay with the Shepard’s for weeks, or longer, as they wait to be adopted. And whenever there’s room to welcome another permanent indoor pet into the family, the spot is usually filled pretty fast. Their most recent addition is Pixie, nicknamed Pixel, Lance says, “Because she’s about the same size as a pixel on your computer monitor.” Pixie is a rambunctious young puppy that was up for adoption and fit right in with the family.
Curious about being a dog foster parent? Lance recommends checking out For the Love of Labs to learn more about becoming a foster family!
Liked getting to know Lance? Check out our other interviews with The Label Experts at EIM.