On more than one occasion during my childhood, I approached my dad and asked, “Hey, Dad, will you make me a sandwich?” And on every one of those occasions, my dad would turn to me with a smile and reply, “Poof, you’re a sandwich!”
Growing up, we all remember hearing our dads tell those jokes so cheesy and groan-worthy that they could only elicit a laugh when told by someone we really, truly love (or pity). With Father’s Day right around the corner, we asked four Colorado tech dads to share their best (read: worst) dad jokes.
Alex Walker is director of communications at Ibotta. He works to spread the good word about the company’s fast-growing shopping app and its initiatives — like this weekend’s “Hops for Pops” free beer giveaway. Beyond his work in the Colorado startup community, Walker is the proud father of a 12-year-old son, Greyson, and nine-year-old daughter, Sage.
Favorite Dad Joke: Why can't you have a nose 12 inches long? Because then it would be a foot!
So far, what’s been your proudest dad moment?
My proudest moments as a dad are whenever my children bestow kindness or compassion without being prompted. An arm around the shoulder if someone is feeling blue, or holding the door open for an elderly person, are among the little kindnesses that make me misty eyed every time I bear witness. Watching them develop a good-hearted nature is validating as a father, and makes me confident they will go out into the world and do good things.
Cole Strain is a manager of data science at Sovrn. When he’s not busy building and improving the technology behind Sovrn’s massive data commons for online publishers, he’s chasing around his four-month and two-year-old sons.
Favorite dad joke: An Ewok walks into a bar and says, "I'll have a whiskey and... soda." The barkeep says, "Sure thing, but why the little pause?" Ewok says, "I don't know. I've had them all my life."
What is your favorite thing about being a dad?
The older boy and I have a secret handshake and he laughs every time we do it. It's pretty awesome, and it gets more complex the older he gets. I'm still working on one for the little guy.
In addition to his work as a mentor and career coach at the Turing School of Software and Design, Ian Douglas heads up developer relations and growth for Boulder-based Techstars alumnus Stream. Douglas wears many hats in his day-to-day life, but his favorite is “dad to two awesome boys.”
Favorite Dad Joke: Did you hear about the cow that tried to jump over a barbed-wire fence? It was an udder catastrophe.
Also on a cow theme, my wife's favorite: What do you call a cow that's just given birth? De-calf-inated.
How do you balance fatherhood with a tech career?
Family needs to get "number one priority" time every bit as much as the office, but I'm far from perfect at it and my wife is incredibly understanding about things like outages and on-call duties. We have family dinner almost every night during the week, and family is also my top priority all weekend and on holidays. It sure helps when your employer is flexible and awesome about needing family time for school events or taking care of sick children!
Starting your own tech business is more than a full-time job — it’s your life. Starting two tech businesses — and juggling family life? Now that makes for a busy schedule. But Dustin Mallory, co-founder and CTO of Karmies, takes it all in stride and dedicates as much time as possible to his two kids.
Favorite dad joke: My kid asked for cereal this morning, but all we had was parallel.
How do you balance fatherhood with a career in tech?
I do everything I can to make sure I’m fully present when I’m with my kids. I pick them up early, leave the phone in another room through dinner, stories and bedtime, and keep my promises. I do an activity or spend time with them as much or more than I would anything related to work. Being involved in multiple startups can be crazy and there are times I may have to work all night on something, travel or come home after bedtime, but they know that my time with them is sacred and that I’m all theirs.
Photos via featured dads. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
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