Jay has always been into games, music, tinkering with electronics, and figuring out how things work. As a young adult he kept his mind open to many options, stating, “I realized that having a briefcase wasn't a job. It also wasn't something I really wanted. That led me to explore a bunch of other things that were really important, and I'm glad that I did.”
He began college focused on Mass Communication because of his love of music and media, and then went on to complete a Liberal Arts degree from Clinton Community College. Concurrently, he constantly pursues new technologies and languages. This personal drive helped prepare him to take on the Web Coordinator position at Clinton while completing his degree, in addition to several other consulting jobs. He was delighted to discover he could get paid to do the things he had always just done for fun.
In the office
Inspired by programmers like Jonathan Carmack, Jay shared that being successful in this field takes work more than anything, saying, “None of it is a flash of inspiration – it’s experience, enjoyment of it, and takes a certain kind of stubbornness.” Jay has put this relentless work ethic into play at DesignHammer with projects like NC Crimes. With this project, and many others, he has been able to create close working relationships, seen the project through many phases, fix specific challenges with measurable improvement, and the seen satisfied customers.
He has helped bring about impressive improvements to DesignHammer, such as pushing for the first agile development, transitioning the office to using git for source control, and eventually git-based deployment.
Out of the office
Anyone who has ever met Jay might describe him as passionate and intelligent. No matter what he is talking about, you can tell he has done his research and his excitement is practically tangible. This may include anything from programming or the latest feature in VR all the way to his dachshunds, Guinness and Bailey.
He somehow manages to keep up with the nearly breakneck demands of being lead developer; responsible for helping guide development, building consensus, working with clients, and even writing code. But what keeps him happy is the workplace flexibility that allows him the maximum amount of time to spend with his family.
- NCTech4Good Conference (Durham, NC)