This post is part of a series highlighting the talented team of UpTrending. We believe in hiring the best and brightest in all areas of expertise, and it shows in the wide range of personalities and skills we have on our team. But our team members are more than just talented professionals – and you deserve to know them a bit better.
Our Featured UpTrender this month is Jack Perry, one of UpTrending’s premier developers. Jack joined our team in August of 2014. Prior to working with us, he spent time freelancing and in a boutique agency, as well as being an in-house developer at a startup working with nonprofits.
How did you end up as a developer?
I discovered web development and programming in middle school, from an HTML book in the school library. That same day, I went home and made my first website. I was immediately hooked, and dove right into the programming, web, and hacking scenes from there.
Working in such a cutting edge field, do you have trouble explaining your job to people?
I tell them I’m a Web Developer. Most people have at least a general idea so it’s not too painful.
Even so, I’m sure there are times that people don’t understand your role.
Some people think the creation of websites falls under one giant umbrella – that one person is capable of taking a project from concept to final product. A lot of developers can’t design, and a lot of designers can’t develop.
You’ve got a pretty diverse work background – what brings you to UpTrending?
I was drawn to UpTrending by a close friend who was already working here. He’s someone I trust and admire so when I saw how much he really enjoyed working at UpTrending, it piqued my interest. The company culture and talented team helped too, I guess!
What’s the best part of working here?
My coworkers for sure. I’m surrounded by incredibly talented people day in and day out.
And the worst? It can’t all be roses.
Being an introvert in a job where communication is key.
Outside of work, what do you love to do?
Video games are definitely my favorite hobby, but in general I like to think of myself as an entertainment glutton. I am super into movies, TV shows, video games, and comic books. I run home servers for all of those so I can watch things or read comics anywhere in the world on my iPad.
Speaking of anywhere in the world, what is someplace you’d like to live?
That’s a tough question. I’ve wanted to live in Santa Monica for the better half of a decade, so I guess I’d say there.
There’s a lot of developers out there – what do you think helps you stand out?
Perseverance and untamed passion. I started learning web development when I was twelve with the full support of my family. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Speak to someone just getting started in development. What advice can you give them?
I would hope they are doing so because they love the idea of problem-solving. Critical thinking and problem-solving are so paramount to success in this field.
Experimentation is one of the best ways to learn so just build something. Even if you do something wrong, if you’re passionate you’ll find a method to accomplish your goal. You’ll learn the right way, which hopefully you can continue to pursue, and the wrong way, which you can recognize the next time a similar challenge arises.
In terms of problem-solving, how do you approach your projects?
Get a full scope of work and discuss the specifics line by line, taking extra notes along the way as needed. There are so many small intricacies to the way each client works that no project is ever the same as the ones you’ve done previously, even in the same client industry.
And what’s your ideal work scenario?
I work best on projects where I’m given the breathing room to “go dark” (within reason of course) with my head down on a big feature or page. I love when one of my Project Managers tells me I have a large chunk of hours to get something done and not to worry about anything else. By the way, my Project Managers freaking rock.
So the best way for a client or PM working with someone like you is to give you lots of space. What else?
Be specific and transparent. There is nothing worse than being told one thing, and later finding out something else that you should have been told in the beginning. I always do my best to foresee every scenario when I am working on something, but if there is information that is pertinent to predicting those things that I’m not privy to, that creates problems.
Alright, last question: something interesting or surprising people might not guess about you.
Most people don’t know that I’m British, even after meeting me. Also that I have two middle names.