This month, we’re spotlighting J, our Senior Software Solutions Engineer. Read on to learn more about J’s passion for technology and business, his favorite video game, and how his unique family has shaped who he is.

Describe your experience before joining the ES team

Since the beginning of my career I’ve sought to walk the line between technology and the business world it serves – understanding how software serves its intended audience and creates value is my passion. I began my first Solutions Engineer position in 2013 with another local software company and went on to join a team that established a new office in Phoenix, Arizona. This gave me the unique opportunity to not only partner closely with clients in the pre-sales process, but really understand how a software consultancy ticks and can grow from a small presence to an established local player.

J and his wife Brittany with their two dogs

What drew you to join ES?

When I moved back to Minnesota after helping get my former employer’s Phoenix office off the ground, I was struck by how much I’d become used to the very tight-knit, small company feel of the remote office. Eventually I decided my passion and skills could be put to better use with a smaller company. Several Emergent Software employees worked for my former employer, so I knew it was a great company doing great software development work. As I began speaking with folks here it became apparent that it was a place I’d be glad to be a part of, and at a place in its growth that I wanted to help take solutions engineering to the next level.

How do you fill your time outside of work?

I am as much a techie outside of work as I am at work, and I love gaming on both consoles and my custom PC (which I am almost always tinkering on in some aspect or another). I also love all kinds of outdoor activities, though, including fishing, golf, hiking, running, going to the shooting range, and curling and bowling as additional indoor hobbies. All of these tend to defer to various projects as I slowly work at remodeling our home, which doesn’t usually feel like work because I love rolling up my sleeves and learning new skills.

J with his pug Maddox

What is your favorite video game?

It’s almost impossible for me to pick one in any of these categories, as I like so many different things for so many different reasons. In the realm of video games, however, I can pick one: The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time. I’m an avid fan of the Zelda series in general (and have been since I got my first console when I was 6), and that game remains my favorite of the series. It changed the way we look at games in a 3D space and created a lot of mechanics / norms that are still found in games coming out today, things we often take for granted. Pair that with a timeless story, and you have a game that remains my favorite almost 25 years after it came out, and that will be tough to dethrone (though I’ll never say never…)

What was your first job?

I was a caddy at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, MN. In addition to allowing me to work earlier than most jobs, I learned a lot from the job. It didn’t hurt being able to walk around a golf course outside for work!

Do you have any siblings?

My family is unusual, but in the best possible way! I have two sisters, one younger and one older than myself. In addition, my parents opened our home to several kids with special needs over the years for long-term foster care. While foster care is usually shorter in nature (6 to 18 months is typical), several of these children lived with us for many years. My parents even became legal guardians for one, and I just refer to him as my brother as we visit his group home often and he joins us for all holidays and special occasions.

Thanks for sharing your story with us and being a fantastic member of our team, J! You're a huge asset to our team. Stay tuned for future spotlights of the great people who make up Emergent Software!