Each month our Trekk Talk series showcases a member of the Trekk to learn about what they do for our clients and organization, share in their knowledge and expertise, and learn a bit more about who they are and what they do out of the office.
This month we’re excited to chat with Lead Application Developer Justin Davis. Justin has been with Trekk for five years and has helped our clients create dynamic, intuitive apps to enhance their customer experience and achieve their business goals. Justin’s passion for software development transcends his 9 to 5 life as he works on his own app and gaming development projects in his spare time as well.
Tell us a little bit about what you do as part of the Trekk team?
My official title is Lead Application Developer. I’m responsible for writing and maintaining all of our native iOS, Android, and Unity mobile applications currently on their respective app stores.
How did you initially get into software development? What about this field intrigued you as a place to use your background and skills?
I lived overseas for a number of years. Upon slowly growing the desire to return back to the States, I realized that I needed something to do when I returned. I ran into an old friend from college who was visiting Seoul at some point. He inspired me to get into software development. So I bought a book and taught myself how to write code.
What are some of the more challenging aspects of what you do? On the flip side, what’s rewarding about your work?
When we’re given an app to develop, we’re only given the “what” of what is needed. The how is entirely up to the developer. That’s simultaneously the most rewarding and challenging part of my job — solving problems.
What are the skills, traits, or disposition you need to be successful in your role?
Patience is key with this kind of work. Patience to realize that failure is expected and can often lead to the correct answer. Sometimes I find myself hammering away at the same problem for hours on end. I had to learn how to keep my emotions in check and not let failure get in the way of success. Rather, I had to learn how to desire failure as a way to eliminate possible dead end solutions. In other words, sometimes it's very helpful to know what doesn’t work in order to find out what does.
What drives you? What motivates you?
I have an insatiable desire to make rad stuff. I am motivated by power metal.
What advice would you give to companies who are looking to up their tech game?
Giving your developers research & development time can be very beneficial in the long run.
Do you have any advice for those looking to break into your kind of work?
Be prepared to learn how to accept frustration as a normal event. That old cliché about not being afraid to think outside the box doesn’t hurt either.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned (about your work, about yourself) in your role?
I have learned to stop looking at big challenges as large, singular mountains that need to be climbed all at once.
Outside of Trekk, tell us a little about Justin the individual. What do you do outside the office?
I enjoy writing my own code outside of work, and I’ve currently got four different games that I’ve personally released to the iOS and WatchOS app stores. Every time I get some kind of gimmick or character for a game, I usually end up writing around that tiny spark of an idea. Also, writing games for Apple Watch has a similar feel to writing games for the original Game Boy, which is pretty rad. When I’m not writing my own games, I have a wide array of games that I enjoy on a game console or two.
Outside of games, I enjoy macro and astrophotography. Back in Seoul, I would walk around shooting street photography for hours at a time.
Speed Round: What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
PC or Mac?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Someplace where the wind doesn’t hurt my face.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? What profession other than yours would you not like to attempt?
I often wonder what would have happened if I had ever attempted to go professional with my photography. I would never attempt to go professional with photography. The art world is too much for me.
Your perfect meal?
A taco plate.
One of your guilty pleasures?
Listening to my favorite albums on repeat like some kind of twisted parody of terrestrial radio.
Also, introducing people to the genre of pirate rap for the first time. Pirate rap is a thing.
Thank you to Justin for taking the time to help us understand more about what he does as part of the Trekk team. Check back next month for another edition of Trekk Talk and don’t forget to check out last month’s edition with Account Manager Rebecca Denzer!
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