Employee Spotlight – J.R. Smith

Geoforce is proud to announce our first Employee Spotlight Blog! We are happy to highlight one of our great employees and give everyone the opportunity to better know our team.

J.R. Smith is our first employee to spotlight. Read our Q and A below to find out more about him!

Q: What is your name and position?

A: J.R. Smith, Software Developer, Team Lead

Q: How long have you been with Geoforce?

A: March 1st marked my 2 year anniversary.

Q: Can you explain your job at Geoforce?

A: Well as you may already know, Geoforce deals with a lot of data coming off our GPS devices and into our software. One of the fun and challenging things about working at Geoforce is what do you do with (and how do you manage) all that data (~2 million readings from several different devices configured several different ways) while making everything fast and performant for every customer, whether they have one tag or thousands. While Heru Rubin, our User Experience Developer, continues to do an outstanding job making the app look good, I am a part of the team of developers that work on all the backend things to make sure there is good data when you open the app. More specifically, my main focus is to break pieces out of our app that are slow, make them fast, and yet still make the app function the way that our customers expect it to. An analogy that we use consistently in the dev bay is changing out the engine of a car while it’s racing down the track. A lot of the work we do on the back end is rarely seen, if at all, by the user but our work will not only improve the performance of the app overall, but allow the software to adapt to customer/market needs and wants faster…so it’s a great opportunity despite the fact that anyone outside of the dev bay will never really see the effects of what we are doing.

Q: What do your hobbies include?

A: My kids Amelia (3) and Sam (1) keep me busy enough to not really pursue a lot of hobbies. We don’t have cable at home and the kids are not accustomed to watching a lot of movies so we do a lot of playing which admittedly is a lot of fun. When I do have time to myself, I like to watch movies, play with new programming languages, and play a lot of guitar. In fact, on days that I cannot be in the office, you may hear me strumming and singing (or what Conor Brady, our VP of Software Development, calls a cat being strangled) a tune at the beginning on the meeting. In my opinion its the perfect way to start meetings :).

Q: If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

A: I used to say that it would be flying, but now I would say either teleportation or to be able to move really fast, like The Flash. Once again, now that I have kids, time has become a very valuable commodity (next to sleep) and to be able to do things faster would just be awesome!

Q: What is your favorite thing about Geoforce?

A: I don’t know if I could pin it down on one thing because it’s a combination of things really. First, the technical challenges we face here are very unique and fun problems to solve. As a Software Developer you want to constantly be challenged, because that’s how you learn and improve your craft. The challenges and opportunities we have to tackle here are hard to find in other places and I am so thankful I get to be a part of that. Second, this is probably the first place I have ever worked where I can say the overall environment is positive. Everyone at Geoforce is looking up and forward; everyone from Jimmie MacLean, our CEO, on down. Sure we all have our bad days here and there, but overall everyone has a positive attitude. I never dread going into the office. I feel that our collective ‘positivity’ just makes this a great place to work. Finally, I appreciate that Geoforce understands family life. This may not be blog appropriate but I appreciate that Geoforce does not try to be the center of my life and allows me to be a good steward of my time when I am at home with family as well as when I am at work. For this I am very appreciative.