@Jeff_Douglas's career started in his Dad's garage in Jacksonville and eventually evolved into him becoming the Director of Software Development at Colorvision. Enjoy the following Showcase that details his journey:
Where are you from? What were you like as a kid?
Grew up in Jacksonville, FL. Was always a shy kid. I was very standoffish around people I didn’t know but eased up when I got to know someone better. I’m still like that to some extent. I was also always curious about how things worked and constantly took things apart to find out how they were functioning. I was constantly helping my Dad do all the work on the family vehicles, and learning about all things mechanical.
In a few sentences, describe the career path that led you to Colorvision
Oddly enough, I first started at Colorvision back in 1999 in the tech support department. After about a year, the head of the programming department took me under his wing and taught me programming from the ground up. I was a programmer there for about 4 years, but then stupidity took hold (I was still young) and I put myself in a position to get fired. So after that, I bounced around a few different programming gigs doing everything from building online trading platforms for stocks, mutual funds, and FOREX, to license plate recognition software for law enforcement, to military training simulators. Next thing I know, it was 2014 and I saw that Colorvision was looking for someone with my skillsets, so I threw my name in the hat. After a few meetings/interviews, I became the new Director of Software Development for the company.
Why did Colorvision decide to move from Jira server to Jira cloud?
I didn’t want the hassle of having to maintain the server software. I installed the server software myself, and it was never updated for the entire year of update support. So, I decided that it was worth the monthly fee to have someone else maintain the server. Also, I wanted to be able to have access to Jira outside the office, and I was never able to get that done when it was in-house.
What is the biggest hurdle you face in trying to better organize your development process?
My biggest hurdle is making the time to create the processes and workflows that we need to stay organized. I’m very busy putting fires out and making sure the day to day operations are up and running. You could say I wear many hats: development manager, triaging software support request, production server environment monitoring, and maintenance, installation planning, etc…
What is your top tip for someone who wants to better organize their development processes?
I don’t know if I’m the right guy to be giving advice on this. I’m still learning a lot myself. But I guess if I could give any advice it’s to create a workflow process that works for your company and stick with it. As long as you have a process defined and your team follows it, then at least you have consistency in your starting point. When things go wrong, (and they will go wrong), what you need to do is investigate, find the gap in your process, and close it by updating your workflow process.
What other Atlassian products does Colorvision use? Do any non-technical teams at Colorvision use Jira?
We were Hipchat users but have no transitioned over to Stride (almost) completely. When we migrated over to Stride, I did include our Customer Service department. They sometimes have questions that need a programmer’s input, so I created a room just for them that we monitor and can address any questions that come up.
What do you like to do for fun, outside of work?
I’m a photographer, mostly concerts and travel photos, I play video games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, and now just getting into Dead by Daylight, and I like to watch professional CS:GO tournaments with my wife and 2 kids (Virtus Pro, Faze Clan, and Astralis are our favorite teams).
Anything else? :)
Not that I can think of…. I’m not a very interesting person in my opinion.
That’s where you’re wrong, Jeff! (The above motorcycle picture negates your "not an interesting person" comment). Thanks for the wonderful answers. Community––if you have questions for Jeff, please leave them in the comments section below.
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