Meet James Thomas, our developer team lead based in the UK. James joined the JRNI team in 2016 and has been a core component of our development team with his knowledge of the front end and back end of development.
We sat down with James to learn more about his transformation over the past three years, as well as a little more about himself.
Q: How did you get into development?
A: Mostly due to my father. He worked as a system administrator for libraries and software companies, so he was always bringing computers home when I was a child. Naturally, I became interested in what he was up to and got really into technology. I studied a multimedia computing course at a university, where I was doing web design, graphics, and programming.
After graduating, I worked for Siemens Mobility where I built traffic management systems, which was a real eye-opener into how large-scale software systems are designed and built. I gained a lot of valuable experience there, but after three years I felt it was time to try something new, and that’s when I joined JRNI.
Q: You’ve been at JRNI for almost 3 years now. How has your role changed over time?
A: When I first started I was mostly doing professional services work, such as building booking experiences for our customers. This was a good way to ease into learning our platform and products, while also exercising my creative web development skills by implementing designs.
After about a year of doing that, I switched teams and started to work on building Studio, JRNI’s newly developed admin experience. This has been a very different type of work—much more challenging at times, but also rewarding, as I am part of the team building the platform rather than just using it.
And after another year of being on the Studio team, I moved into the position of leading that team, which is a new opportunity for me.
Q: What is it like to work with such a senior team of developers?
A: I have been fortunate to have been surrounded by very knowledgeable and skillful colleagues throughout my entire career. Without their insight and experience, I would not be where I am today. It can be difficult at times because people always expect more of you, but it is a good way to learn quickly.
Q: How has your transition been from a front end developer into a team lead role?
A: It has been interesting, to say the least. I always thought I would have the aptitude for it, but until I actually stepped into the position, I didn’t really know what to expect. I have quickly found out that things are not as easy as some of my previous managers made it seem, and the first few weeks were challenging for sure. I am enjoying it so far, and have been very grateful for the training I have received thus far.
Q: What are some exciting projects that your team is working on?
A: Developing the app marketplace of the JRNI platform is the most exciting project for me right now. Enabling clients and partners to extend and build upon our system is really interesting from both an engineering and business perspective. I hope to continue pushing it forward with new features and tools.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: When it “just works.” This is a rare occurrence, but all programmers will tell you about the satisfaction you feel when you put all the pieces together and hit the start button, and the code works the first time without crashing!
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment so far during your time at JRNI?
A: Winning the Mario Kart tournament we held last year.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at JRNI?
A: The camaraderie. I have met a lot of great people and made a lot of friends. We’re obviously here to work, but it’s a lot more fun because of them.
Interested in working alongside James and the rest of the JRNI team? Check out our current open roles and #jointheJRNI!