Jay Lu doesn’t tolerate boredom: not in his professional life, and certainly not in his personal life. He’s a man of mystery at Brightfind, typically offering only a few necessary words. But when Jay does speak? He knows what he’s talking about, and he’s got something important to say.
That’s because Jay isn’t new to being a developer. He’s worked at Brightfind for seven years, which only comprises 1/3 of his 21 year career as a developer. Prior to that, he lived, studied, and worked in China as an interior designer.
“Interior design and computer programming are not that different; both fields involve solving a set of problems with requests coming from different sides. Sometimes those requests are conflicting.
There’s a saying that coding should be good, fast, and cheap, but that you can never have all three. You can always get closer, and that’s been my goal for both developing and interior design.” – Jay Lu
Starting Over Again... and Again
The Internet was the “new thing,” and that’s what drew Jay to study Computer Science at the University of Maryland when he immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. The U.S. market was quite different at the time, and obtaining the necessary certifications for interior architecture work to continue his interior design career would’ve required going back to school. “So I figured, why not start over again?”
This seems to be a theme in Jay’s personal life, too. He picks up a hobby, becomes an expert, but never keeps it for too long. He’s currently into riding motorcycles, and although he used to maintain three, he is down to only owning one Harley Davidson. He doesn’t feel alone when he says that every motorcyclist would want to have more bikes if he or she could.
Before motorcycles, Jay used to be into photography. In fact, he sectioned off a room in his house as a dark room where he could resurrect the lost art of developing and producing his own black and white photographs. He enjoys the abstract aspect of photography and notes how normal items can take on an entirely different sense and feel in a photograph. “In this digital photography era, everything is easily obtained and easily forgotten.”
After photography Jay transitioned to cooking, but says he’s currently falling out of this hobby. He admits to having an impressive knife collection, and promises that once anyone begins using a good sharp knife that they’ll never go back to their old knives. Jay’s favorite dishes are Italian and Mediterranean, and since he doesn’t believe in rushing, he says that he’s typically starving during the assembly process.
Prior to photography and cooking, he was enamored with bicycles. “I used to have 8 bicycles in my garage. I liked to fix them, but eventually I sold them all.” Why does Jay keep switching out hobbies? It’s pretty simple: “When I’m just repeating what I’ve learned to do, I lose interest.”
What’s next on Jay’s radar? It’s hard to know, but one can safely assume it’ll be process-driven and detail-oriented.
Constantly Improving Workflow
If you’re wondering, a developer (like Jay) is responsible for creating processes that retrieve the website data, calculate the business logic, and provide the end result as a piece of content. It’s a constantly evolving field, in which even the rate of change is accelerating. No one can be a successful developer and rely on the same methodology; it requires continual learning, and this is what keeps Jay’s attention.
Jay’s favorite project at Brightfind is becoming an expert developer in Episerver. In true Jay fashion, he admits that Episerver is like a new toy because it requires an entirely different programming mindset. He is rising to the challenge and finding that he likes it a lot better because it feels like a more natural representation of how a website is born because it incorporates visual, backend data, and business logic. Episerver embraces that different people drive different aspects of the site.
If you ask Jay his favorite part about working with the Brightfind development team, he’ll reply without hesitation that they’re all easygoing but professional. “There are no politics in this office; people just get things done. We’re constantly improving our workflow, so I never get bored at work.”