Gianni knew three things. First, he knew his friend, Trevor. Second, he knew their history of playing jokes on each other. So when UtilityAPI offered him a job and he knew we would be making the same offer to Trevor, the third thing became apparent: he knew he could really mess with his friend.
After we spoke to Gianni, Trevor was the first person he texted to share the news. The fake, bad news.
“We didn’t get the jobs,” Trevor remembers Gianni telling him. They commiserated. And then it was time for Trevor to talk to UtilityAPI, prepared to hear that we weren’t hiring him.
So you can imagine Trevor’s happy shock when, to the contrary, we instead offered to hire him (as well as Gianni). Good one! Gianni has no regrets. “I think it was worth it. He has played jokes on me before. He’ll get me back. I’m not sure how, but he will.”
“Me and Trevor have an ongoing joke that we’re actually the same person. We’ve worked so many jobs together and have such similar interests, shared Gianni (or was it...Trevor?)” Both men love fashion — streetwear in particular. Both are passionate about music. And now they’ll both get to continue together doing the thing that they are also both very good at: helping to get utility data.
When Gianni was little, he had two career dreams: to be a doctor, or to work at Papa John’s with his aunt, Rachel, his favorite person. Later, he thought he might be an electrical engineer. In fact, he wanted to build solar panels. However, once he got through basic math and electro physics, building circuits allowed him to realize it wasn’t the right career path for him. But he did like his programming classes a lot because they gave him an opportunity to solve problems.
Trevor took a more meandering path through his early schooling, showing up late or cutting class entirely. It was only when he found his school’s work program — part online school, part work — that things changed. Through an internship program, he found his way to web development. He also loves science fiction. “I love the premise: alien worlds with advanced technology! World building!”
For Gianni, the best part of working for UtilityAPI so far is the work culture. “Everyone is super nice. I never feel overwhelmed. I used to, at my last job, Me and Trevor had to do everything. It’s nice to not be in charge of everything. I’ve never had a bad interaction with anyone. Everyone unique and different in their own way. And they all live all over the place. I really like the mission statement. The reason I went to school was that I really care about sustainability and being environmentally friendly. I’m able to make an impact through software development.”
For Trevor, the best part is the learning environment at UtilityAPI. “On pretty much all projects I have worked on in the past it’s been like the wild west, where there's no coding standards or practices or organization. Here, there is a very clear and defined path of how to program and organize everything. It's definitely helped me improve so much as a programmer. And the help everybody provides with learning how to solve the issues at hand is invaluable. I've learned more in these past eight weeks than I think I ever have.”
We’re glad to have both of these developers working together with us (and can’t wait to see the next installment of the joke).
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At electronic dance music shows (pre-pandemic), Adam Straub, UtilityAPI’s newest senior developer, was a glover. Often, the kilted glover.
Why gloving? Why kilt? (Why has no one named their band “The Kilted Glovers”?) “Because it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great feeling to watch someone become hypnotized by a light show, and know you’re making their night just a bit better. [At shows] no one really questions why you’re wearing a kilt, plus they’re fun to dance in.”
Gloving is a kind of dance in which the dancer wears gloves with fingertip light-emitting diodes. The gloves accentuate the movements. It’s mesmerizing. People gather around when a glover performs because it’s just so joyful.
And that joy is passed from performer to spectator, which is how Adam got started. “When I first started going to live EDM shows, I got a light show from somebody. It made my night. It was so cool. Watching him just be able to flow with the music. I wanted to share that same happiness with other people. It absolutely thrills me to do it,” he explains.
What else rounds out his free time? Mostly anime, movies, and gaming (quite a bit of gaming, alongside his fiancee). Adam claims his mantle of nerdiness with pride. I can almost hear him smile as he relates that in high school, “I was just as nerdy!” But that nerdiness did not initially take him in the direction of computer science.
Originally, he gravitated toward a legal career. He even went to a special academy in Virginia Beach dedicated to legal studies. That school put the young students through their paces, expecting them to use law school-level texts to learn basic legal concepts in addition to learning all the usual high school stuff.
The summer between his junior and senior years, he completed one of the program’s capstones — a forty-hour internship at a local law firm That’s where he realized — and there is no gentle way of saying this — how boring being a lawyer was. “Out of the forty hours, we were in a courtroom for a total of maybe two hours, which was split between two partners. I realized that you only end up spending less than 5% of your time in the courtroom when you’re a partner. But for your first five plus years, you might not even see the inside of a courtroom.”
The young Adam who returned to high school for his senior year needed to find a new focus. He didn’t know what to do next. But in a daring ploy to avoid taking Calculus BC with a teacher he didn’t like, he took AP Computer Science, which is where he fell in love with programming.
The rest fell into place like it does for many in tech. After a few stints in various colleges, the siren song of earning good money at a real job proved irresistible. “At this point, I‘ve been working in the industry for almost a decade.”
Adams first project was building out features for our Green Button product for CCAs, munis and IOUs to share data with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®. This project lets municipal utilities and their customers more easily meet their energy efficiency benchmarking initiatives. Now he’s working on expanding that project into two new products to be added to UtilityAPIs offerings: CityStar and UtilityStar. New product info to follow soon - use the button below to sign up for our monthly-ish newsletter.
All blog posts are to help UtilityAPI users connect with their customers and successfully collect their utility data.