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.
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