Hi, I’m Jim Herrington.
I am a Managing Senior Consultant at Prominent, meaning not only am I actively creating solutions for our clients, but I am also leading a group of our other software developers and helping to establish the core fundamentals that will lead Prominent into its next phase of our company’s evolution.
Since early on in my career, beginning at Quark Inc., I have always enjoyed the challenge of software development, coupled with the challenge of managing and developing other developers. I have been a partner in running a consulting company. I’ve also developed the core software that a long-term care insurance brokerage house used to successfully bring their company to the number two brokerage house in their region. I then learned about the unique opportunities that Prominent could provide, and I joined as a Senior Managing Consultant.
What led you to this career in IT? How did you get introduced to it?
When I was in the summer between my fifth and sixth grade year, my father purchased a TI-99 4a computer and brought it home. The only real exposure I had to computers prior to this was playing video games on our Atari 2600 and (of course) hanging out at the mall arcade. I pulled out the books that came with the machine and went through them in order to teach myself the basics (there was no operating system on the computer itself).
Upon learning how to write my own simple programs, I began trying to recreate the games that I loved watching others play (and that I was able to occasionally play) at the arcade. After seeing this interest, my dad enrolled me in a class at the local college where I was able to learn more about programming, nothing too formal, but it was still extremely influential and amazing.
From that point on, I was the home’s IT support.
Fast forward to my senior year in high school; graduation was approaching, and I knew that I wanted to be an aerospace engineer. However, after attending engineering days at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and learning that you could major in computer science engineering, I never looked back.
What kind of projects are you currently working on at Prominent?
I am currently working on the main portal for a Fortune 500 client that gives their users access to a number of online tools that the client provides. This portal allows the clients not only to customize the content and navigation that they see, but also allows them access to a reporting hub where they can see any necessary reports and information.
I am also working on a medical clearing and tracking system for potential missionaries and their families to begin their service in various countries around the globe. Once users are in a country, this system also connects the missionaries to the health services nearest them and ensures that they keep themselves medically fit to be in service.
Lastly, as part of the Delivery Leadership Team at Prominent, I am working to establish the hiring, development and career plans we will use to scale and ensure Prominent remains the absolute best place to work as we grow.
What distinguishes a great software developer from a good one?
The desire to listen and learn distinguishes a great software developer from a good one.
Once a developer becomes comfortable with a set of technologies or languages, it is easy to rest on one’s laurels. But this will quickly cement a much shorter career than one had hoped. It is important that developers learn about new languages and techniques coming out in the industry, paying careful mind not to be distracted by each new shiny technical widget, but rather paying attention to the technologies that float to the top.
Great developers also truly listen to their peers, their clients, their managers, etc. I have known too many software developers who believe that they already have the solution in mind, only to find that they solved a problem that did not exist. It is only through truly listening that one can learn and know.
What keeps you motivated?
Being given the opportunity to solve challenging problems keeps me motivated. Much like anything in life, as it becomes too easy, it also becomes boring.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face as a developer?
Much like what separates great software developers from good software developers, it is the constant need to continue learning about and keeping up with an industry that changes at the speed of technology.
Just when you feel you have a handle on how things are supposed to work in a given technology or platform, new updates happen in both hardware and software, and you must learn the rules and methods change and new techniques. At times, it can truly be exhausting.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about service.
I feel that I have been very blessed in my life, and my parents instilled the importance of giving back as one of my core values. Being part of Rotary makes this an easy prospect, as it is a worldwide service club with projects that span the globe, allowing us as a club to both sponsor them financially, as well as support them directly with hands-on assistance.
We also have had the pleasure of hosting two foreign exchange students, one from Sweden and one from Germany, and are looking forward to the next student that will share our home. I also volunteer at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit participating in choir, youth education and marriage preparation.
What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?
My wife (Molly) and I love to travel and escape for an adventure any chance we can get. With both of us having the ability to work remotely, this has become easier and easier for us to indulge. Through her life’s journey, she has made friends all over the globe, and it has been an absolute joy to get to know them, meet some of them in their own country and make them my friends as well.
In the up and coming year, 2021, we will be traveling to Taiwan for not only the Rotary International Conference, but to explore on our own, and then continuing west to Sweden to attend our former host-daughter’s graduation in Sweden.
What or who inspires you?
Walt Disney and all that he and his brother Roy accomplished has always inspired me to the core. He truly believed that if you worked hard enough, anything could be accomplished.
Through documentaries and reading, I feel this spirit lives on in the imagineers that he created and inspired, and I love hearing how they solved the impossible and continually bring the incredible to life.
Lastly, what’s your favorite thing about Prominent?
Easy, it truly is the people.
We have a fun team that supports and actually cares about each other, while also holding each other accountable to ensure that we are all performing at our best.