My name is Jay Stratemeyer. I am the IT Manager & Senior Full-Stack Developer at United Locating Services. I have been working with United Locating Services for over 12 years now and developed the software that receives utility locate requests from various 811 call centers all over the United States. We currently work with some of the largest utility companies in the United States and provide our services to more than 5 million people.
I have been coding as a hobby since the good ol 90’s when we had cassette recorders for storage, dial up modems, mystical mudd clients and the internet was the wild frontier. I’d stay in at recess to fix my teachers computers and yes, I even was into chess. Weekends as a kid consisted of riding dirt bikes, tree forts, Atari, Nes and baseball. If I wasn’t geeking out in class, I’d be skipping school to go hang out in the welding shop, or auto shop of our high school in Libby MT. Funny though, the high school tried to make me a “super-senior” for missing too many days, but my grades were perfect and I had so many credits, they ended up looking the other way and let me graduate with my friends. I think I was just bored, so I’d skip to go to fun classes instead of (dare i mention it) Cooking… Now you know why i cant cook honey, sorry!
I got my career path and passion from my mom, and my dear friend Jason Summerfield. My mom picked up an old Tandy that hooked into my TV and I probably spent a week coding some sprites so they would move across my tv screen when I was 9 or 10. It was cool, but suffered short-comings due to cassette storage and no communication to the outside world. Later on I met Jason; Jason was a grade ahead of me, but we always hung out together. His buddies had started up this computer club thing and I really wanted to be a part of it. Back then, computers weren’t cheap so he surprised me one day with a box of parts that may or may not have worked and said “build one!” I probably spent a 100 hours figuring out how to make my first 386 computer work. The end result was a 2 mb of ram, 386 PC with a HUGE hard drive that had 10 Mb of storage. That was all it took for me. From there, I started playing with Q-basic, dos, and was king of the world when my mom got us a connection to Prodigy; Jason gave me a US Robotics 9600 baud external modem and my passion grew from there. Thank you both. 🙂
Now days- nearly 30 years after my first run in with computers, I am married with kids ( yes we are all geeks in some way ), college under the belt and information technology is still my career as well as my hobby, so feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to help you. I love playing with Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, Lora Networks and the Internet of Things. I like to design and prototype new devices and software for anything that people need or have ideas for. If you’re just starting out and are curious about something, feel free to ask as I love to help aspiring coders too.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading my blog!