Meet Andrew Duthie
Tell us a little about your background.
I’ve always been pretty big into computers, and began learning basic programming at a very young age. Programming was more of a hobby throughout high school and my early years of college. In an attempt to expand my horizons, I pursued a double-major in Political Science and Philosophy in college. Ultimately, when it came time to make a career choice, choosing development was a relatively easy decision. After graduating and before coming to USDP, I spent a couple years working at a local company in a typical corporate environment. While I loved what I did, I wanted to find a more intimate work atmosphere to have more of an impact in project decision-making. Being a small, tight-knit team of 13 people, USDP turned out to be a perfect fit for me.
What is your primary role at USDP?
By official title, I’m an interactive developer. This includes bringing new sites to life, as well as maintaining and adding features to existing sites. To my surprise, I’ve found that I’m responsible for more than just code. Because we’re such a small team, I can also participate in many of the decision processes and work one-on-one with our clients. I also have the ability to work on many projects simultaneously, which means I’ve always got something new and interesting to work on.
How have new technologies influenced you?
I’ve been fortunate to have grown up during a time of huge technological change. I can remember doing research using an Encyclopedia in book form, later on CD-ROM, and most recently through Wikipedia or the internet more generally. I think it’s easy to take technology for granted, but reflecting on the ways it has impacted day-to-day tasks and communication is simply mind-blowing. As a developer, the internet is an invaluable resource not only for information and how-to’s, but also for the communities that it fosters. Without these communities, I don’t think the development industry as a whole would be nearly as innovative and exciting as it currently is.
What do you like about being an interactive developer?
I like to think that development projects are analogous to puzzle games. They both pose a solvable problem, and share the same gratifying feeling when I’m able to solve them. They allow me to express creativity in how I approach a problem and bring life to otherwise lifeless code. At a more practical level, developing a tool or application allows me to simplify otherwise tedious tasks for myself and others. In these cases, it gives me a special joy to know that my work provides others a solution to an everyday problem.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I try to spend a couple hours each day working out at the gym. Since it’s replaced much of my previous video gaming time, I suppose you could equate it to real-life leveling up. When the weather is nice, I enjoy playing tennis and breaking out the grill for some steaks and corn hole with friends. To relax, I love to watch television and movies. While there are several which I enjoy, my favorite TV shows at the moment are “Parks & Recreation” and “Game of Thrones.” I have a one-year-old German-Shephard/Chow puppy named Kobi who tends to keep me busy for any remaining time I might have.