If you used your cellphone today You Should Probably Thank UMEI Graduate Jonathan Dick … And Here’s Why
It’s no doubt mobile devices have and continue to make a huge impact in our world. One of our alumni is now part of the mobile revolution, working from home, for Microsoft as a Senior Software Engineer, and living just a few kilometers away from his alma mater.
While working at the area School Board as a Database Administrator, Jonathan started learning how to build ‘apps’ almost as soon as the first iPhone was released. After co-authoring a book and speaking at conferences on the subject, in early 2014 Jonathan decided to take a full-time position at a mobile technology startup called Xamarin.
“I’ve been passionate about software development since I was a kid. I started out by teaching myself to make simple websites. In computer class in high school, our teacher provided materials and encouraged a couple of students, including myself, to learn a new programming language instead of making websites (which we already knew how to do). I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity and encouragement, even though UMEI wasn’t as focused on STEM at the time as they clearly are now. In any other school my curiosity may have been dismissed, but instead at UMEI, it was cultivated into success.”
In 2016 Microsoft acquired Xamarin as part of a strategy to help their customers and developers create applications and services with a broader reach including iPhones, iPads, Android, Windows, wearable devices, and more.
“I am often asked what exactly I ‘do’ and I like to tell people that I help make the tools that other people use to make apps and games for your phones and tablets, sort of like making the hammers and nails that carpenters use. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance some of my work is in one of the apps you’ve used.”
Jonathan lives in Leamington with his wife Jennifer (UMEI graduate as well) and their daughter Amelia and son Gavin. If you’re looking for a light read on the “white-hot field of Android application programming”, be sure to check out Jonathan’s book here.