I am a FamilySearch support engineer for third party developers. Software engineers from around the world are connecting to FamilySearch data through our RESTful Web services. I help companies and engineers learn about our API and integrate their products with our systems.
More specifically, my responsibilities include:
- Giving presentations at conferences and Webinars
- Writing sample code and documentation
- Recruiting developers to the FamilySearch Developer Network
- Networking with key individuals in genealogy industry
- Troubleshooting API bugs
- Maintaining the FamilySearch Developer Network Web site
What is one of the exciting projects that you are currently working on?
One of the most exciting projects that I’m involved in is the Affiliate Product Certification program. There are now seven products that are FamilySearch certified and available for use with New FamilySearch. The companies that have produced these products have been great to work with, and their products enrich the FamilySearch user experience. Details on these products can be found here .
What is your educational background and/or work experience?
I hold a Master of Information Systems Management (MISM) degree from BYU’s Marriott School of Management. The MISM program focuses on bridging the gap between business and technology. I also completed my undergraduate studies in the same program.
Most of my work experience comes from start-up companies. In 2006, I worked for Provo Labs in its early days, which has since spun out World Vital Records/FamilyLink. I also was involved in a blog search engine start-up named TagJungle. In 2007, I co-founded a Ruby on Rails Web development company and got heavily involved in Web-based genealogy development. That experience is what led me to FamilySearch.
What or who has been an inspiration to you in your work?
The Spirit that guides the work of family history. I believe that Heavenly Father has guided my path here, and, as many others can also testify, the Holy Ghost touches hearts and inspires minds. I feel that my heart has been turned (See Malachi 4:6), and that is what inspires me in this work.
What is your favorite part of working at the Church?
My favorite part of working at the Church is the environment. I get to walk through the beautiful grounds of Temple Square almost every day. The people I work with have high morals and share in a spiritual life focus. I also appreciate the organization's family focus.
What is one spiritual experience that you have had while working for the Church?
One day, we felt inspired to call a software development company based in Germany to introduce our services. The gentleman we were talking to repeatedly said, “This is such a coincidence,” because many of their software’s users were recently inquiring about temple-related features for their software. We were able to answer his questions related to the LDS aspects of family history work. We knew it wasn’t a coincidence that we connected that day, but that the Spirit guided us and continues to guide this work forward.
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