Staff photo Jay Hatcher on a dark blue background

Coding a Brighter Future. A staff spotlight on Jay Hatcher

There’s an alchemy to coding, a place where art meets science, a perfect fusion of technical know-how and creativity.  Jay Hatcher has lived in that space since he was a kid.

“I’ve been a software engineer for about 17 years, but I’ve been learning to program computers since I was 10,” Hatcher said. “I’ve always enjoyed the creative artistry and technical challenge of getting a computer to do what you want it to. I like figuring out how to translate real-world problems and goals into a working application, either to meet a need or just to see what’s possible. It’s the most complex and creative field of engineering I know.”

Hatcher is a software engineer at HDI. He’s been here for more than a decade, and during that time he’s been involved in web design, software engineering, and software tools for HDI projects.  Lately, he’s also been working on a project called Ucalculia, which seeks to provide a resource for an often-overlooked disability known as dyscalculia.

“I’ve been at HDI since 2011,” Hatcher said. “I was drawn to HDI’s mission to help people of all abilities and a focus on meeting real human needs rather than just producing a consumable product like so much of the software industry.”

Hatcher also sees some overlap in HDI’s mission and his own work.

“I like that we focus on enabling and empowering others,” he said. “In my mind, software engineering is about empowerment, making new opportunities and possibilities a reality for people.”

Within HDI itself, Hatcher also finds a lot of internal systems that focus on empowering people as well – including a highly collaborative environment filled with people that bring out the best in one another.

“I’m proud of the team I’m a part of and the way we work together to figure out solutions to problems,” he said. “I’ve done some neat projects, big and small, but my ability to learn new approaches to software development, try out creative solutions to problems, and learn what challenges need solving wouldn’t be possible without the great team we have here at HDI.”

In his personal life, Hatcher loves spending time with his family, including his two sons, Eli, age 9, and Liam, age 6. He’s a heavy reader, focusing on non-fiction and speculative fiction. A couple recent favorites include The Knowledge Gap by Natalie Wexler and Galileo’s Error by Philip Goff. He’s also a longtime fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He considers his faith a major guiding star too – one that he feels deeply relates to his work at HDI.

“Living out my faith is the most important thing to me. Acting with compassion, striving to understand others, and learning to connect to people along life’s journey has enriched my life and helped me to avoid the tendency to live in my head. I’m glad I can work at a place where our values align so well with my personal convictions,” he said. “I could not ask for a more rewarding place to work, and I’m thrilled to see the great things HDI will do in the future.”