FoodLogiQ's “In the Spotlight” series features talented team members who play an important role in our company’s success. Today’s spotlight is on Jack Edwards, who joined FoodLogiQ in 2019 as a Backend Software Engineer, after receiving his computer science degree from East Carolina University. In 2020 Jack received the FoodLogiQ Hero Award for his excellent work.
What does a Backend Software Engineer do? What is a typical day like for you at FoodLogiQ?
As a backend software engineer, I am responsible for the Application Programming Interface code, or API as it’s referred to. API is essentially a set of rules that specifies how software components should connect; it’s the language behind the scenes that lets our customers interact with our software. Engineers also create and optimize database queries and schemas, write unit and integration tests for code, and ensure that code follows the best practices for the language.
Most days I start off with code reviews in the morning, and then I move on to writing code for new features or bug fixes. Sometimes I encounter an issue where I need to research the best solution for the technology we use.
Why did you pursue computer science and software engineering?
In high school, I joined a robotics club where I learned to code. I learned how to program as part of that club. Coding was interesting to me and I was good at it so I decided to go to college for it.
As an engineer, you make our work at FoodLogiQ come to life. What are the biggest challenges you face? What do you love the most?
My biggest challenge is working with legacy code. With technology constantly changing, making sure our software is up-to-date is key. Working to revise old code can be frustrating at times, but it’s rewarding once it’s completed.
I love solving problems and using code to create something new. It is always exciting to work on features and design for new systems to improve the platform.
Engineers are a pillar of any software company. My team and I work every day to improve and implement a platform that connects the world’s food supply chain. Our work can be the difference in saving a life.
What are you most proud of at FoodLogiQ today?
I am most proud of the improvements that have been made in engineering. We’ve created documentation for most of our API routes and put an increased emphasis on code testing so that we can deliver more reliable software—which ultimately makes it easier for our customers to use.
In what way has your outlook on the world around you changed since you started working at FoodLogiQ?
Working at FoodLogiQ, I’ve learned a lot about the food industry. A lot more goes into FDA compliance than I originally knew and recalls happen more often than I expected.
What is your personal “why?” What drives you?
My main goal as an engineer is to write code that is clean, efficient and reliable.
Do you have any special hobbies?
I love to listen to and create music. I play guitar, bass guitar, banjo, and drums. I’m working on picking up the keyboard as well. Music lets me express myself in a creative way that is different from working on code—it both relaxes and energizes me.