Team Q&A: Alex Burton – Junior Software Developer
Whether it’s through using his technical skills to help our utility partners meet their green energy objectives or his commitment to recycling, Alex Burton is dedicated to making the world a better, cleaner place. As our new Junior Software Developer, Alex is ready to put his skill to work, helping build the APIs that connect the devices we utilities need to realize their demand response programs and DER initiatives. Join us in welcoming Alex to the Virtual Peaker team!
How did your previous life prepare you for Virtual Peaker?
Before Virtual Peaker I worked on an assembly line for 10 years for a major car manufacturer. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, it always bothered me that I worked in a factory that consumed god knows how much electricity while pumping out thousands of SUVs 24/7. That is a lot of pollution both from the manufacturing process and pollution from the vehicles themselves once on the road.
It all directly affects the environment from all angles and stages. I just didn’t want to be a part of that anymore. Virtual Peaker offered me not only a way out of that but a way to help mitigate environmental impacts from the average Joe to larger companies.
Tell us about your role at Virtual Peaker.
I joined initially as an intern, but after a few months was brought on full-time as a Junior Software Developer. I currently work on the API team. We help make the process easier for utility companies to integrate their customers’ smart devices into energy-saving programs. We also develop ways to provide data and reports to the utilities to help improve their efficiency.
The easier it is to integrate and the more data we provide, the more utilities will join, which in turn helps take the stress off the grid—improving the environment, and sustainability, and assisting people to save money. Win, win all around.
How do you personally engage in sustainability efforts?
My family follows the traditional REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE. We use reusable bags when getting groceries, we’re committed to recycling anything we can, and try to come up with creative uses for things that can be reused. Now that we have the space we are also planning on building a worm bin to start composting waste and putting it in a garden to grow some of our food. I am also looking into collecting rainwater from our gutters and having solar panels installed on our roof.
I work from home most of the time these days, so the amount of daily driving I do has significantly decreased. Not only am I reducing my carbon footprint, but with gas prices as high as they are these days I’m saving a lot of money in the process.
What can you tell us about yourself?
I love the outdoors and the adventure it offers for myself and my family. I love tech and it’s one of the reasons I became a software developer. However, there’s just something so satisfying and relaxing for the soul to just slow down and disappear into the woods for a while.
In my spare time when I’m not hanging out with my three kids or an amazing wife I also love to play Dungeons and Dragons with friends. It’s a great way to escape into another world while keeping you on your toes to come up with creative solutions to problems. Generally speaking, I just have a lot of hobbies (too many according to my wife), and love to learn new things whenever I can. I hope to pass these skills on to my kids and inspire them to keep learning and growing.