Q&A with Jerry Gonzales

by Danielle Borges - Marketing & Sales Director

Jerry is a business software consultant at heart, with hands-on development skills utilizing various programming languages (FileMaker being his favorite) and databases. He is certified in Agile Scrum as a Product Owner and will be a Tech Lead here at Codence.  

– How did you get into FileMaker, and what advice would you give someone starting now?

I started in 2016 with a custom development company that needed a PHP developer. They asked that I become certified in FileMaker, which started my journey. I’m a big fan of video learning, and I think it’ll drastically shape how we learn as a society in the near future. I tell any aspiring programmer to watch relevant videos, work through the exercises, and seek help in online forums when needed.

– What parts of software development do you enjoy the most?

I get a great sense of satisfaction when I help businesses automate their workflows and internal processes. The results lead to increased revenue or profit margins. It also produces engaged business owners who embrace technology and start seeing multiple possibilities.

– What’s the most challenging aspect of working in FileMaker?

Like any craft, you have to update your skills constantly. The moment you think you know it all, you get a project that snaps you back to reality! A FileMaker programmer needs to be comfortable that they must always be learning and improving.

– What is a Claris FileMaker move you hope will happen this year?

I like seeing gains in efficiency for us programmers. Anything that can be done to the Script Workspace to help us code faster and more accurately would be welcome. Still crossing my fingers to be able to search within scripts.

– How important is it to be certified or well versed in Agile Scrum?

I champion Agile Scrum even outside of the software development world. Making sense of the chaos that can be software development (or any complicated project) in an easily digestible format by non-technical and technical folks alike is powerful. My brain automatically thinks and compartmentalizes chunks of work in Agile Scrum fashion. I believe anyone who tries it will instantly see results for the better.

– What is the most memorable client story or development project you worked on?

In 2018, I had the privilege of creating a system that automatically, on a daily basis, would transfer medical claims bi-directionally. This was a huge undertaking and was the first time I had to draw on multiple work experiences to produce the final result. To see how my years of working with databases, programming languages, software architecture, and learning medical data formats coalesced into this product with enormous business value was a highlight of my software development career.

– If a genie offered to grant you one wish, what would you wish for?

Tough question. It would have to be something that benefits all of humankind. I believe it is important for all of us to have a clear sense of purpose with the limited time we have on earth. It gives me chills to imagine a world like that. I would wish for every person to have the instinct to go after their purpose full throttle and, if they don’t have one yet, make it their life mission to find it.

– Would you rather always find a parking spot or never have a technology glitch?

Easy choice for me! I think we as people all need to walk more often. Parking further away is a small way to get some extra steps in. A world of no technology glitches? That I would love to see and would pick as my choice.

– You’ve traveled extensively to Mexico, Central and South America. If you had to recommend one place, where would it be and why?

I find Chichen Itza in Mexico to be spectacular! It has a rich history as an archaeological site, but you also have wonderful beaches, towns, and even cenotes (sinkholes) nearby. You’ll have more options than you can conquer in one day or even one weekend. Couple all of that with friendly locals and delicious food, and you’ll have a truly memorable vacation.

– The other day, you shared you are an acoustic guitar player. How did you learn to play guitar? Is there another instrument you’d like to learn how to play?

I first heard a friend play guitar when I was 16. I was drawn to it immediately! I’m mostly self-taught, and I look for opportunities to learn something new whenever I get the chance. It’s been a highly satisfying hobby for me, even if I’m not quite at the level I wish I could be at. I’ve recently started to notice the piano/keyboard and am considering purchasing one to expand my musical horizons.

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