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Cureatr Employee Spotlight: James Kim, Junior Frontend Engineer

James Kim HeadshotFor this month's employee spotlight, we spoke with James Kim. James works on Cureatr’s development team and is involved with managing Cureatr’s web messenger, external messenger, and admin portals as well as taking care of any maintenance upgrades, bug fixes, and feature requests for our new Meds 360° medication management platform.

James was born and raised as a first generation American in Queens, NY. Originally a warehouse manager, then a teacher’s assistant, James attended a coding bootcamp and started at Cureatr last year as a Junior Frontend Engineer.

What is one favorite thing about your job?

Solving problems. That's the main thing. When I’m fixing a bug, I sometimes uncover new things that can be fixed or improved so I end up touching many different areas and application’s code base. It’s fun figuring out how to fix one bug, without breaking other things too much. 

I also enjoy upgrading the platform and performing maintenance. A lot of the code base needs updating, so I bring that up to date to improve performance and give our users the best  experience possible.

What do you find most challenging about your job?

Well, I definitely have a love/hate relationship with solving problems. It can drive you crazy because not all users utilize the same browsers or browser versions and we have to make sure our product works consistently across all of them. Also, when dealing with a code base as large as ours, I’m keeping track of like 10 different files so keeping them all straight can be tough.

How would you describe Cureatr in 3 words?

Cureatr. In three words. Oh my gosh. Three words. Open. Teamwork. Difference. 

  • Open: You can express what is on your mind
  • Teamwork: A lot of our work depends on the coordination. The teams here are not just islands, they depend on each other.
  • Difference: We want to make a difference in health care and that’s what draws me to the company, its something I want to spend my energy and time on. 

Why do you like working for Cureatr?

The people and the culture. Everyone’s opinion here matters. For example, we have a company wide, weekly design feedback session that allows everyone to ask questions and give input about product design concepts. It’s really cool to see input from these sessions make it into product updates. 

And making an impact. There are a lot of product meetings that include several people from other departments  so everyone plays a part in the products we develop. Even with just small design changes or suggesting a new feature, we each really make an impact.

What is your proudest moment at Cureatr?

My proudest moments are when my work makes people’s lives easier. I got a shout out recently when an institution was changing their SSL configuration and I figured out how to make the changes easier, with just a few clicks, rather than having backend developers manually type something out. My work was done by one person, quickly, with a few clicks. Creating that made me very proud. 

Another thing that I’m extremely interested in is currently in the works.  I can’t say too much right now, but it has been a challenge and will be a huge benefit to users. I’d love to have users ask, “How did you guys solve this?”

What is one thing unique about you that people would be surprised if they knew?

I’m quite sure I’m kind of a boring dude, I mostly code, but I used to do Archery. I started when I was 27 and just had a natural inclination towards it. It’s relaxing, just one shot after another trying to do the same thing over and over to perfect it. It’s one of those things where you start doing it and then you fall in love with it and you just keep on doing it. At one point in my life I used to be in the archery range at least two times a week. I went on a few team tournaments and won first place in one and second place in another. A lot of people think archers have to have 20/20 vision but it has less to do with vision and more with muscle memory, concentration, and practice. I tried it starting with a compound bow but I like taking the hard road so I moved on to using the re-curve bow which has less assistance from the pulley system and is much harder to master. You may recognize this kind of bow from Lord of the Rings or Hunger Games.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Driving. I recently got a manual transmission car so I'm learning how to drive that. After driving automatic for ten years, it's super tough. Some parts just kind of go against your gut feeling and you have to fight that. For example, when you’re downshifting for the car to slow down you switch gears and you have to press the accelerator, to slow down. For 10 years I have been pressing the brakes to slow down, not the accelerator. It’s tough to fight that feeling. But I like the challenge. Right now I am trying to avoid busy areas because I'm just learning but when I venture out I do stall the engine from time to time and it’s really embarrassing because people behind you like to honk.

What is the first app you check in the morning? And why?

First app? Ooh, good one. It depends. Sometimes messenger if I have notifications but mainly I think it’s the weather app. I check to see if I have to bring an umbrella, how to dress, etc.

If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why?

I guess I would be a sloth. I just like chilling and kind of doing nothing. Just chilling on a branch, sleeping, collecting algae…I’m a very chill animal. Also, I think they know how to swim, and I don’t so I would love to be a swimmer too!

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