Q: How long at the company?

A: In June of 2018, I will have been at Blackbaud for two years.

Q: Where in Charleston do you live?

A: When I first moved to the Charleston area, I lived in Mt. Pleasant, which offered a great balance of being close to my work, the beach and downtown. When my lease ended in Mt. Pleasant, I moved into a house in downtown Charleston. It’s nice being able to walk or ride my bike to most places where I want to be. One funny thing is seeing photos of people on Instagram exploring the area and thinking “huh… that’s only a few blocks from my house.”

Q: What drew you to working in Charleston?

A: There are a couple of things that I factored into my decision… it was not a small one, considering I moved to Charleston all the way from Oklahoma. I think the most obvious element was all that Charleston provided from a quality of life perspective. It’s hard not to like the idea of being close to the beach, great food, sports (I’m the world’s biggest River Dogs fan, besides maybe Bill Murray), history, art and culture. Additionally, I wanted to make sure that I lived in an area with good career opportunities, and as a software engineer, it was reassuring to find a place that is called “Silicon Harbor”.

Q: Why do you think Charleston is a burgeoning tech sector?

A: I think Charleston is turning into a major tech center for two main reasons. The first is that it’s very easy to attract top talent to a place like Charleston, for the things I mentioned already, and it provides a great alternative to traditional tech centers that have exorbitant costs of living. The second is good ideas get noticed quickly. While Charleston’s tech sector is growing, it has not become stuffy, and you don’t have to be a small fish in a big pond. The mix of established companies and startups in the area foster a great environment for innovation and networking.

Q: Best advice to those looking to move to Charleston for work?

A: Get involved in interest groups, tech or otherwise. This is so crucial, because moving into any new environment can be difficult without people to help you along the way

Q: What does Charleston Open Source mean to you? (In 5 words or less)

A: Shaping Charleston’s tech identity.

Q: What does Charleston tech community have to offer over other cities?

A: The interaction that you get with employees from other tech companies is extremely positive. While people have “team spirit” for their respective employers, I’ve never seen animosity between the employees from different companies. For example, every year all companies in the Charleston tech sector participate in the “i5k”, which is a big race, that might as well be a big party. After the race, everyone meets up for pizza, beer, dancing, and networking. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends, connections, and to learn more about other companies in the area.

Q: It's the weekend - what do you do in Charleston?

A: On an ideal summer Saturday, I’ll go grab some breakfast with friends, before we make our way to Sullivan Island’s beach. We’ll have a late lunch on the island and then head back downtown to get ready for a River Dog’s baseball game. After the game we will probably go grab some drinks downtown.

Q: Your not-to-miss spot in Charleston?

A: The Faculty Lounge!

Q: Describe living in Charleston in ONE word.

A: If there’s a word that means “a laid-back form of fast-paced”, I’d use that.

Q: Favorite Charleston event?

A: The Spoleto Festival

Q: What's the most exciting thing happening in Charleston?

A: The tech boom. Charleston is quickly growing as a hub to be a national competitor in tech world, and it’s exciting to play a role in that.

Q: Favorite Charleston experience?

A: The Cooper River Bridge Run. Even if you’re not a runner, a race with close to 50,000 participants creates an electric environment.

Q: Only in Charleston __________.

A: Is a cold snap more than a week of sub 50-degree days.

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