Wisedocs’ Brain Power: James Bury, Software Developer
At Wisedocs, we’re building a stellar team and we’re proud to introduce our team members across various departments through our Wisedocs’ Brain Power series. Recently, we introduced Jonathan Enders, Software Engineer. Today we will meet James Bury, one of our Software Developers at Wisedocs. As a Software Developer, James plays a vital role in creating and implementing updates and new launches to our platform for our clients.
James is a dynamic team member with a vast understanding in the field of medical record summaries and reviews for the insurance ecosystem. As an experienced software developer, he specializes in crafting new endpoints and functionality for customers to leverage our platform. Professionally, James is passionate about optimizing code, learning new technologies, and keeping systems secure. However, in his spare time, you'll find James exploring Southwestern Ontario, hiking, reading a good book, or even playing some quidditch with friends!
Tell us about your career so far, James. How did you end up in the tech and startup world?
“I started my career by pursuing a degree in Computing and Financial Management from the University of Waterloo, a double major of computer science and finance. I was initially focused on breaking into the financial industry, either in an investment banking or quantitative developer role. However, as I grew older, my interests widened, and I found myself entering the world of tech through a Cybersecurity Analyst role, I found that most of the work I actually did was software development, leading me to pursue a more formal position in the space.”
Wisedocs’ is a big proponent of fostering professional development among our team members. We actively encourage the exploration of diverse paths beyond one’s typical career trajectory. Notably, our Marketing Coordinator, Amy Mingopoulos, and Engineering Intern, Michael Wang, embarked on their Wisedocs journeys in different roles than they currently hold. They have since thrived by advancing through various positions, departments, and furthering their education—all of which has been made possible through our dedicated team's unwavering support. In a recent study, 40% of workers say career progression matters most in a job and when employees feel their professional advancement is met, they’re happier.
How did you find Wisedocs?
“In 2020 and I was faced with the challenge of job hunting during the chaotic first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funny enough, this is when I first discovered Wisedocs - then named Bear Health Technologies. I applied for the role of Backend Developer Co-op and after a great interview, received an offer and joined the company.
At the time, I was very new to formal software development and have since learned so much both on my own and from my mentor, William Kong, Lead Backend Engineer. His patience, pragmatic programming principles, and detailed code reviews have all had a major impact on how I carry out my work. Alongside various philosophical talks from time to time.
I spent 8 months working for Wisedocs, in a 4-month co-op, then continuing in a part-time role until the year's end. In 2021, I moved on to complete my remaining school and co-op terms with other companies, yet was still reminiscent of the amazing time I had working at Wisedocs.”
You first came here as a co-op student back in 2020, what made you decide to join Wisedocs full time?
"The greatest benefit to Wisedocs is the culture! I came back to Wisedocs because of the incredibly welcoming, team-oriented culture. Most companies strive for this level of cohesion and collaboration."
What makes you excited about Wisedocs? What are the challenges?
“As I mentioned, the greatest benefit of working at Wisedocs would handsdown be the people and culture. The challenges, however, are synonymous with those of a tech startup. Lots of new products and feature requests to build and launch for customers. Each of these tasks touch upon a number of different technologies. Then the challenge is to become as versatile as possible and be able to learn quickly. The Wisedocs team is always available for guidance or a second set of eyes to help make the challenges manageable and even fun!”
Give us a day in the life of a Software Developer: what’s your 9-5?
“My typical day looks like:
- Wake up with the sunrise
- Exercise! Go for a walk or a run or spend some time at the gym
- Make breakfast and coffee
- Join the morning standup & meetings
- Coding, Debugging, and Collaboration!
- Take a break for lunch and go for a walk
- Code and collaborate some more
- Prepare any necessary releases for that evening
- Push out features and bug fixes after customers have mostly logged off for the day to not disrupt their workflow
I've learned that taking breaks from work can lead to a random solution popping up in your head. So, every so often while working on a hard problem, I'll take 10 minutes to go for a break before refocusing on the problem again.”
Breaks during the workday have been known to promote productivity, increase mental health, and decrease risk of burnout in the workplace. Candian Mental Health Association representatives have said that 10 minute breaks throughout the day can increase and boost employees’ mood. Furthermore, incorporating these regular 10-minute breaks into the work routine can have a significant positive impact on overall workplace dynamics, something we encourage at Wisedocs.
What’s an unexpected perk or challenge (or both) of being a Software Developer?
“At Wisedocs, my job is mostly remote, which then provides a great amount of flexibility around my work-life balance. Some days, I'll find myself starting early and finishing early, or starting late and finishing late.
Being a part-time student means that while working I also need to accommodate courses. Wisedocs is very flexible with my hours and has allowed me to take time for my classes, either full days or just a few hours here and there.”
What part of the Wisedocs product are you most proud to have worked on, to date?
“I'm most proud of spearheading the premium workflows feature that was recently released. It took a lot of hours of design, coding and testing, and was a true labour of love. I wrote hundreds of lines of code and spent hours testing and troubleshooting the product throughout the development lifecycle. I've also spent time working with other developers to shore up the design, and to add new customer requests as the feature is used more frequently and dynamically.”
During significant product launches, like our AI Medical Record Summaries Platform, we prioritize fostering a collaborative environment within our diverse team. Each member brings valuable skills to the table, and they work cohesively, spanning from our developers to the customer success team. This collaboration ensures that our product features are not only intuitive and seamlessly integrated, but also highly valuable to our clients. At Wisedocs, we are committed to the ongoing integration of client feedback, aiming to optimize their medical record review process and propel our platform to even greater heights.
You recently decided to further your education, what advice do you have for others looking to expand their career path?
“Go for it! Whether it be formal education, a certification, or even just starting a project on your bucket list - it's worth it. I'm currently wrapping up my last semester of business at University of Waterloo. The degree has given me a glimpse into what it takes to start and run a business, especially from the strategy, marketing, and logistical points of view. Working at a startup helps you to understand the rest.”
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