Meet Rivet’s senior developer, James W. Berry IV
“James brought valuable experience building secure and scalable software in automotive, IoT, and healthcare to the RIVET team. Customers expect RIVET to be there when they need it — and for their data to be secure. James’ contributions have been key to delivering on those expectations. He also brings an amazing attitude, spirit of collaboration and incredible depth of knowledge.”
— The Rivet Team
Tell us a little about yourself, James!
My wife, Erin, and I have lived in Ferndale, MI for 3 years. We both love the small community, especially being in a great location nestled between Detroit and Royal Oak. There’s lots of great food/bar options and nearly everything is walkable. My go to spots are Culantro, Urbanrest Brewery, and Chazzano’s Coffee.
My favorite people are my wife Erin, my two older sisters Ryan and Kelsey, my younger brother Cameron, my mother Michele and father James (the 3rd) and my amazing Grandparents and in-laws.
I have benefited from having multiple generations of teachers in my family and have a strong love and appreciation for a deep, holistic education. I attended Michigan Tech in Houghton, MI, where I earned a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. The most impactful topics for me at university were physics, philosophy, and MEMs.
How did you get into software development?
Early in my career I saw how software formed the bridge between ideas and real, meaningful products. The sheer variety of problems that can be solved by building a diverse software skillset was quickly demonstrated during my time working on mobile and web applications, embedded automotive projects, data analytics research, machine / deep learning, connectivity UI and UX.
Despite my Electrical Engineering background, while working on an early project with Ryan Meitl at Bosch, I got the software bug and never looked back.
Why did you join Rivet, and what are you most excited about?
I joined Rivet because I’m excited to be part of a team that is serving the skilled trades and solving real, tangible and immediate problems. Being a member of the Detroit and Michigan tech startup scene is inspiring and is a great chance to show off the talent and potential in the state. It’s been extremely motivating meeting and working with my fellow Riveters. Every member is laser-focused on pushing the company and product forward and brings a unique skillset that makes an impact every day.
From an engineering perspective, building a technically strong team is critical for personal growth, development and satisfaction. Even more importantly, teamwork and culture is fundamental to bringing the best out of each engineer and providing mutual support. I’m proud to say the team is quite accomplished in both areas and continue to put emphasis on capability and environment. I have been and continue to be impressed with everyone on the team and will strive to contribute in elevating us higher!
What do you do in your free time?
I grew up camping and visiting national parks with my family. After moving to Michigan and spending my college years in the U.P., I’ve grown to love all the hiking, camping, and exploring the Great Lakes State has to offer. Some of my favorite areas are Nordhouse Dunes, Leelanau Peninsula, Porcupine Mountains, and the entirety of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
I’m a huge fan of music, primarily metal. I have a decent-sized physical media collection and try to catch shows in the Detroit area whenever possible. I haven’t written any music myself but I plan to as a long-term goal. Unfortunately my Clarinet music knowledge does not translate as well as I would like in this regard…
I don’t have as much time to play games regularly anymore but I still hope to find 1 or 2 games to obsess over each year. I lean heavily towards the single-player, RPG genre. During the last year, I’ve started playing DnD with some friends and it has been surprisingly more fun than I expected.
I spend the majority of my free time building out web and mobile application ideas for fun. A good amount of them focus in the area of music since that is my greatest passion. I’ve also recently become more interested in projects rooted in the physical world instead of software, like building (very) amateur furniture and making custom hot sauces, in an effort to mix things up a bit.