For this installment of our Faces of FPX blog series, we met with Jane Huang, FPX’s Sr. Director of Development and one of the company’s longest tenured employees.
You recently celebrated your 27th work anniversary at FPX. Congratulations! How did you get your start at FPX?
I moved to Mankato, MN with my husband when he got a job teaching at Minnesota State University – Mankato (MSU). Rather than continuing my own education and going for my PhD, I started looking for a job and came across a newer company called Clear with Computers (CWC), which was FPX’s name at the time.
CWC was just starting to expand internationally and needed translation work done. So, I got hired because of my background – I know Chinese well and some Japanese. The first projects I worked on here were building translation modules.
How have you seen the company grow throughout your career?
Well, since I’ve started, I’ve gotten a chance to touch everything. I started out building translation modules in MS-DOS, and then I moved up to help with our custom builds. At that time, we were building custom applications for all of our customers – not like we do today. We didn’t call it Configure Price Quote (CPQ). We were building what we called ‘sales systems.’ Every customer had their own name for it and it was deployed on-premise.
Since then, we’ve moved to a multi-tenant architecture and deploy solutions in the cloud. We’re good at keeping up with our technical practices as well as modernizing our development language and tools. We’ve also grown very collaborative. We have daily stand-up meetings where people describe what they’re working on and collaborate on planning. This makes our product release cycle better and easier.
Have you always wanted to work in Tech/Software?
When I was in college, I actually majored in English literature. I got my college degree in Taiwan, and I chose literature because I loved English so much and I wanted to study American literature and British literature, but I came to realize in college that I really didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. So, I couldn’t change my major from literature, but I started taking computer courses in college.
After I got my degree, my husband and I moved to Iowa to continue studying at Iowa State University. There, I finished my undergrad and got my master’s degree in computer science. Actually, when we moved to Mankato, I was offered to teach at MSU along with my husband. I had to choose between teaching at the school and going to work for this local start-up. I chose to work here because I thought it would be more fun and I don’t regret my choice one bit.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
It can be challenging to make sure we’re meeting deadlines for product releases. That’s my job. I product-manage FPX products/applications and make sure we meet deadlines and our requirements. We also work with our clients through their testing stages, building testing environments, aligning with their schedules, and making sure our teams and the customers’ teams are in-sync.
Also, it can be challenging to keep up on my development skills to help review our team’s work. Since our product needs to integrate with so many other systems, it’s important to keep up on my programming skills.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I used to be addicted to tennis, but recently I’ve turned my attention to pickleball. We have a few courts in town and we like to go outside and play as often as we can. I also like to sing karaoke and I still like technical reading and working on my skills at home.
How would you describe FPX to someone thinking about working here?
We have great people. That’s the first thing that comes to mind for me – the people. Everybody shares their knowledge. They don’t care who achieved the result, only that the team achieved the result. That’s what’s kept me here, the people. When you can do what you want to do and enjoy doing it, that’s all you need.
More than Software — FPX is Family
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