T2 has some of the brightest minds in the parking industry, and each employee brings a unique set of talents and experiences to the table. We thought you might like to learn more about these talented individuals. In our Employee Spotlight series, you’ll get to know one employee each month. This month we talked to Tony Ray, T2 Vice President, Software Engineering.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a little town called Lawrenceville that is located in southern Illinois with a population of about 4,000. There was never much of a parking problem there so I never really gave parking a thought until I went to university. That is where I learned that parking enforcement officers were like ninjas. You never see them coming.
What drew you to working in software?
Software was not my first career choice but ended up being my best. My first degree was in Finance and after finishing university I started my career as a stock broker for Banc One. After about a year and a half, I realized how much I hated doing what I was doing and decided it was time for a change. With the help of management from Banc One I ended up in an entry level IT job where I discovered how much I loved software development. I ended up going back to university and getting a degree in Computer Science and stayed at the bank for another 9 years.
How did you end up in the parking industry?
After being with Banc One for over 10 years, they merged with Chase bank and moved my department to Columbus, OH. Not wanting to uproot my family and move to Ohio (nothing against Ohio), I decided to stay in Indianapolis. That is when I found this little company called T2 Systems. When I started in 2004, there were about 40 people with the company. T2 had just finished working with a firm to port their existing application PowerPark to what is known as Flex today. Since Flex was built in .NET they needed to build a team of .NET developers and I was the first .NET developer at T2. Soon thereafter we started bring in more developers like Tim Ingram, Dave Hart, and many more to build Flex into this awesome enterprise software package that we have today.
What do you do as VP of Software Engineering for T2?
As VP of Software Engineering, I am responsible for T2 delivering products on time, on budget, and with quality. I am also responsible for providing the technology vision here at T2 and making sure that we are building applications using the industry’s best practices and tool sets to create efficient software development teams. My day-to-day activities include working closely with all the software teams, departments, and customers to ensure that T2 is positioned to provide a best-in-class software platform for the parking industry.
What’s something that you think people don’t know about parking that you find interesting?
The thing that I find most interesting in the parking industry is how complicated it can be and the amount of technology that is used. Hands down the complexity in our platform is far greater that anything that I worked on during my time at Banc One, and that was a platform that processed mortgage loans from origination to selling them into the secondary markets.
What do you enjoy about working at T2?
This is a question that I get quite often when I am interviewing candidates for T2 and my answer is very easy: the people that I work with. It is a privilege to work with so many brilliant people who really care about what they are doing.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I love to do carpentry work. I am a huge fan of This Old House. I am always gutting and remodeling some room at my house. I like being able to create a plan in my head and making that plan come to life. The problem is that I am a very slow carpenter. For example, when my daughters were younger, I built them a two story playhouse complete with insulation, drywall, and electricity. It took me almost 3 years to complete and by the time I was finished they were old enough that they had no interest in playing in it, but it looked great.