Ayokay Welcomes Jeremy Houchens

Meet Jeremy, Ayokay’s new Director of Web Development! We sat down to talk with him about his position and how training for water polo teaches him important lessons about how to have a unique perspective to solving problems. 

Q: What brought you to Ayokay?

A: I was looking to use my skill set in a new way. I was looking for opportunities online and I saw a couple job postings for Ayokay. I’ve actually been aware of Ayokay for quite a while. Probably as long as the company’s been around. And when I decided to start looking for a job, I was looking for ways to use my skill set more in a director position. I wanted to move out of the code and into a project management position. When this position opened up, it seemed like a really good fit.

Q: What’s one thing that you wish people knew about your job?

A: I would say that just the amount of time that goes into a simple request. A lot of times there’s a request that seems pretty simple. Even if it’s just making a simple change on a website, you usually have to log into certain servers or websites, make the change, and check to make sure it’s out of the development server and make sure it’s correct. There’s a lot of work that goes into making those simple changes.

Q: What are some areas you’d like to learn more about while at Ayokay?

A: I’d like to get much more into the numbers and analytics. I have an overview understanding of Google Analytics, but I want to get more specific about how traffic is being segmented and how it’s benefiting the business.

Q: You’ve mentioned to us that you’re training for a water polo competition. Can you tell me a little bit about that process and what lessons you’ve learned along the way?

A: I play on a master’s water polo team, so the ages are 18 to late 60s for the players. The older I get, the more important training becomes. Cardiovascular strength, fitness level. To be able to show up and play on the team takes a certain level of fitness. That’s my baseline: can I play water polo, yes or no? And if I can’t, then I know I have work and training to do to get back to that fitness level. 

The older I get, the more I realize I play the game differently. Now I play less aggressively and pick my battles more wisely. When I commit to plays where I have to make a more offensive move, then think it out a little bit more and have more awareness on a defensive side. There’s a lot that’s happening when a game is being played, so for me it’s about being in a good position. 

Another thing I’ve learned is that we have a lot of older players on our team and we’re consistently underestimated. The guys are older, they might look out of shape, but there are times where we haven’t lost a game or quarter. The younger guys will just rely on speed, but the older guys will slow things down and control the game in a different way.

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: I like team sports, exercising, photography and studying music. I like to study music theory. I try to practice guitar every day. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, I try to learn some songs, do some sight reading, or even write music. I consistently like to practice music for fun.