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SOLTECH Spotlight: Interface Engineer, Kiley Dorton

Introducing SOLTECH’s very own award-winning recording artist and interface engineer, Kiley Dorton. In college, Kiley was a member of the UGA acapella group, the UGA Accidentals, and during his time with them, they became the 3rd best acapella group in the world, according to the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella. Aside from being a literal rock star, Kiley is also a dad, a husband, a startup veteran, and a philanthropist (he once delivered laptops to an elementary school in remote Costa Rica!). Kiley is available for autographs anytime.

What drew you to SOLTECH?

In my experience, who you work with can be just as important as what you do. I wanted to work with people who care deeply about their craft, and I found them here at SOLTECH.  Because each new project involves a brand new technology stack, the nature of custom software development ensured that I’d be surrounded by people who have a love of learning. To enjoy their job at a place like SOLTECH, they’d have to have no problem picking up a codebase full of unfamiliar libraries and frameworks several times a year. On top of that, because we build software for clients and not for our own company, they’d have to find satisfaction and value in the act of creating great software, rather than making money selling that software. So, more than anything else, it was the kind of developers I’d be working alongside that drew me to SOLTECH, and it has proved to be the best part of working here by far.

If you had to eat the same meal every day for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

Spaghetti and meat sauce. It was the only meal I knew how to make in college, so I already practiced eating it every day for about four years. I think I could make it for another 80 or so.

How would you explain your job at SOLTECH to a child?

I’ve got a six-year-old daughter, so I’ve actually had a little experience with this question. You may be surprised just how much a first grader can comprehend when it comes to technology. I told her something like this:

“All of that code you see on my screen when I work from home is just a big list of instructions that we send to a web browser like Google Chrome.  Chrome reads all of the instructions and then it draws everything just the way I asked it to. My job is to make everything that you see and tap on when you go to a website like YouTube or Facebook. Kind of like a chef at a restaurant takes all of the ingredients and cooks them in just the right way to make a delicious meal, I take all of the parts of a website and put them together to make a usable, nice looking web page. And just like a chef knows that she’s done a good job when the food tastes great and the customer eats every bite, I’ll know I did a good job if the user is able to do what they wanted to do and smiles a time or two while they do it.”

What would the title of your autobiography be?

Have Courage & Be Kind: The Story of a Man Whose Dreams Came True

What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned lately?

How easy it is to make fall-off-the-bone ribs in the crockpot. I watched a single Tasty video, followed the instructions, and poof I had ribs four hours later. Life may never be the same.

What is your favorite app?

Tough question. My best all-around app is probably Google Maps. It’s not flashy, but it gets a truly difficult and complex job done with the tap of a button. I could share a long list of runners-up and other superlatives, but that has to be the best all-around.

Pizza or tacos?

I know I’ll catch some flak for this from the Taco Friday crew, but it’s pizza. Hands down, pizza. If I’m ordering delivery, that’s Papa John’s pizza. If I’m going to sit down somewhere, it’s probably Fellini’s. Tacos, I’m really happy for you, and Imma let you finish but Pizza had one of the best videos of all time.

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