Getting to know Persefoni: Meet Duffy Fray
1. And you may ask yourself, "Well... how did I get here?" (Tell us your journey?)
I was born in ‘Upstate’ New York - which is really anything north of ‘The City’, and south of the ‘soda-pop-line’. It was really the quintessential suburban upbringing; I had a paper-route and a bicycle - everything a growing boy needs.
Eager to escape my small-town I found myself inundated with an Electrical Engineering courseload at Clarkson University. I was an Air Force ROTC cadet throughout college and after finishing my degree I was a brand new Second Lieutenant at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in charge of Millions of dollars of hardware and a team of professional engineers, many of whom were eager to remind me they had a Doctorate older than I was.
I spent the next three years working Space Launch at Cape Canaveral. There, I had the privilege of working “on console” for the final Space Shuttle launch, as well as early SpaceX launches, and everything in-between.
I then moved on to Space Intelligence Research in New Mexico. I spent four years working mostly nights in classified facilities cut into hollowed-out mountains, miles away from civilization, staring at the night sky through an array of cutting-edge telescopes.
In 2014, I met my wife and left the military after eight years of service. I put my EE degree to work designing IOT hardware for a leading smart-home technology manufacturer. I quickly found the IOT side far more fascinating than hardware, and became one of three backend developers on the IOT platform, enabling customers to remotely manage, troubleshoot, and configure over 1 Million pieces of smart-home equipment installed across the world.
My wife and I moved to Boulder, Colorado in late 2019 where I started working for a local company specializing in large-scale data storage on magnetic strip-tape. And then, just as it did for all other Persefonites... the phone rang.
2. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. (What do you do at Persefoni?)
I started at Persefoni in October of 2021. As a software developer, it’s rare to have an opportunity that has an impactful mission, passionate people, and a well thought-out tech stack. And Persefoni clearly hit home on all three! Not long after I started, Blake Blackwell asked me to stand-up the Data Engineering Team’s Testing Center of Excellence - along with a slew of highly talented engineers here - and that’s been just a blast to be a part of.
I spent my first few months working on our Climate Trajectory Modeling feature; Brian Herbst and I were the sole backend engineers on the team and we couldn’t have had more fun developing that feature.
For the past couple of months I’ve been the Technical Lead on the Calculations team. It’s been a whirlwind of an experience, working alongside another team of gifted engineers. We own the entire calculations side of the platform - working to increase the number of calculations that our platform supports has been a really fun way to add value at Persefoni.
3. And you may ask yourself, "Where does that highway go to?" (What are your hopes for your time at Persefoni?
I love writing code; especially well thought-out, maintainable code. And here at Persefoni there’s no shortage of code that needs to be written. We have a diverse and forward-thinking team of Product Managers with great features in-mind to enable every organization and person with the technology to positively impact the health of Planet Earth. And that code isn’t going to write itself.
4. And you may say to yourself, "My God! What have I done?" (Why is Persefoni a great home for you?)
Ever since I left the military -I’ve been searching for a cause I can truly get behind; and Persefoni delivers this in spades unlike any other company I’ve worked with.
On top of this, Persefoni offers the freedom to fail - sometimes magnificently! We as engineers are offered the space to find creative solutions to some very complex problems - not all of those solutions are going to work, but it takes a forward-thinking culture to allow this creativity - and Persefoni clearly understands what It takes to deliver simple solutions to complex problems.
5. And you may find yourself in another part of the world... (Tell us about your life/hobbies away from work?)
Motorcycles have been a huge part of my life since I got my first bike in 2009. While I was in the service, I had a motorcycle and no car for some time. Now I spend weekends either volunteering teaching motorcycle safety throughout Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and South Dakota; or out riding with my wife.
When we’re not out riding motorcycles, you can typically find my wife and I out climbing or bouldering at a local crag - and here in Boulder there are plenty to be had! Outdoor bouldering in-particular has become a favorite pastime of ours in recent years.
When too tired from either motorcycling or climbing, I enjoy spending time taking photos. Street photography in particular has always spoken to me. There’s something about finding the seemingly-random beauty that’s sprinkled over the monotony of everyday life that I find captivating.
Meet other Persefonites!
“Once in a Lifetime" is a series of articles designed to help our customers and partners learn more about Persefoni's truly passionate team. We're not just building award-winning software ... together, we're helping to decarbonize our planet.