Tech Candidate Spotlight - Kyle Mercer

Tech Candidate Spotlight - Kyle Mercer

From Warcraft 3 to the US Military to the Private Sector, Kyle Mercer is a Full Stack Engineer on a Mission

Thanks for contributing to our blog! Can you share a little bit about your educational background?

When I was a teenager, I was a big fan of Warcraft 3 (a video game by Blizzard Entertainment), which had a world editor. It contained a trigger implementation that could be leveraged using a GUI or text editor. I ended up learning JASS (Just Another Scripting Syntax), which allowed me to do really neat things.

I wanted to learn more and even ended up recreating a few games, like Pac-Man and Galactica. Eventually, I picked up JavaScript and created a simple graph implementation based on formulas, as I didn’t like drawing graphs myself for class.

I took a Turbo Pascal class and created a tic-tac-toe implementation by the time we hit the third chapter. After High School, I joined the United States Navy as an Information Systems Technician and have been guiding myself to become a developer. Other than that, I did pursue college and currently hold Security+ as well as Network+ CompTIA certifications. 

So you started in an Information Systems role but transitioned to development. Congrats! We love these stories. Tell us more…

I started as an Information Systems Technician in the United States Navy, which focuses on computers, networks, crypto, and radio communications. During my time, I picked up a few small development side-projects, such as an internal ticket system and document approval tool.

When I got out, I started off as a SharePoint Helpdesk technician and through SharePoint, I was able to pick up many small development projects. After the first two years, I ended up transitioning into a developer position and basically started my new journey.

Is your new role different from previous ones?

It is still development work but focused on a completely different industry. I’ve been within the Department of Defense (DoD) my entire career and this is my first opportunity outside of the DoD.

What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role or career?

Imagine being part of a minor league and trying to push yourself and your team to go further, but you just constantly hit a wall. Folks have the idea of the major league but lack the drive or support to get there. After a while, you can’t grow anymore. That has been my experience and why I wanted to make that jump from contracting to the private sector.

So for me, Nextdoor is all kinds of excitement, as it is that major league for me. As a developer that strives for continuous growth and learning, I recognize that Nextdoor provides an ocean’s worth of knowledge and experience I can learn from.

The other aspect was my experience going through the interview process, working with the recruiter, and talking to some of the team members. I never felt like a candidate on a conveyor belt. They were all very supportive and transparent throughout the entire process. For me, it was a really refreshing experience. 

What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

It was overwhelming and chaotic. My inbox was filled up with new job opportunities daily and throughout the day, my phone went off so much that it became disruptive to my current job. A good portion of these opportunities end up being short-term contracts, jobs in different areas, data collectors, or spam. It was basically a job to find a job.  

What’s your best advice for job seekers registered on the Hired platform? 

For those working as a defense contractor and looking to transition into the private sector, can help provide that exposure at a much more manageable level with far more quality opportunities.

Congrats to Kyle! If you’d like to find a great role like he did, complete your free profile on Hired today!

If you’re looking for innovative, resourceful tech talent like Kyle, ask for a demo customized to your needs.

About Nextdoor

As a social networking company, Nextdoor is the neighborhood hub for trusted connections and exchange of helpful information, goods, and services. Founded in 2011, Nextdoor has between 201-500 employees and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

Tech Stack: Python, Java, Go, Javascript, HMTL, CSS, Swift, React, Django, Bootstrap, jQuery, Kotlin

Benefits: Stock options, 401k matching, health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, PTO, work-from-home flexibility, Family benefits (Maternity, Paternity, Adoption assistance, Fertility), and more.