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Get to Know Core10: Clay McKinney

When you think about a culture champion at Core10, one of those team members is Clay McKinney. Clay personifies our Core Purpose and is dedicated to helping his fellow team members live it out. From building a certification bonus program to sending out Slack postings about our Core Purpose and Core Values, Clay embodies what it means to help our team members unleash their untapped potential and grow. 

"Now that we are a 6+-year-old company, many of our employees may not realize that we started Core10 with existing resources from a staffing firm. Clay was one of those team members, so we joke that he has been with Core10 since before Core10. Clay has a very special set of skills, and he has taught me a lot. He is empathetic and kind; he genuinely cares about our team and furthering our mission of helping families thrive in the place they call home. Clay designed our training and certification plan, and he keeps up with everyone's progress. With Clay, still waters run deep. He is a quiet and thoughtful person, and underneath that are wicked smarts, a great sense of humor, and a genuinely awesome human."

- Lee Farabaugh, Co-Founder and President

This month, we are delighted to highlight one of our long-time Core10 team members, Clay, a Developer Manager. Take some time to learn about Clay. We guarantee you that you will be surprised to learn all the neat things that make Clay a wickedly talented asset at Core10 and an allover wonderful person. 

 

What is your role at Core10? 

I am a Developer Manager and a Senior Engineer. As a Developer Manager, my mantra is “We’re here to grow” (one of Core10’s core values), and I spend my energy helping developers on our team grow continuously. As a Senior Engineer, I have worked on many projects for clients and internally.

 

How long have you been with Core10? 

Before Core10 was founded, I worked for one of the co-founders beginning in 2014. Only one team member can trace their relationship back further than me – Rob Elliot.

 

How did you hear about Core10? 

I was working for one of the co-founders for a staff augmentation firm named Synergy Systems. I was on-site at our client’s business when I got the email. It was very exciting news and I loved the new direction.

 

Why did you choose to work at Core10?  

 I decided to stay at Core10 at that time because it was incredibly exciting. I was placed on a project using cutting-edge technology and architecture that I was unfamiliar with at the time. It was a time of tremendous growth for me. I have chosen to stay year after year because I love and respect my coworkers and leadership. My input is always welcome and respected.

 

What did you do before joining the team?  

I was an applications instructor, a web designer, a programmer for a non-profit, a self-employed consultant, and then a programmer at StrategyCorps. I was the team lead on a product named “Bazing!” which helped banks market paid checking accounts.

 

Where did you go to school? 

I have a BS in English-Journalism from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. I earned a few postgraduate credits from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

 

What did you study? 

Basic Engineering, Psychology, English-Journalism, and Broadcast Journalism at TTU. Church History and Biblical Theology at Covenant.

 

What got you interested in a career in software development? 

I was teaching many different computer applications at New Horizons in the late nineties. MS Office, Wordperfect Office, Lotus Office, on PCs and Macs, Beginning through Advanced levels. I became a power user. Then I got interested in desktop publishing, then web design. I switched careers to be a web designer and then became more and more interested in the backend.

 

What is your favorite project you have worked on at Core10? 

 Working on AccrueConnect. I was the first team lead and I created the template for all the C# microservices. I led a fantastic group of programmers and we all enjoyed the challenge.

 

Tell us about your life outside of Core10… Family life? Pets? Hobbies? 

I am happily married for 18 years and we have three kids, 14, 12, and 8. We have three cats, one of which likes to join me on Zoom calls. I’ve been reading comics since the mid-eighties. I read monster comics from Mike Mignola (Hellboy), crime comics from Ed Brubaker, and I have a shelf full of Batman comics. It’s a lot of fun.

 

How do you give back to the community? 

I serve in my church as a deacon. We collect food for Second Harvest Food Bank in Dickson, and we have a Mercy Ministry to help struggling families. I support events from Dickson’s House of Hope and New Beginnings. I run the sound booth for our services.

 

What is something other people find most surprising to learn about you? 

I own an inflatable dinosaur costume and I’m not afraid to use it.

 

What is your favorite thing about Nashville? 

My favorite thing about Nashville is the musical talent in so many of my friends. A lot of people have moved to Nashville to study music or to work in the industry for generations now. One of my programming friends appears on the “Scott Pilgrim” soundtrack, for instance. I love to hear my friends play.

 

Why did you choose to stay there?  

 My wife’s family is here. We’ve never lacked a babysitter on a Friday night. Our kids have a houseful of cousins to hang with. It’s invaluable. And, we are only a few hours from my family in East Tennessee. Dickson is the perfect-sized town for my taste.

 

Anything else you’d like to share??? 

Yes. If anyone in your life depends on you financially, get some term life insurance. You probably won’t die during the term. That’s why it’s so cheap! But, anything could happen. It’s a small price for your family to be prepared.

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