KORTX Employee Spotlight: Javier Fernandez, Principal Software Engineer

Kate Meda

With nearly two years at KORTX, Javier Fernandez, our Principal Software Engineer, has brought a wealth of experience, a deep sense of curiosity, and his relentless drive to understand how (all) things work.

His journey is a testament to the diverse backgrounds and dynamic skill sets that make up our exceptional team.

In this installment of our “Meet the Team” series, Javier shares insights into his career path, his experiences before joining KORTX, and what he loves most about his role. He also reflects on the unique challenges of software engineering, his joy in learning new things, and his unbeatable trivia skills.

When did you join KORTX?

I am going to hit the two-year mark in August (2024).

What team are you on & what do you love about your role at KORTX?

I am a Principal Software Engineer on the Engineering Team. I love that KORTX works hard to be a good place for people to work. It quickly became clear that creating an excellent workplace for employees was a key priority for our founders.

My role here is mostly ceremonial: I stand around and proffer hard-earned wisdom that is largely ignored.The Engineering Team collectively works on developing and maintaining the KORTX platforms (like Kampus), which is already cool enough—having this thing that works well, helps people do their jobs, and helps KORTX grow. For me, at a deeper level, the challenge of the role is just so much fun.

My wife and I in Michigan’s Eastern UP (upper peninsula).

What got you interested in advertising?

Nothing! Well, that’s not true. I have a slightly insane level of general curiosity about how everything works, and business is a bit unique in that it is really more of an art. In science and engineering, ideas are rigorous and well-defined, unlike in business. Marketing…well, it is the soft, gooey center at the core of business.

Tractor and tanker trailer, main farm building in the main valley where we grow our almonds. In true Spanish conquistador style, most of what you see is our land.

Tell us a little about your experience before joining KORTX.

I spent an unholy amount of time working for Michigan Technological University. I started working there as an undergraduate as a system administrator and evolved through a series of roles, some technical and some in management.

Then, about 10 years ago, I moved down to Metro Detroit to work in digital promotions (online sweepstakes, loyalty, etc.) and have mostly stayed in that space. There was a 4-year period where I was doing engineering presales for a Japanese software company, but I haven’t fully processed that. I am joking, of course; they were incredibly awesome and supportive during the pandemic. Presales, though, what a trip.

My daughters on an ATV in an olive grove near our farm.

What’s your biggest challenge in your role?

We are a small team, and we are very focused on delivering new features and functionality. Software is incredibly unwieldy: you can’t hold it in your hands or fully understand it. It can be flexible and clean or difficult to work with.

If you let it, it will slowly kill productivity.

Software needs constant attention to maintain productivity and stay manageable. Our biggest challenge is balancing high productivity (adding new features, etc) with the need to clean and restructure things.

My daughters dressed up for Easter, taken in a street in a tiny town in Southern Spain.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

That is a really awful question to ask me, and then tell me I have to keep it reasonably short. I’ll give you one thing: learning things. My idea of retirement is going back to school forever. Jeff Bezos sends me hand-written thank you cards for every hundred books that I buy. I keep the house warm with them in the winter.

What’s one thing you’re unbeatable at? 

Proper trivia. No sports, no Kardashians.

My photo of a black pearl flower, an ornamental variety of hot pepper, with black leaves, stems, and atypical (for hot peppers) purple petals.

📚 More from Javier Fernandez:

➡️ More from our Meet the Team series:


Kate Meda

Latest Stories

Here’s what we've been up to recently.

Get our stories delivered

From us to your inbox weekly.