THE PRESENT IS JUST A POINT WHERE TWO FORCES MEET: THOSE OF THE PAST, AND THOSE OF THE FUTURE.

Jon grew up in the suburbs of New York, before moving to the city at the beginning of his career. As an undergraduate student at Binghamton University, he majored in history but had an interest in computer science, taking various classes concurrently to his humanities requirements. Upon graduating, he worked in Tech Support at an investment bank before transitioning to web development. For seven years, he worked on the tech side of a media company before joining Huge and The Farmer’s Dog as a Senior Software Engineer. Jon then created his own company, Meet Robbie, which sought to make local government meetings more efficient by bringing them to the age of technology. Now, he brings the same enthusiasm to technology to Auba, helping revolutionize the world of logistics.

The present is just a point where two forces meet: those of the past, and those of the future. Some, understandably, are caught up in the point itself, trying to live the current moment to the fullest. But others are rather puzzled by the forces leading up to today. Such, in a way, is Jon’s story: one of understanding the present by seeing the past that has forged it and the future it hopes to become.

But before we get to such details, we must understand the scene. Jon grew up in Yonkers, a suburb of New York City. It was a calm life, playing with other kids in the neighborhood with the childish freedom granted by riding a bike. Early on—perhaps fueled by the imagination that comes with such freedom—, Jon already had a fascination for those times besides the present. He was a history enthusiast from an early age—more so for American history than anything else. And, as he grew older, he became interested in what seemed to be the future: the world of computers. By the time he was in high school, his family moved once more to Hastings, where Jon explored in more detail his interest for tech by building his own computer, although lacking a more formal education in the ways of coding.

When it came time to go to college, Jon found himself in the crossroad of the forces that meet in the present. Taking advantage of a liberal arts education at Binghamton University, he enrolled in some computer science courses—most notably, C++ and Java—, while pursuing a degree in history as his primary focus. Yet again, trying to understand time present through time future and time past.

Upon graduating, however, he was faced with a difficult reality. Not wanting to go into academia or law—the typical paths for history majors—, he chose to put his interests in the world of technology. After some months of travel, he returned to New York, working in Tech Support at an investment bank. It was an exciting time, having to fix dozens of computers a week to ensure trading remained at its full potential—a crash course in the mentality needed to properly debug a program. It was also a moment in which he discovered that the world of computers, in which he had only dipped his feets through personal projects and a couple of college courses, was actually for him. The future seemed to be calling.

Eventually, Jon decided to learn more about the way computers worked instead of just fixing them, teaching himself how to code while keeping his job in tech support. While he enjoyed his work at the time, it seemed to focus too much on the present, with bankers anxious to complete their current transaction walking restlessly across the trading floor. So, by the time Jon had mastered web development, and began a part-time freelance business, it was clear he needed a shift.

Jon then left his tech support job and became a programmer at a time in which the web was just starting to kick off. It was, in a way, like being in the front line of history—but writing it in code, rather than textbooks. For the next couple of years, he worked in two companies as a full time software engineer, further discovering his passion for the field. Moreso, that he had a talent for understanding machines and, through them, helped them build a new tomorrow.

After 9 years in the software industry, Jon decided to shift jobs once more. He first took some time to travel the world, before returning to New York and joining Robin Hood, a fellowship designed to help people make a social impact in the city. Through it, he co-created CCSunlight.org, a project meant to inform the citizenry of the many positions available in city government that were often left vacant. Through this initiative, Jon was able to combine two factors ever present in his life. On the one hand, a deep appreciation for New York, that kept him coming back to the city time and time again. On the other hand, it was an opportunity to look back on his interest in history and find inspiration from the past to build better institutions. Much like the writers of the federalist papers had written their essays in new York convincing the people to support their new constitution, it was time to question why many of those institutions were now at fault, Through ccsunlight.org (The County Committee Sunlight Project), Jon was able to help thousands of citizens run for public office, making government as accessible as the past had initially intended through technology—a tool of the future.

After his fellowship with Robin Hood came to an end, Jon continued his career as a software engineer in Huge, a well established advertising agency, in which he worked for over a year. Then, as the COVID-19 pandemic put the world into a state of lock down, he joined the programming team at The Farmer’s Dog, an online dog food store. 

But there was something missing in these endeavors. While Jon was certainly using futuristic tools to build products, he was not addressing the other force he found so puzzling: that of the past. So, together with a friend, he returned to the area that had caught his attention while creating ccsunlight.org. That is, making the government, so often related to tradition and antiquity, an object of modernity. 

The project took the form of Meet Robbie, a company dedicated to making software for local government meetings. At its core, the idea was to improve committee hearings which, oftentimes, spend countless hours dealing with procedure and record keeping that could easily be administered by a computer. So, he set out to build the necessary tools to bring the future to a sector stuck in the past, being accepted to the Founder’s Institute and creating a functioning MVP.

His time with Meet Robbie left Jon with a deep appreciation for the entrepreneurial world. It felt like a place full of optimism and an utter conviction that the world could change; that the future could, indeed, reach the present. So, when time came to look for his next opportunity, he knew it had to be within the entrepreneurial field. It was in this process that he heard of Auba and joined the company as a software engineer, helping bring the future to the world of logistics.

Thus we reach the present of Jon’s story by way of its past. But, rest assured, if anything is fueling him today, it is still that utter appreciation for building the future while understanding the lessons of history. A perspective deeply valued at Auba.