Peter James was born in Tampa, Florida, but grew up in a town just north called New Port Richey. He went on to attend Duke University, where he studied electrical and computer engineering with a minor in Russian. It was at Duke that he joined the Smart Home, a living-learning program, where he wore many hats as its project manager. Graduating in uncertain times, Peter lived in Florida, North Carolina, and Louisiana over the next several years. In the end, New Orleans is where he would begin his next chapter, having finally found his place and his people here at Revelry.
What do you do at Revelry? Product management, destroy bullsh*t; you know how it goes. No, but for real my job is mostly to make our product delivery process move as efficiently as possible for our designers and engineers, while helping our partners’ visions become a reality. I think of myself as a personal product-ambassador dedicated to people.
What’s the best thing about your job? I find it is the perfect balance between technical engagement (as an engineer by study) and interaction with our partners and their customers. In this role, I get to help craft the vision and future of technology, empower individuals to reach their highest potential, and ultimately make a difference for our partners.
What was the path that got you to Revelry? It was challenging to transition from what I studied in college to what I actually wanted to do in life. In college, I studied signal processing and engineering physics – I thought it was simply fascinating. Even though I could barely keep up with the math, I was too curious to not keep asking “why?” and chasing those answers. However, there came a point when I had to figure out a more practical use of my talents. I had skills in software development, but hadn’t completely focused on it in school, so I then decided to do exactly that. I taught computer science online in a K-12 environment and took a course in web development. That environment helped me hone those skills because I had to teach it, not just know it. After some time doing this and working simultaneously in a boutique hotel in New Orleans, I eventually discovered Revelry and the field of Product. The rest is history.
Tell me more about that one wild or wacky job you held. Immediately after college, I took some time off to enjoy the lighter side of life. I worked simultaneously as a bartender, a server, and (briefly) a cook at a local upscale hotel and restaurant in New Orleans. I even ended up serving John Malkovich one time! Zero regrets, it was truly a wonderful experience and gave me an appreciation for the industry that I will forever hold dear. I also worked for a brief period of time in a microelectronics research facility, where my job was to operate the diamond saw to cut microchips and assist with the photolithography process. It was about as exciting as it sounds.
What stood out about Revelry that drove your decision to take an apprenticeship and eventually a product management position there? My decision for entering the product field was heavily influenced by my experience as a project manager for Duke University’s Smart Home. It was an incredibly positive experience and left me wanting more, even though it was undoubtedly intense at times. I was very hands on with building projects centered on sustainability and loved the interactive nature of it. So, I picked product management. I took the apprenticeship with Revelry, because I knew I wanted to learn more about the product field, but needed to be in a position where I could learn hands on from an experienced team of product managers, designers, and engineers.