The String and Key Crew: Roy Robinson IV

Jasmin H
Jasmin H
Apr 14 · 5 min read

As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Roy Robinson IV.

Company Role: Senior DevOps Engineer

Most likely to: Have a ferret in his bag

Secret talent: Making people smile

With his dulcet tones, you could be forgiven for thinking Roy was once a radio personality. But no, he’s a tech man through and through. Initially coming from a Linux system engineering background, he’s now focused on enabling developers with sturdy CI automation and building infrastructure for deployments. (A lot of jargon there, but if you know, you know).

A loving father of 3 ferrets, Roy also enjoys longboarding and live music — especially trip-hop and funky beats. He’s also fascinated by astronomy and even considered a career in all things universe before realizing astronomers don’t make that much money. Luckily for us, he took the realistic route and went into tech (and now he can afford to look at the stars in his spare time).

Another newbie to the crew (3 months and counting), he’s already made a big mark on the team. So read on and get to know a little more about him and his experiences here at String and Key.

What do you do, and what does your typical workday look like?
On a typical workday, I’ll be communicating with our different developer teams and making sure that there are no immediate issues that need to be worked on. I then start chipping away at our overall improvement goals, from improving CI efficiency to adding new infrastructure functionality. I generally end my day by thinking over future improvements and making notes of what our next steps should look like.

What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
I really love the culture here! Everybody is super friendly. We go out of our way to have online social events, so even during COVID, I still feel like I know the people I work with. On the work side of things, everything feels very constructive. There is no blaming, just learning and improving, that’s the kind of culture that should be the standard for our industry.

What excites you about your job?
I get excited about owning my own improvements. I am a one-man DevOps army, and I drive my initiatives forward. I know that I’m making an impact on our development velocity, and that makes me feel accomplished. I also like working with my teammates — they all bring unique perspectives and skills to the table and I love bouncing ideas off one another.

What do you find most challenging about your role?
I would say the most difficult aspect would be building out the infrastructure and logic from the ground up. I enjoy the challenge of it, and it’s been a great experience so far. As the only DevOps engineer, there’s a lot to juggle responsibility-wise, but I take that as an opportunity to grow my skills.

What are the values that drive you?
I’m driven by my value of family. I consider my teammates family, so I want to go out of my way to make sure they can do their jobs without any issues. If I can make their lives easier, it makes me happy. I also value respect which I feel we all receive. It gives me the confidence to voice my opinions and thoughts.

How do you stay on top of your game?
By multitasking! If I’m waiting on one thing to finish, I start on another and then bounce back. I put in the time needed to get things done so I can have time to relax later. It’s all a balance, but one that works well for me. I also rely on my teammates; I can always get myself back on track by talking with them and re-evaluating priorities.

What drew you to tech, and what excites you about the industry?
I’ve always been a nerd at heart. I’ve dabbled in science and tech since I was young. I would say that the number one thing was my love of video games–that drove me to learn how to build my first PC, then how to code to make my own games. So I guess it was a natural progression of interests that lead me to this point.

What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — that you’ve learned in the last month?
I’ve been learning about the Android release process while building automation logic for publishing new releases to the Google Play Store. It’s been fun working with the Android team on this, and I’ve learned a lot.

If you could swap places with anyone at String and Key, who would it be and why?
I would probably want to switch places with Tahina; she’s our people expert. She gets to run all of our social events as well as VR events. I would love to bring that hype to the team and have fun while doing it. I really respect and appreciate what she does, so shout out to Tahina for keeping it real!

What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
I could give a presentation on ferrets, longboarding, scuba diving, or astronomy — take your pick! I’m restless when it comes to learning, so I have a lot of random knowledge through my hobbies, haha. I’ll keep growing this list, so touch base with me in a few months for new presentations!

What keeps you busy outside of work?
I like to go hiking in nature when I can, but I bring nature to me when I can’t. I also have a small garden at home that I nurture each day, that keeps me busy along with my ferrets who love to destroy said garden. On top of all that, I also like playing games online with friends. It’s an excellent way to hone team skills and bolster critical thinking while having fun and winding down from work.

Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#Gaming #Astronomy #AbstractArt #Ferrets #Traveling

Lighting Round:

Pizza or burgers?
Burgers.

Tik Tok or Instagram?
Instagram.

20 mins early or 10 mins late?
20 mins early.

Give up TV or give up music?
TV.

Window or aisle?
Window.

Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!

String and Key