UI Spotlight: Partner and Software Engineer Doug Crescenzi

You follow us on Medium, you’ve read our many blog posts, but how much do you really know about our team? Introducing UI Spotlight, where you’ll get to learn a little more about the great people behind Upstate Interactive, in their own words.

Doug Crescenzi is one of the four founding partners of Upstate Interactive.

What led you to begin Upstate Interactive with your partners?

We are fortunate to have an amazing tech community in Syracuse (see: OpenHack, Syracuse JavaScript Meetup, Women in Coding, Hack Upstate, Careers in Code). It’s very active and there are always amazing opportunities to meet and collaborate with new people. That’s how I met Kseniya, Zoe, and Peter. Upon collaborating with them for some time, we realized we had a unique collection of complementary skills that would position us well to start a software consultancy. We hit the ground running in the fall of 2016.

What’s your favorite aspect of working at UI?

I LOVE learning something new every day alongside awesome people. Collectively as a team, we each encounter and solve new problems all the time. It’s a blast to collaborate with the amazing folks on our team who I can learn so much from.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I try my best to be systematic and have a plan of attack for what I want to accomplish going into each day. The reality is, we’re a small business, so each of us can get pulled in different directions on any given day. In general, half of my time is spent doing business development and strategic planning and the other half centers around software engineering — Ethereum smart contract development work in particular.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve been able to work on?

Kseniya and I have been building an Ethereum-based decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) over the past few months on behalf of a commercial client we have on the west coast. We can’t get into the specifics per an NDA, but in summary, the DAO enables its collective of users and shareholders to operate autonomously via the smart contracts we’ve developed. It’s responsible for processing financial transactions, creating and deploying smart contracts, minting tokens, handling governance, and managing multisignature authentication.

Is there anything that excites you right now about the tech scene in Syracuse?

Ohhhh definitely :) Careers in Code is a coding bootcamp that teaches computer programming to women and minorities to help combat poverty in Central NY. The bootcamp provides students with the technical skills they need to obtain internships and entry-level software-development jobs with local employers after 24 weeks of instruction.

The students going through the program right now are amazing and have so much potential as future software engineers! Not to mention, Careers in Code is fueled by a spectacular group of instructors. They are some of the best software engineers, entrepreneurs, and leaders in our Syracuse tech community and have decades upon decades of experience.

HUGE shoutout to Jesse Peplinski, who is doing an amazing job leading the effort.

P.S. “Syracuse has just been awarded a massive private grant from one of the world’s biggest banks to kickstart its tech sector, train its workers for 21st-century careers and make sure minorities, women and veterans are among those who benefit from huge investments being made in economic development here.”

Outside of work, what kinds of things can we find you doing?

I’m extremely fortunate to have amazing family and friends whom I love spending time with. In particular, my 13-month-old son, Gio. He’s a goofball and always makes me laugh.

I also love to read. I’m a big fan of non-fiction—biographies in particular. At the moment I’m reading Endgame, a biography on the chess prodigy, Bobby Fischer. I’m also reading The Borrowed Years, a study that “captures America on the brink of World War II, chronicling the events of the era, the home front, the personalities of the day, and the feelings of ordinary Americans.”

Lastly, I love to exercise…and then offset my efforts with craft beer and Italian food (Angotti’s on Burnett is amazing!)

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Time travel!!


Interested in working with us? We’re always looking for great people to join our team! Check out our Jobs page for the latest opportunities.

Upstate Interactive

We're a women-owned business that helps B2B organizations turn great ideas into software.

kristen @ upstate interactive

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writer. good witch.

Upstate Interactive

We're a women-owned business that helps B2B organizations turn great ideas into software.

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