UMSL Alumni JJ Hammond possesses an entrepreneurial spirit often seen in some of business’s biggest leaders, and his passion for technology is almost stronger than his expertise. Hammond currently runs a number of technology-based start-ups including STL Tech Talk, which is the go-to source of technology information for those living in and around St. Louis. Hammond operates two other businesses under the umbrella of the STL Tech Talk brand; STL Tech Media and Developers for STL Tech Talk. Hammond is also co-creator and co-founder of STL Tech Chic, a website focused on women in tech, and The Tech Informist, a guest-based technology podcast series. JJ is an energized individual whose Army background has given him the discipline and focus to become a forerunner in St. Louis’s technology scene.
Q&A With JJ Hammond
Why did you choose UMSL, and how does what you learned currently apply to your career?
At the time, UMSL was one of the only schools with a legitimate, credible Computer Science program. There was a strong collaborative environment, and a lot of support from the teacher core. They made sure I had my targets, that I understood what I was doing, and allowed me to translate that over to software engineering. There was an emphasis placed on the applicable knowledge and importance of technical writing. This relates to the short and precise information needed in modern media.
What advice do you have for students wanting to go into your same field?
I had to found out what my skills were and I leveraged my talents in a productive way. Speak to your teachers, and find out exactly what they want. Have an itinerary of what you want to pull away from every class. Keep in communication with fellow students, and build an advantage for yourself. When in doubt, Google is your best friend!
How do you use social media as a tool from a business perspective?
I like to put it like this, we have a chance now, with social media, to create the person that we want to be. Instead of having immediate knee-jerk reactions to situations, we have the opportunity to offer solutions to problems. We try to create content that will attract viewers with the goal of forming an organic and personal relationship.
What are some success stories you have from STL Tech Talk?
I’ve gotten to meet and speak with some truly brilliant people on our STL Tech Talk podcast shows. The Tech Informist has about 10,000 downloads this month! We have only been in business for about a year, and we have already secured 7 customer clients and advertisers. There is a lot of exciting things happening in St. Louis technology, and it’s the reason I get up in the morning.
If I were to visit STL Tech Talk one time what do you hope I could walk away with?
That you know more about the St. Louis Technology community, and that you have watched one of our shows. We want to be able to help you get a developing job, we can introduce you to tools that can help you become a programmer, we want to be an educational source for tech. Write us, email us, ask questions!
This article was written by University of Missouri – St. Louis Social Media Marketing Undergraduate students Howard Stamps, Nathaniel Cole, Jessica Zavoral, Christopher Hill, Kathryn Todd, and Molly McCormack.