Entrepreneur Noah Emmons appreciates that fear of failure can play an important role in advancing your understanding and knowledge of information technology.
"Success is equal to failing less," said Emmons, a software engineering consultant who discovered the Jacksonville region is a dynamic hub for technology development and employment.
"Technology is complicated, intimidating and daunting, and learning it can be scary," Emmons said. "In time, you have a better understanding and become more comfortable with the unknown. I'm drawn to activities where you have to fail before you can advance."
As a youth growing up in Fernandina Beach, Emmons enjoyed computer games and had an interest in knowing more about the people behind game development. At 12, he didn't hesitate to reach out to more than 40 industry professionals via email. He made a connection with three.
"I formed friendships with people who eventually became mentors," Emmons said. "It's important to surround yourself with likeminded individuals who make you feel comfortable."
A 2017 graduate of Fernandina Beach High School, Emmons discovered his passion for technology and software development in the Nassau County School District's Java Programming and Application Development curriculum at the Lewis "Red" Bean Nassau Technical Career Center.
The Nassau County School District program, led by Director of Career Education Brent Lemond and instructor Kalvin Thompson, provides students with software development training using the latest technologies. The program's advisory board includes local business partners, such as feature . Wells Fargo and CSX, who provide guidance on curriculum and assist with placement and other student opportunities.
As a student, Emmons demonstrated initiative and drive for learning advanced topics and applying them quickly. He also worked hard to expand his skillset beyond
expectations. Those qualities help Emmons secure an internship at Jacksonville-based software developer feature , which led to a full-time software engineer position at the company.
As part of the feature  software engineering team, Emmons gained experience in a wide range of domains including distribution, logistics, trading, sales and more, and honed his skills with C#, SQL Server, Azure, React, Angular, and other domain-specific technologies.
"I worked on projects I enjoyed," Emmons said. "It didn't feel like I was working."
After spending nearly five years with feature , Emmons recently stepped out on his own as a software engineering consultant. He offers a variety of services designed for both start-ups and established businesses including new product development.
"With all of the opportunities that are out there, going out on my own is the right next step for me," Emmons said. "I find myself at my best when I am challenged to learn new domains, whether they are business or technical."
Emmons has risen quickly in his career because he is curious, enthusiastic and has an insatiable desire to learn. He encourages others to find and pursue their passions.
"If you don't have the initiative, work can be a grind," Emmons said. "You owe it to yourself to make sure you're happy and find the things that excite you."