St. Helena High School '95
Lewis & Clark College '03 - Bachelor of Science, Mathematics and Computer Science
Database Architect, Live Nation, San Francisco
Barry Stump grew to appreciate his elementary education at SCDS while he focused on completing his higher education and working as a computer programmer. So much so, in fact, that he brought his family to our BBQ in May and reestablished his relationship with Headmaster Nix.
“SCDS offered a great introduction to the learning of ‘thinking.’ It was definitely a priority for Mr. Nix and the rest of the teachers,” Barry said. “I think that being able to calmly think through a problem is a highly underrated ability. In my field of computer programming, it’s not the degrees you hold that get you noticed. It’s the abilities you have that matter, and my abilities are grounded in knowing how to problem solve.”
Barry is certainly adept at navigating and resolving what others might consider problems. In 1995, as a high school senior at St. Helena High School, he was voted most likely to succeed, despite having what he admits were poor organizational skills. After studying physics for two years at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, he switched his major to computer science and mathematics with aplomb, even fitting in time off from school in order to travel to Australia and Turkey and work at a Portland dot-com company—before he returned to Lewis & Clark to finish his degree.
As a returning student, he balanced a schedule that included getting married, continuing to work, buying a house, and deciding to starting a family. (His son Julian was born in 2004.) The downside to this juggling act, he admits, is that it took him a while to graduate! That problem was solved when he graduated with a BS in mathematics and computer science in 2003.
In 2006, Barry and his family moved to Petaluma so that he could work for a video game company in Novato. While the move was a happy solution to the “problem” of wanting to move to Northern California, the timing was problematic—his wife, Candace, was eight months pregnant. “It sounds crazy now, and it was,” said Barry. “In the space of a couple of weeks, we had a new job, a new house, and a new baby; Morgan was born two weeks after Candace arrived in Petaluma.”
While his family flourishes in Petaluma, Barry has found a new professional challenge for his problem-solving abilities. “Last year, I took a position as a database architect in downtown San Francisco with Live Nation, a concert and music promotion company. These days I work with a talented team of people, and we all attempt to keep the Live Nation website from crumbling under the onslaught of rabid fans looking for concert tickets.” Now there’s a dream problem for a born problem solver!