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Conversations with Grant Emerson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Grant Emerson.

Hi Grant, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am a freelance web developer, who in a pre-pandemic world, was a full-time professional musician. On a phone call during the initial 2-week lockdown of the Spring of 2020, I lamented to a friend about what the #$%^.

I was going to do it because the touring industry was coming to a grinding absolute halt with no signs of coming back to life until 2021 at the earliest. I found an online full remote Full-Stack coding Bootcamp at Vanderbilt. The program was 6-months, which put graduation in November 2020.

I saw my window and I took it. Completing that program was one of the hardest things I have done. Would I recommend it… maybe. I’d highly suggest vetting your teacher. My teacher wasn’t much of one so I feel like a self-taught developer at this point.

Since graduating, I have developed a healthy workload thanks to a platform called UpWork where I have jobs pitched to me daily. Getting my first gig on UpWork was the hard part, after you prove yourself the work kind of comes to you. There is certainly a lot of hustling involved and quick responses help you get gigs.

After that, it is all about making relationships and connections, thankfully that hasn’t changed our world.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Life certainly hasn’t been a smooth road. That said, I’m a straight white guy… so take my hardships with a grain of salt.

Building a brand/business is hard work but certainly worth it. Where Delta Rae has taken me on the planet is beyond my wildest dreams. I never thought I’d play bass on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, or in Australia, or have several late-night tv appearances. The pandemic really rocked the music industry and decimated the ways and opportunities that bands could make money.

I had to make a hard but essential choice to pivot in my career and focus.

I’ve always loved computers, art, and connection.

That said, becoming a web developer doesn’t seem surprising now. I am still working with people in ways where they lean on my creative eye, and a high level of execution, all while telling a fart joke when it’s appropriate because I can’t be too serious or life loses its fun and carefree aspects.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a freelance web developer, and professional musician, father, and husband. I am mostly known for my work with my band Delta Rae, which recently celebrated going independent by launching a Kickstarter that ultimately raised almost 1/2 million $ and funded several projects that are out now.

I am most proud of the work Delta Rae did independently. We created and filmed several of our music videos, including Bottom Of The River… that song has taken us around the world. Delta Rae has also released several independent records, those are some of our most authentic and unadulterated bodies of work we have out in the world.

On the web development front, I am still very green and have a lot to learn before I really feel proud of something. I have created a lot of beautiful websites and also improved several businesses’ revenue streams from these. I feel most proud when I am donating my time to helping non-white businesses fix or improve their sites.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
LOL, one time I went to Toys-R-Us and my mom bought me all 4 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a few villain characters.

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