iRacing Staff Member Profile: Senior Web Developer Jimmy VanVeen

For this week of the iRacing Staff Member highlight series, we’ve got one of names behind the continued forward progress of the iRacing User Interface. A self-taught developer on iRacing’s Web team, and a diehard Boston sports fan, here’s more about Senior Web Developer Jimmy VanVeen!

  • Who are you, and what is your job title at iRacing?

I’m Jimmy VanVeen, Senior Web Developer at iRacing.

  • How long have you been working at iRacing?

Since December of 2018, almost six years.

  • What got you interested in working for iRacing?

Jimmy standing with NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Anthony Alfredo.

I was a member! I’ve been a passionate NASCAR fan since my dad took me to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 1994 for the Cup race weekend. When I learned that there were simulation-centric NASCAR games, at the time made by Papyrus, I was instantly hooked on Sim Racing to scratch that “what does it feel like to be a race car driver?” itch. I didn’t have to wonder, or imagine, I could just do it.

When iRacing became a product, I immediately joined.

Working here was a dream I never thought could be a reality. I wanted to work here regardless, but when I learned that iRacing was working on a new User Interface using the same technology I was already familiar with, it was a match made in heaven.

  • What does your job entail, from daily tasks to larger projects?

I work on everything user-facing on the web front that isn’t marketing related or Membersite related, although ironically, I have worked on both in the past.

I am working on a brand new Account Management application to replace the Membersite’s version. I work on the UI, formerly known as the Beta UI. I mentor teammates and I evaluate emerging technologies to leverage them to fit our needs as a company. I am currently supporting our transition into using an OAuth based authentication system.

  • Are there any projects you’ve worked on that stand out above any others? Something you are proud of?

The Paint Shop’s 3d model renderer inside the iRacing UI back in 2021.

I re-wrote our Paint Shop to include a brand new integrated 3d model render into the UI a few years ago. I also have done work to optimize and improve performance of the UI through architectural and design changes to the underlying systems we build our User Interfaces on top of.

I try to be the oil in the well-oiled machine, liberating others to create amazing features on top of the framework we’ve built over the years as we’ve prioritized migrating away from the Membersite architecture.

  • Are there any future projects that you can’t wait to jump on?

Career mode is coming along and is a great opportunity to start on the ground floor of a project while drawing upon years of experience to start with the best framework possible.

This is a great opportunity to proof-of-concept new technologies and patterns that optimize speed in terms of development time, and app performance, and can be critically useful to apply to our core UI to make similar improvements there as well.

  • What are some of your favorite car and track combinations on iRacing to participate in?

Anything NASCAR. I tend to have the best fortune running Xfinity at Talladega, and that is my favorite week of the season.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series cars are my favorite to run on the whole service.

  • Are there any other video games, racing or not, that you enjoy playing currently?

I play Fortnite with my eight year old daughter.

It’s one of my favorite ways to spend time with her as there’s just enough competition that is approachable for her, as well as fun with their cosmetics.

I also enjoy real time strategy games, especially Age of Empires, and Halo.

  • Outside of iRacing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

I enjoy building PC’s, Boston sports (Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics), NASCAR, and traveling.

  • What are some of your goals you hope to achieve, either at work or outside of it?

I simply hope to make iRacing better in any and every measurable way than it was when I joined here.

  • What are some of your goals you hope to achieve, either at work or outside of it?

I’m self-taught.

I have spent almost literally a decade and-a-half “learning how to learn” all of the technologies we use on the Web team.

I am passionate about using the best tools for the job, and almost as importantly, using them well.

I have learned that context is an important consideration when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job, and using them well.

I’m always learning, always growing.