HOMEWARD BOUND: BatchBlue Software Chief Technology Officer Ray Anderson spent 15 years commuting up to 150 miles daily before finding a job at BatchBlue Software in Providence.
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL PERSSON
By Rhonda J. Miller
Expanding technology opportunities in Rhode Island finally intersected with the pull of family and hometown roots for BatchBlue Software Chief Technology Officer Ray Anderson.
Until he began his current job about a year ago at BatchBlue in Providence, Anderson spent six years commuting 75 miles each way from his home in Dartmouth to his job at IDG Enterprise in Framingham, Mass. Before that he worked in Marlborough and Needham, Mass., adding up to 15 years of commuting 65-75 miles each way, five days a week. Some days the one-way trip could be as long as two hours.
“My work was extremely interesting and fun, so I stayed in a place for a long time,” said Anderson, who’s found a good match working with BatchBlue and its Batchbook, a cloud application that helps small businesses manage customer relationships.
As the technology sector expands in Providence, Anderson exemplifies a combination of advanced skills and a preference to work in Rhode Island that’s a win for the state, as competition for skilled workers in the tech industry sizzles across the U.S.
“What’s really happened is that there’s been this upsurge of new Web companies in Providence, several coming out of Betaspring, and others,” said Anderson, who works in the heart of the emerging tech ecosystem on Chestnut Street in Providence.
“I didn’t take this job just to get out of the long commute. I could have done that sooner if I wanted to work in something I didn’t like. But I wouldn’t have been happy,” he said. “I’m basically in the Internet business and I found very interesting work in an industry that is emerging in Providence,” said Anderson. “I didn’t have to sacrifice on my compensation package and it afforded me the lifestyle change I was looking for.”
Raised in Mattapoisett, Anderson and his wife were determined to raise their two children, now 11 and 13, among both of their extended families. His job in Providence gives him time mornings and evenings with his children, and time to spend time in community activities. His drive to work now, from Dartmouth to Providence, is about 20 minutes, and traffic is hardly noticeable, he said.