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min read

Relocity veteran Jake Chapa on scaling software performance and indoor bouldering routes

Principal Architect reimagines relocation with deep software development expertise

Jake Chapa, Relocity’s Principal Architect, is a seasoned software developer who recently earned a promotion thanks to his technology chops and drive to revolutionize the global mobility industry. We interviewed Jake to learn about his journey from post-grad software contractor to tenured in-house tech leader at Relocity.

How long have you worked at Relocity?

Jake: I’ve worked at Relocity since April 2020.

What’s your title, and how would you describe your role?

Jake: My new title is Principal Architect. Some of my responsibilities include:

• Building standards and best practices.
• Contributing to the design and documentation of large-scale applications and programs.
• Communicating to the broader organization potential risks and benefits of changes in plan or scope. 
• Detailing user and system interfaces.
• Articulating and planning with a team the delivery of a tactical roadmap.

How has your career progressed at Relocity?

Jake: I came on as a Senior Software Developer and just earned a promotion to Principal Architect.

Where did you work before Relocity?

Jake: During my time at the University of Texas, I built relationships with clients. After graduating with my degree in computer science in 2009, I freelanced for them instead of joining a company. That’s how I met Rocky, Relocity’s Chief Technology Officer, around 2009. Rocky's company and I were contracting for similar digital agencies. For a while, I ran my own business through contracting, which allowed me to explore different areas — like web server administration — and prepared me to take on different software and hardware roles. That was really fun. I also gained project management skills by building projects from start to finish.

Eventually, I wanted to do something different than software development, so I moved to Japan and spent a year teaching English in the Japanese public school system. I continue to teach programming in English on Saturdays. 

When I was ready to get back into software, I started contracting for Rocky and the Relocity team.

What’s the opportunity at Relocity like to change an industry?

Jake: Relocity offers great opportunities to help the broader relocation industry evolve, one of which is our native mobile application. The idea of using an app for relocation is a bit novel. Traditionally, the industry ran on in-person meetings and emails that swirled PDFs around. When social distancing prevented face-to-face contact, Relocity stood out because our technology enabled a digital relocation experience. 

We’ve continued to build our reputation as an industry leader and innovator that delivers a great employee experience for transferees through highly personalized destination services and our native mobile app.

Is it easy to see the impact of your work at Relocity?

Jake: Because our teams are agile, we can quickly develop new features that directly impact our team and clients. Whether we’re working on the app or internal tooling, we can see everything we build in action.

What gets you excited about working with our technology?

Jake: Relocity's tech stack is a big engine with a lot of moving parts. Everyone is working on different pieces at the same time. We've managed to organize our code, server architecture, and deployment processes so all the pieces come together harmoniously and create helpful solutions that make the lives of our transferees, clients, partners, and employees easier.

What complex and interesting challenges are we solving with our technology?

Jake: As Relocity continues to grow into new markets, we’re figuring out ways to automate the work it takes to expand. Our data science team is automating the creation of in-app city guides. We're speeding up the creation of customized maps by smartly distilling down points of interest based on what we know about each transferee. Our AI team is manipulating vast amounts of data and creating custom machine learning models from the ground up.

What does your typical workday look like?

Jake: There's always something new! Sometimes I’m working on speeding up our systems, sometimes I’m working on making beautiful, smooth user experiences for our internal tools, and sometimes I'm working on the backend. We get a lot of ownership over our projects, from start to finish. Regardless of our location and time zone, my colleagues and I collaborate surprisingly well. If I’m working on a project with a teammate, we connect once a day for handoff, creating a smooth and continuous workflow.

What do you like most about your role?

Jake: I enjoy being able to work in a way that aligns with my background. Similar to my previous job and unlike working at a huge company, I get to take on various roles and a range of projects. I’m not confined to a specialized role, which I find fulfilling. Also, in my new position, I’m still able to write plenty of software, which is as gratifying as solving a puzzle.

How has Relocity enabled you to develop your skills? 

Jake: Relocity gives me the freedom to choose the direction I go based on my interests. We get to decide which projects to take on from the team workload. Whether you're passionate about frontend, server, backend, iOS development, or general software development, you get to work on projects you’re interested in. This approach gave me the opportunity to delve into AI work for the first time.

What makes our Technology team culture unique?

Jake: Even though we're scattered around the globe, I feel close to and supported by my team. We really want to help each other.

How does Relocity recognize the accomplishments of its team members?

Jake: For starters, Rocky frequently calls out individuals on Slack to acknowledge exceptional and hard work, from speeding up the platform to finding clever solutions to problems. Plus, we have the opportunity to showcase our work during internal meetings, where we receive feedback from our colleagues in real time.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next year at Relocity?

Jake: I’m looking forward to expanding my mindset to view things on a bigger scale. I’m also eager to expand my skill set by taking on new management responsibilities, helping with software standards, and integrating new products into the existing Relocity code base and architecture.

What have you learned at Relocity that has improved you personally and professionally?

Jake: I’ve grown the most at Relocity by learning from my teammates, who have taught me a ton about software architecture, good software practices, and best coding practices. My colleagues are incredibly knowledgeable, responsive, and happy to share their expertise, all of which help our team innovate and create a collaborative atmosphere where we feel comfortable sharing ideas. I’m very grateful to work with this team. 

Where would we find you on a typical Saturday afternoon?

Jake: I’d likely be doing one of my favorite activities: indoor bouldering. Bouldering is a fun contrast to computer work. When the weather is nice, I like biking to the bouldering gym. I also love exploring unique dining experiences. For example, we have many restaurants nearby that seat very small numbers and encourage chefs to personally greet customers.

Enjoy learning about Jake’s impact at Relocity? Apply for one of our open Technology roles.


Relocity is reimagining the global mobility experience to help companies attract, retain, and engage talent. Learn more about our solutions at