DataGrail’s Employee Spotlight series highlights the person behind the professional, digging deep and discovering what drives our team members.
Dan is a self-taught engineer who landed his first professional engineering role right out of high school. He has focused on working at startups, with a special emphasis on high-throughput data systems.
What excites you about joining the DataGrail team?
I’m really excited to jump into a new and very dynamic space. There’s a massive amount of opportunity here to build a ground-breaking company, and solve some deeply interesting technical problems along the way.
What’s your role at DataGrail, and how do you see yourself growing over the next 2 years?
I’m a Technical Lead – It’s my job to write code, help shape the technical direction of the company, and mentor more junior engineers.
What has been your favorite project or challenge you’ve worked on in your career?
I’ve built a pretty cool little system for managing on-demand environment construction and management in a couple different forms now. It’s super interesting in that it empowers engineers and QA to be able to validate work in a production-like environment, without worrying about side-effects. It also eliminates the “black box” syndrome that plagues so many production/test environments.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Fly, definitely. It’s been on my bucket list for years to get my private pilot’s license.
Why did you choose to work in technology, and what led you to working at a startup?
So crazy story here. I have a very close friend who threw me a perl book (Learning Perl) for my 14th birthday and told me if I’d learn it, he’d get me an internship. I did, and he did. It also happened to be a startup, which immediately hooked me. I love the hard-driving dynamism that is a well-executed startup.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My wife and I do a lot of work with youth groups. I’m also an amateur sound technician, and I play the Saxophone. I’m also dabbling a bit currently w/ scratch-built RC boats.