clypd Profiles: 9 Questions with Quinten Palmer

By June 28, 2016 clypd Blog, clypd Culture

In this blog series, we interview a member of the clypd team. Find out what drives us, what makes us tick, and what we do outside of the clypd office. In this month’s clypd Profile, we talk to Quinten Palmer, Software Engineer.

Can you describe your job and an average day working at clypd?

An average Monday starts with a Bruegger’s bagel (we have bagels brought in every Monday), and some cold brew coffee that we have on tap. I catch up on some emails and either lead or join my team’s stand-up; I am co-agile coach with Sumit and we swap the role every other week.

After that, my day is split up between designing work to be split up into tickets engineers work on, working on some tickets, and attending meetings to organize and coordinate the work that I’m involved in. I usually end the day with a game of foosball with some coworkers, which can get pretty heated, but a fun way to end the day.

What do you find most rewarding about working at clypd?

I so appreciate the opportunity that I have to learn from everyone around me and to teach what I have learned to my co-workers. My fellow developers always have time to help understand a problem and how to reach a solution. It has been rewarding for me to be able to help others, putting what I have learned to use and spreading that knowledge. I often find myself taking a step back to recognize how much room there is for everyone, myself included, to learn and grow in any area that one may have interest.

What convinced you to take the job at clypd?

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to shadow an engineer I knew from a previous job for a day. I got to see a day in the life of an engineer at clypd and asked a lot of about how they tackled common problems around breaking down, scheduling, and working on solutions to business features, architecture solutions, and bugs. After seeing how well the team works together, the solid process, and hearing the dedication to constantly retrospecting on every aspect of the process, I was sold!

How does the technology we use in engineering compare to other companies you’ve worked at?

The language choice of Go (we’ve written a ton on our blog with our experiences with Go), for our back-end code has been very enjoyable. I won’t claim the language is perfect or prevents every bug, but for how much mental effort it requires to code in and read, it does provide a strong set of patterns that work well together to solve most problems. The lack of competing features in the language does lead to one style of writing which makes understanding code impressively easy; I feel this has lead to more people understanding more parts of the codebase, which is a Good Thing.

We have also been able to leverage PostgreSQL for data storage (check out our blog post), and AWS for their cloud services. A project that I haven’t been involved in, but looks very interesting, is our conversion to React/Redux, which I am very excited to start ramping up on! Lastly, we are looking into using Kubernetes for deployment and have started using Terraform for infrastructure management, which are exciting and promising projects for our DevOps work. clypd sent me and three other engineers to Container Days, which had a lot of cool presentations and discussions about all things DevOps.

What’s your favorite lunch spot in Davis Square?

I will start with an honorable mention to Tenoch, which is a very good choice for most days of the week. When we do go out on Fridays for sit-down lunch and a beer, nothing beats Five Horses Tavern for me! I must admit, one the primary motivations for going to Five Horses recently has been Trillium on tap, which is hard to pass up. The entire lunch ecosystem at Davis is hard to beat although sometimes I do miss the food trucks in the city. All in all, I’ve been a happy camper eating take-out lunch in Davis.

What’s your favorite TV show?

My favorite TV show is “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. I’ve slowly been working my way through its episodes; I’m currently on season 4. I appreciate the commentary on society and the human condition, and still find a lot of the open questions and statements to be relevant in today’s world.

At clypd, we have Game Nights, where a group of clypdsters and their friends get together to play games. What are your favorite games?

Game Night is awesome! People have brought some really fun games in recently, a lot in the fantasy genre. Dominion is definitely a favorite of mine, especially when teaching newcomers, since the rules are simple and the only cards you have to know are the ones in play. I have enjoyed trading/collectible card games since I was very young, especially the aspect of building decks and Dominion is all about that concept, which is strategically deep and very rewarding for me.

I’ve also brought in Small World, which takes longer, but I enjoy the depth of the strategy and the combinatorics that lead to so many different ways that the game can play out. Aside from the games we play at Game Night, we also occasionally have Magic: The Gathering Booster Draft events, which are other fun events to participate in!

What’s your ideal vacation?

I just got back from a trip to Alaska, which I think was my favorite vacation so far! I travelled with my significant other, Beatrice, and we couldn’t get enough of the scenery and wildlife. Even though I’m not in top hiking shape, our small hikes were still awe-inspiring. I highly recommend a trip to Alaska! That trip has been part of a realization that I enjoy vacations that focus on being outdoors much more.

During a recent trip to Europe with some friends, my favorite part was hiking through the Alps; getting to the top of peaks (even if not the tallest peak) and getting to see so much landscape was awesome.

What’s something that not a lot of people know about you?

I participated in a Robocup’s autonomous multi-player robot soccer Standard Platform League, including a competition in Istanbul. All participants competed with the same robot, Aldebaran’s Nao, and would write software to have the robots compete against each other. There was no human intervention unless the robots were in danger of harming themselves or other robots. It was a unique experience that taught me about working as a team and splitting up work, a skill that I have learned the importance of since entering the workforce, especially at clypd.

Interested in joining the clypd team? Check out our Careers page!

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