Our Employee Spotlight series highlights what makes SMG work—our people. Learn more about the team that brings technology and insights together, and what it’s like to work here. Get to know Andy Eaton—Sr. Software Engineer.
1. What is your position(s) at SMG?
Senior Software Engineer. Teacher. Mentor.
2. Tell us what an average day in the life is like for you.
An average day for me includes working in code to solve problems, a few meetings for cross-team collaboration, and the occasional one-on-one with a junior member of our department to help them grow their skills and career.
3. What is it like working on your team?
Many days it is simply trying to learn enough about a new technology, language, or implementation to be able to design and develop new frameworks for our internal and external products to rely upon. Our team is one of the few that truly embraces the concept of polyglotism—the ability to master multiple languages. We look at technology, languages, and implementations of the two as tools, and we work to ensure we’re using the right tool for the job. Some days that means working in a C# restful API talking to a Mongo database. Other days, it’s working in a Java Storm data ingestion pipeline writing data to an Hive database, working with a Scala Spark job maintaining and updating HDFS files on disk, or being neck-deep in an AngularJS application.
4. What do you love most about your job?
The culture and challenge. The culture is more of what you would expect from a smaller company, which has its advantages in the amount of freedom you have to make decisions and have an impact on the outcome of a product or initiative. With the amount of transformation that comes with growing into a much larger company, there are challenges on how to balance maintaining that creative freedom and ownership-driven culture with a more structured and regulated environment. Being able to help the company rise to those challenges and seeing the impact of our success is amazing.
5. How does your job contribute to our clients’ success?
If I do my job right, the client never knows the impact I have. All they see is that the applications run quickly and accurately, enabling them to deliver results without the technology getting in the way.
6. What would you tell someone interested in joining the SMG team?
For developers and engineers that are interested, be willing to learn, be willing to go out of your way to absorb new technology, and be willing to grow out of your comfort zone. You never want to be the smartest person in the room, and with SMG, odds are good that you will not be.
7. How would you describe SMG in 3 words?
Growing. Innovative. Challenging.