Meet the Team – Alex Bourdage
At Punch Through, we encourage everyone to proudly be themselves and want you to know the people behind the work that we’re so proud of. That’s why we launched our “Meet the Team” series, where we introduce you to one of our team members each month.
Meet Alex, Associate Embedded Software Engineer, who works in the design, development, and testing of firmware for medical devices. In his free time, Alex can be found either on a mountain bike or dirt bike riding the trails of Lebanon Hills or Nemadji State Forest respectively (to name only two).
What were you doing before working at Punch Through?
Right after high school, I headed off to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, where I spent three years training in archery. Eventually, I moved back to Minnesota and began my studies in Computer Engineering at the University of St. Thomas. During my sophomore year, I happened to find an internship opportunity at Punch Through as an Associate Embedded Software Engineer. This was my first experience with firmware development and sparked my interest in writing software that interacts closely with hardware and the outside world.
What is your favorite thing about Punch Through culture?
What stands out the most, as far as culture goes, is the company’s commitment to growth and development, especially when it comes to internships. The opportunities that’ve been made available for me to branch out and participate in developing different solutions isn’t something you see at a lot of other companies. The experience has been quite valuable.
Tell me a story about your most memorable moment while working at Punch Through
There isn’t a particular moment that really stands out. It’s more so something that happens on the regular: Wednesday Happy Hour. Being that we all work remotely part of the time, these team happy hours give us all a chance to better get to know one another. We play games, talk, laugh…it helps maintain that team dynamic and collaborative environment that Punch Through is known for.
What cool or rewarding things do you get to do on a regular basis?
Probably the most rewarding thing I get to do on a regular basis would have to be writing code for physical devices. There’s something tangible about it — much different than writing software for PCs. With PC applications, you’ve got limitless space. But with firmware for microcontrollers, you’re working within real hardware constraints and a finite amount of room. It can, of course, pose a challenge, but coming to a solution is definitely rewarding.s the junction between software code and the physical world. That, in its simplest terms, is firmware. Career-wise, I can honestly say that it’s very rewarding to write code that performs a function in the physical world.
What is the most valuable part of your work to you on a personal level?
For the most valuable part of my work, I have to echo what many of my coworkers have said. It’s the learning opportunities. Working on smaller teams, and just Punch Through in general, has offered me so many opportunities to learn, develop new skills, and take part in solving a number of different problems for clients. The professional development has been truly valuable for me on a personal level.
What is different about Punch Through versus other places you have worked?
A lot of places focus so much on sales revenue, profit margins, and other impersonal metrics that they begin to lose sight of the people on their teams. Punch Through seems to have struck a better balance. So, I think what really separates this company from others is leadership’s role in consciously creating a great place for everyone to work. People actually enjoy coming into the office. They actually like their coworkers. Punch Through is a great place to work.
Interested in Joining Our Team?
To meet more of the Punch Through Team, read these interviews:
Meet the Team – Karel Kalthoff – Firmware/Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Louis Barrett – Engineering Intern, Summer 2019
Meet the Team – Erin Moore – Hiring Coordinator and Office Manager
Meet the Team – Alec Letourneau – Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Andy Lee – Senior Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Amanda Nguyen – Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Gretchen Walker – Mobile Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Charlie Kellerman – Hardware Engineer
Meet the Team – Chee Yi Ong – Senior Mobile Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Henry Anfang – Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Ryan Kornetzke – Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Julian Hays – Mobile Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Tyler Cadman – Senior Embedded Engineer
Meet the Team – Bret Hassler – Principal Firmware Engineer
Meet the Team – Emily Hinderaker – Marketing Specialist
Meet the Team – Ashish Derhgawen – Mobile Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Elaine Skaare – Project Manager
Meet the Team – Tia Hannes – Associate Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Matt Dunham – Principal Systems & RF/Hardware Engineer
Meet the Team – Matt Kruger – Senior Embedded Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Tyler Grunenwald – Firmware/Software Engineer
About the Blog Series…
Great culture builds great products. Some of the ways culture is expressed at Punch Through are through authenticity, autonomy, and experience. The individuals at Punch Through not only build great products, but they are the culture. The individual team members aren’t defined by their past or title. They’re encouraged to be true to themselves, learn from each other, and grow professionally and personally.
It’s essential to get to know the people behind the projects and to understand how culture plays a vital role in everything we do. To help get inside the heads of the genius behind the brand, we’re launching a “Meet the Team” blog post series. Each post will feature one of our talented team members where you can get to know them on a bit more personal level, and see how their contributions make Punch Through what it is today.