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Julian Hays, mobile software engineer

Meet the Team – Julian Hays

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 Julian. He is a Mobile Software Engineer that specializes in iOS development. In his spare time, he enjoys making music, playing the drums, playing floorball, one-wheeling, gaming, and spending time with his wife and 3 cats.  

What were you doing before working at Punch Through?

I went to the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and graduated with a B.S. in Information Technology Management with a Minor in Computer Science. I then returned home to Minnesota to start my career in software development. Over the last decade of working in Minneapolis, I’ve spent time at a variety of different businesses, startups, and small development shops. Kinda funny how things worked out, despite a few job changes, almost all of my career has been spent at a couple of different office buildings in the North Loop. Although just prior to Punch Through, I spent some time across the river in Northeast as a mobile engineer at SmartThings. 

Before SmartThings, I spent a few years as a mobile developer at a consulting shop named DevMode. I worked on a lot of BLE-enabled apps and had been regularly using Punch Through’s LightBlue app as a debug tool. So I had actually known about Punch Through for a while, and it was kind of a fun surprise when they moved into the same building as DevMode, just one floor below. At DevMode, we used to joke about stopping by downstairs to ask for some debug help when we were stuck on an issue. 

When the time came for me to move on from DevMode, I connected with Mike, our President, to start the conversation about working at Punch Through. There wasn’t an opportunity available right away, and I ended up taking a position at SmartThings. Eventually, when I heard Punch Through was looking for a mobile developer, I reached back out again, continued through the interview process, and now I’m a Senior Mobile Developer at Punch Through! 

What is your favorite thing about Punch Through culture?

My favorite thing about the Punch Through culture is the friendly atmosphere! Everyone is so helpful and enjoys working together. Company-wide meetings are always full of laughter and smiles. It makes for a really great work environment.

Tell me a story about your most memorable moment while working at Punch Through

Probably my first company retreat in September ’19—not because of a specific event that occurred, but it was my first week working at Punch Through and it was a really great way to meet everyone. To get that full dose of PT culture right out the gate was a great way to start my time here.

What cool or rewarding things do you get to do on a regular basis?

For me, it’s getting the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects. Each project is different⁠—whether we’re helping fix bugs in an existing project, offering consultations, or working on an empty green-field prototype, the variety keeps the work interesting. 

The culture at Punch Through is really fun. Whether it’s people hanging out and chatting in the breakroom or playing darts, or now since we’re all working from home, we’ve made some Slack “goof-off” channels to lighten up the day while we’re all being productive. The way we all interact is casual and fun, even though we’re a skilled professional business.

What is the most valuable part of your work to you on a personal level?

I have a passion for software development on mobile platforms⁠—I enjoy building apps! Getting the opportunity to continue advancing my skills at developing for these platforms allows me to work in an area that I’m interested in. Being able to enjoy the work I do makes for a rewarding job. 

What is different about Punch Through versus other places you have worked?

I’ve worked at places with similarities to Punch Through, as well as places that were very different. One of the things that stands out to me about Punch Through is the overall “balance.” The company is fun and friendly, but also professional. The atmosphere is casual, but there are systems and processes in place to always keep improving both ourselves at the individual level, and together for the company as a whole. 

I’ve seen places that were too far on either end of the spectrum of some of these things. Punch Through does a great job of finding the balance, and the employees take pride in continuing to cultivate the culture they’ve developed. 

Interested in Joining the Team?

Julian is a Mobile Software Engineer who enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 cats, learning more about Android and iOS development, and one-wheeling around town. To become one of his teammates, check out our available positions today!

To meet more of the Punch Through Team, check out these interviews:

Meet the Team – Karel Kalthoff – Firmware/Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Louis BarrettEngineering Intern, Summer 2019
Meet the Team – Erin MooreHiring 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

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.