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 Michael, Mobile Software Engineer, who works in the design, development, and coding of Android apps. In his free time, Michael can be found playing music, mainly bass, doing a little off-hours programming, and taking care of his Tortoise, Borris, and dog, Duke.
What were you doing before working at Punch Through?
Prior to Punch Through, I was working as a research assistant for the physics department at the University of St. Thomas. It was here where I was lucky enough to befriend a physics professor, and the luck was that it led to a unique and amazing opportunity: app development. I developed two Android apps centered around the harmonic series and audio signal processing. It was the first time I got to do something full-time that I was already doing in my free time. It also made me a lot more comfortable with programming in the real world, providing a solid foundation for what I’m now doing today.
What is your favorite thing about Punch Through culture?
My favorite thing about Punch Through culture is probably its emphasis on a healthy work-life balance. I can honestly say their values are more than some words on a wall. Punch Through actively lives them, wanting every employee to be happy and fulfilled and providing plenty of opportunities to do just that.
Tell me a story about your most memorable moment while working at Punch Through
After a couple weeks of development, I was trusted to take the lead on a project. It was my first experience of its kind. Needless to say, the responsibility was both slightly nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. As the project got going, however, I became more confident and comfortable with my abilities. After finishing up the project and getting positive feedback from the client, that moment was extremely gratifying for me.
What cool or rewarding things do you get to do on a regular basis?
The most rewarding thing I get to do on a regular basis is programming in general. It scratches that “building and problem-solving” itch in my brain. Like I said, it was something I was already doing in my free time. Problem-solving and building stuff was also something I would do as a kid, so it’s been a constant in my life. It’s rewarding to write apps every day and get paid to do it.
What is the most valuable part of your work to you on a personal level?
For me, the most valuable part of my work would be the projects themselves. They’re often quite meaningful. The one I’m working on right now, for example, interacts with a medical device, so it’s actually doing something to improve other people’s lives. Apart from the projects, I find a lot of value in our work environment. I always feel supported by my colleagues yet the freedom to come up with solutions on my own. Micromanagement isn’t a thing here.
The same is true for Punch Through’s intern program, which is how I got my start at the company. It was a fantastic experience, where interns are given multiple avenues of support and take part in real projects that entail real work. They’re not stuck working on some meaningless feature. They’re actually contributing to the work of this company. That was also valuable to me on a personal level.
What is different about Punch Through versus other places you have worked?
My only previous work experience in this field prior to Punch Through is my research job, so I don’t have much to compare to. However, I am aware of what can happen in this industry. It’s notorious for engineer burnout. Before working here, I was concerned about this. I was certain that it would be my fate. But now I feel confident that I can retain the work-life balance needed to keep that at bay.
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
Meet the Team – Alex Bourdage – Associate Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Tina Hanly – Admin Assistant
Meet the Team – Mike Waddick – President
Meet the Team – Matt Rengo – Executive Vice President
Meet the Team – Jason Sheard – VP of Engineering
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.