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 Ryan. He’s an Embedded Engineer with a strong background in sensor technologies and signal processing. When he’s not in the office, Ryan enjoys woodworking, tinkering with his 3D printer and software-defined radio, baking all kinds of bread, going to karaoke (his go-to song is “99 Luftballons”), and spending time with his family.
What were you doing before working at Punch Through?
I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and then went to college at Michigan Tech to get a degree in Electrical Engineering. After the first year, I realized I wanted to live in a bigger city, so I transferred to the University of Minnesota and finished my BS in Electrical Engineering.
After graduating, I got a job working on industrial automation sensors (system-level design, firmware, and hardware). I actually heard about Punch Through before working in industrial automation, and after 9 years of being at the same company, I saw that Punch Through was hiring and decided to check it out.
And now, here I am, talking about “what it was like before working at Punch Through.”
What is your favorite thing about Punch Through culture?
I really like the great sense of community. We get to know each other pretty well. The company is very transparent and democratic. Sure, some decisions are made by management, but every person has a lot of say in what is decided. We’re laid back, but also introspective. We continuously look at what we’re doing—processes, projects, etc.—and how to make it better.
Tell me a story about your most memorable moment while working at Punch Through
Mike lit up a pickle. That was pretty sweet. The memorable part, besides making a pickle glow, was the fact that he actually did it. We were talking about it, and the next thing you know, Mike comes back with a pickle he got out of the fridge, plugged it into the wall, and it lit up! It’s really cool to know that we’re all tinkerers and enjoy working with our hands and minds.
What cool or rewarding things do you get to do on a regular basis?
At Punch Through, we work together and collaborate on the same projects. Sharing knowledge with each other—through lunch and learns or just random conversations—that’s really rewarding. And while I like teaching, I don’t feel like I’m always a teacher here. We have just as many opportunities to learn as offer up our expertise.
What is the most valuable part of your work to you on a personal level?
It’s the fact that I get to work with amazing people who are teachers and learners who enjoy solving problems. Together, we create unique solutions for our customers, and it’s fun doing so with people who are like-minded and amusing.
What is different about Punch Through versus other places you have worked?
Culture—transparency, focus on personal development and learning, sharing knowledge—that’s the biggest difference. Continuous improvement is also different. It’s just not about how one person benefits. We take time to improve in a way that affects meaningful change by updating the processes in place. It’s worthwhile if you really care about improving things for the company and the people, and that’s what I’ve noticed at Punch Through. It’s not focused on “now;” it’s focused on the now and the later. Our team is willing to put in the time and work to make things better for the future.
Interested in Learning More?
To meet more of the Punch Through Team, check out 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 – Mobile Software Engineer
Meet the Team – Henry Anfang – 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.