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Karel standing in the Minneapolis Punch Through office

Meet the Team – Karel Kalthoff

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 are launching a “Meet the Team” blog post series, which highlights one of our team members. 

Meet Karel, one of our firmware/software engineers, who enjoys problem-solving, oatmeal with apples and almonds, and traveling.

What were you doing before working at Punch Through?

I was studying Computer Science at the University of Minnesota. While taking classes, I spent a lot of late nights in the computer lab working on large projects. It was satisfying, but at the end of the day, these projects didn’t go anywhere or provide value to anyone. They were learning experiences that got you a grade. Interning at Punch Through during those college years provided me with the rewarding skills of working on real projects, and it was the light at the end of the tunnel.

What is your favorite thing about the Punch Through culture?

Our culture feels like a big family. The relationships are personable and genuine, and everyone is happy to be here. We trust each other to not only get work done but to do it right, and with shared trust comes shared accountability. Everyone cares about their work as much as I do, and that ownership shows!

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

I was working on a medical device project, picking up extra tasks to ensure that the team was on track to meet all the responsibilities in code quality and documentation requirements. All of a sudden, it became clear that I was operating as the project lead without having the title, so we made it official! It was motivating to have full responsibility, and it pushed me to grow into a leadership role early on while increasing my technical skills at the same time.

What cool or rewarding things do you get to do regularly?

Our team works together on many projects, and there are always opportunities to learn tidbits of information along the way. Seeing so many products during the development stage is like getting years of experience in a shorter amount of time. Whether it’s a short conversation, collaborating on a specific project, or finding new solutions, I’m continually learning from my team. On the flip side, I also have the opportunity to mentor and watch younger, or new engineers take ownership of their work and drive projects forward with success.

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

It’s having the autonomy to lead projects and be trusted to make the right decisions. It’s having the technical challenges that keep me growing and learning within the day-to-day development.

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

There are more opportunities to work on a variety of projects and learn multiple disciplines without having to switch positions or jobs. And leadership roles are available earlier than they would be at a larger company; allowing us to grow personally and professionally at a faster rate.

Interested in learning more?

Karel has been with Punch Through for over four years, and continues to grow by taking challenges head-on, teaching and mentoring interns and new engineers, and will help others at any moment. To learn how Punch Through can change your career, check out our available positions.

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 are 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 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.