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Developer Spotlight: Andrew Kunzel, Director of Backend Engineering

Meet Andrew. He’s our Director of Backend Engineering and is a member of Team Bolt ⚡️ who is currently working on building the Developer Dashboard and v2 of our Retrospectives, which is hopefully a lot less stressful than his first dev job. He likes long talks about Kubernetes and playing tech support for his daughter’s school district, which might just be his kitchen table these days.  

Click on the tabs in Andrew's Pinpoint Developer Profile to learn more about his work. 

So, tell us your story, Andrew. 

How and why did you end up in your role?

I've been in the industry for 10+ years and I've managed teams as large as 20 and as small as 3. Throughout my career,  I've been mostly dedicated to backend and data engineering as well as focusing on the intersection between data science and backend platforms.

Describe yourself as a developer?

As a developer, I usually start small and get a toy example working and then expand from there. I love writing tests and sanity checking my code that way. I also really enjoy it when I'm able to make simple and maintainable code with as few touch points as possible.

Tell us about your first dev job?

My first dev job was on the C-RAM project with the Space and Missile Defense Command. I was an intern in college and I mostly worked on an image processing script in MATLAB to make sure the barrels of the Phalanx gun were correctly aligned.

What are you working on right now that has you most excited?

Right now, I'm working on some really cool alerting and monitoring features to give us visibility into any issues earlier and troubleshoot those issues easier.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is probably having to manage two diverse skillsets with the Platform team (Kubernetes, Pulumi, etc) and the Backend Engineering team (Go, Python, etc) as well as making sure that they're not blocked on anything.

What does your team do that you think is unique?

I think my team is fairly unique in that we do a really good job with pair programming and collaboration. We are all there for each other and ready to lend an extra pair of eyes if needed.

What do you prefer? Work from home, in the office, or some hybrid?

I really like working from home. There's something nice about having my own quiet workspace, but the biggest advantage, to me, is not having to commute at all. It gives me much more time with my family that I was missing when I was getting home at 7.

What is your favorite project you have ever worked on?

My favorite project is probably C-RAM. Knowing that even my admittedly small contribution helped to develop a system that has saved the lives of people feels really good to me.

3 things you are loving? This could be a dev tool, podcast, a tv show, anything!

Connect with Andrew. 

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