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Developer Spotlight: Matthew Congrove, Head of UI/UX Design

As we ideate around the idea of a Developer Profile, we wanted to learn more about our team and about who they are as a developer — and a person to get a better idea of what would be valuable to them. 

In these developer spotlights, we will share our interviews with each of our team members and embed their Pinpoint Developer Profile (which is currently in development, see our roadmap here) that includes data about the work they do. This is a great way to see what we are testing, our progress, and provide feedback on this feature. We would love your feedback on our Slack Channel.

We are starting with the creative in the group, Matthew Congrove, our Head of UI/UX Design who is also a developer. Matthew literally serves every team at Pinpoint in some capacity. He is responsible for the look and feel of our app and our marketing brand. And, he is the one designing the Developer Profile you’ll see below.

Matthew’s Pinpoint Developer Profile

(Click the tabs to learn more about Matthew) 

The goal of the Pinpoint Developer Profile is to highlight who you are as a developer based on your historical work activity, projects, and expertise across your career. 

Get your Pinpoint account 

Tell us your life developer story, Matt. 

How did you end up in this industry?

Like a lot of developers, I started coding in my teens for fun (and gas money.) I skipped the whole college thing and parlayed my limited experience into an entry-level job up in Boston back in 2007. My career twisted and turned a few times, and I've now settled into a sort of hybrid developer/designer role that I'm absolutely loving.

Describe yourself as a developer?

I've always been drawn towards Professional Services teams over Engineering because I enjoy working long, hard hours to hit a deadline. The feeling of accomplishment when my work gets handed off or goes live right on schedule is second to none. Even though I'm more involved in Product and Engineering nowadays, I still try and bring that same level of "hair on fire" mentality because it’s when I do my best work.

Tell us about your first dev job? 

I got my first job thanks to a wonderful VP of Engineering who took a chance on me. I bombed the interview, but he called me the next day and repeated the same questions, knowing I'd have learned all the answers out of self-disappointment. I only worked there for 6 months until my department was dissolved, and I spent most of that time learning what it meant to be a full-time developer. My day-to-day was building mobile web apps on Joomla for devices like the Moto Razr — yes, this was all pre-iPhone.

What are you working on that you are most excited about?

These days I spend a lot of time ideating on new product features and functionality. I float around teams helping with front-end dev, UI and UX. Right now, I'm wrapping up the graphic design of an eBook for Marketing, and working with Product to ideate on a Developer Profile card (think baseball cards) which you should see in this interview 😉.

What is one of the hardest parts of your job?

Context switching. Being in this hybrid designer-developer role means I'm trying to solve complex, chained, logical code problems one minute and then figuring out which colors look best on a LinkedIn ad the next. Some days require switching more often as I bounce around teams, and that can lead to a lot of "blank stare at the wall" moments, but the teams are understanding and give me the space to get locked back in.

What does your team do that you think is unique?

The whole company operates on the idea of small, full-stack teams that have complete ownership of product features. It was a challenge for me at first — as I'm sure it was with others,  especially because I was suddenly pulled in a million directions as a floater, but now that we've settled into the system we're getting some amazing results.

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

I've worked from home most of my career, but being back in an office with my Pinpoint team is quite nice. Well, it was quite nice until COVID-19 hit. I think going forward I'd prefer a mix, so that I can have that face-to-face interaction with my teammates (especially during those contentious product ideation meetings), but also spend more time with my daughters and wife.

What three things you are loving? This could be a dev tool, a TV show, anything!

Figma, which is a design tool,  is at the top of the list by a mile. It's so easy to use, share and, collaborate.  It's great that everyone regardless of skill level can quickly learn it and start contributing. We have people from Marketing, Engineering, and even my CEO hop in and work on prototype designs and wireframes. I'm also enjoying playing with the new browser extension API in my spare time, as well as the Next.js framework for React.

Connect with Matt. 

Be amongst the first to get early access to the Pinpoint Developer Profile which will be released in September. Create your Pinpoint account.

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