Welcome back to the Meet Our Team Q&A series. My name is Daniela Williams, Project Manager at ISE, and I’ll be asking ISE team members questions to help give insight into what makes us tick.
Recently two of our Iowa team members, Bob and Abhijeet, moved to Texas. Earlier this year they helped ISE start up an office in Plano, Texas to expand the Texas team. Today I interviewed the three new additions down South - Dave Tolan, Seth Reynolds, and Henry Alfaro.
The Plano Crew (L to R - Seth, Dave, Henry) - Don't Mess with Texas
Q. How long have you worked at ISE and what did you do prior?
Seth: I have worked at ISE since early May of this year. Previously I worked for a company called nThrive customizing insurance claim scrubbing software, ETL software, and data processing and analysis. I also worked at a company called Insurity as a full stack developer, working on an insurance billing product.
Dave: Seth and I started working at ISE on the same day and came from the same company, nThrive, where I had worked for almost 10 years. Prior to that I was in the Army and attending the University of Texas at Dallas.
Henry: I have been at ISE for two months now. Prior to ISE, I worked for Tyler Technologies right down the street from the Plano office for exactly 4 years. I was a Senior Software Engineer there where I started as an intern and developed software for state courts. I specialized in working in Tyler’s financial department where I learned how the state of California (where I am from) rips off their residents. If you get a speeding ticket for a base fine of $65, when that ticket gets to the court, they magically convert those $65 to around $500 to $700 depending on what county you received the ticket in and whether you were on a street or a highway. So for the LA county Go Live, I was volun-told to go assist on site, and I decided I would not rent a car and I would Uber everywhere because it was better that the Uber driver get fined and not me. Of course, I billed all that to Tyler. Thanks Tyler.
Q. You three are our first team members in the new Plano, Texas office (other than Bob and Abhijeet, who started in the Iowa location). What challenges have you faced being separated from the Iowa office and how have you overcome those challenges?
Seth: Being in the Plano office can be difficult because you feel cut off from your team. You aren’t able to walk over to their cubicle to ask questions of them, or even to socialize and get to know them. Thankfully everyone seems very responsive over slack, and we have Abhijeet and Bob here to tell us all the embarrassing stories of the past regarding the people in the Iowa office.
Dave: It hasn’t been too tough, everyone is easy to work with and we work via video conference when we need to. Everyone is also very responsive to questions on slack. The hardest is when the Iowa office has popcorn on Wednesdays, and we have to eat beef jerky and peanuts instead, but I’m working on that.
Henry: Working out of the Plano office is definitely a challenge when you first start, especially being used to always being in the same area with your team. Since most of my team is in Iowa, I have had to get used to video conferencing when I have questions. Luckily, I work with a great group of people that are always willing to help when I need it.
Q. What is the best part of working at the Plano office?
Seth: The Plano office is quiet so it’s easier to focus on what you are working on. It's also in Texas, the greatest country state there is!
Dave: The best part of working at the Plano office is I have a very short commute, and I play Ping Pong with Henry every day. The coffee here is excellent and there are a lot of flavors. Also, the office here is relatively empty, so there’s not a lot of distractions. Unfortunately, they also keep it really cold, so you will almost always find me wearing a grey hoodie.
Henry: I have gained quick reflexes due to flying darts. I am not sure where they come from, but I think it is those Trimble guys that sit way on the other side of the office. I just cannot figure out how they do it. I know it could never be my sweet ISE coworkers.
Q. What do you do for fun outside of work?
Seth: I used to play video games. I still do, but I used to, too. I also enjoy reading and listening to music (all kinds). I have two daughters who I love to play with. I also like to visit the statue of Sam Houston, the Cadillac Ranch, and, of course, the Alamo.
Dave: I’m married with 4 children and they take up a lot of my time. I coach my daughter's sports teams, football currently. I play Rugby a couple of times a week. I like to go fishing, hunting, and camping. I also spend a lot of time reflecting on Texas history and remembering the Alamo.
Henry: I am a parent, what is this fun you speak of? When I am away from the office, I am at the mercy of my family. Luckily they allow me to use the internet to catch up on coding concepts and staying up to date with tech when they are done using me as their personal Uber driver. And of course, now living in Texas, I always use thirty minutes of my evening to remember the Alamo, it’s Texas law!