Resolverite Spotlight: Michael Perrotte
The Resolverite Spotlight is a new series that highlights the inner workings of our workplace through the best people to tell our story: our Resolverites!
This week, Resolver’s Talent Specialist Victoria Pearson sat down with Michael Perrotte, a Developer based in our Toronto office to learn more about what he does.
Victoria: Let’s kick it off: what has been your journey, what is your experience, and how did you get here?
Michael: All over the place. I started with university where I did engineering and computer science, and then I did a college program, and then I did contract work for a year and a half.
Victoria: Web development contract work?
Michael: Yeah it was in-house software development. The gymnastics facility I was working for wanted to create software in-house that would help them to manage the facility. It was mostly around HR-type things.
Victoria: The most exciting. Not that I’m biased or anything. [Laughs]
Michael: [Laughs] Yeah, so doing payroll, attendance management for classes, scheduling for classes – that sort of thing. The whole HR-Enchilada. And then I started here!
Victoria: You weren’t always in development. So, talk to me a bit about that.
Michael: I coached gymnastics for 14 years…which oddly enough is a lot of problem solving, because you’re dealing with individuals who are learning something, and every individual learns in a different way. And even though they are learning the same thing, the way you approach teaching them that thing is always slightly different. You have to figure out the best approach to get the same outcome for each person. It didn’t occur to me then, but that job has so many parallels to software development in that you’re constantly problem solving about how you get the desired outcome you want given the set of tools you have in front of you. That helped keep my skill for critical thinking sharp. Because you’re doing [work] like that every day, except with kids.
Victoria: Which is in some ways sometimes a lot better than working with adults, right?
Michael: Yeah that’s true! [Laughs]. After that I did a bunch of side projects that were interesting to me. Mostly finding problems that I wanted to solve that there wasn’t a good solution for, or I just didn’t like the solution that was already there and wanted to make my own. Which is sort of the mentality of most developers. I did a lot of side projects like that. Some of them larger than others, and some of them clearly over my head. But everything I learned from all of those odd-job things seem to be incredibly applicable to the aspects of each of the projects that I do here at Resolver.
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Victoria: What do you like most about working at Resolver?
Michael: Lots of things! I really like the opportunity of having flexible hours. I’m definitely not a morning person, so not having to roll in at 8:30 a.m. is so amazing. The culture at Resolver is awesome.
Victoria: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Michael: When I was a kid I wanted to be a millionaire. That was really the only thing – I didn’t know how to get there, I just knew that I was going to get a million dollars. There was no job in mind at all [laughs].
Victoria: What would your advice be to somebody that wanted to do the same work as you?
Michael: Software development strikes me as one of those things that people are very eager to jump into. I recently read a blog post that really captured what I think it’s like to be a software developer. The blog was about how to be a software developer in 10 years, and the first line of it was something along the lines of: I don’t understand what the rush is. Take your time! It was a funny read and interesting because development is one of those things where there is so much to know and you will never know it all because the industry changes so quickly. Find something that you enjoy doing and expand on it. If you’re coming from that avenue of front-end development and you want to shift into programming or designing apps, figure out what you like best about that and expand on it. And think logically about how to move forward. Ask yourself, what is it that I’m trying to accomplish? What are the tools in the context that I’m working with? How do I utilize those tools in some meaningful way to get the outcome I want?
Victoria: How do you maintain a healthy work life balance?
Michael: I am so much better now than I ever was. It can be so difficult. But I do think I’m a bit of an outlier because programming and problem-solving is a hobby of mine. Before this was my career, it was my hobby and now it’s both. I’m now in this weird predicament where my job is now the thing that I drive all this enjoyment from, but then I go home and I want to relax and do a hobby but I’m exhausted from doing it as my job. If I could give any advice it would be to separate work from home. We don’t realize how much of an impact it is on your mental health to get a simple email outside of work hours. Separating those two worlds – work and home – is probably the best advice I could give.