Q&A: Ashton

What was it that led you to a career in Computer Engineering?

It’s funny because throughout school, I was involved in business and entrepreneurship, more than tech. However, I found myself a technology business rather quickly as there are so many possibilities with web-based products. I’ve observed a common problem that many entrepreneurs face: the difficulty finding technical resources that stay involved throughout the inherently iterative process of building a technology company. I didn’t want to have dependencies outside of my control, so I took the technical skills I learned in school and expanded on them as best I could.

Programming, and computer engineering in general, many times are just barriers to achieving some other goal or outcome.

My technical knowledge just follows my current projects. I wish I had more formal training in computer engineering, as I really enjoy the day-to-day challenges. Because of this, I try to take time each weekend to go back and fill in a few of the many gaps in my knowledge. The fast-paced nature at Belly makes filling in the gaps easy.

What is it about Belly that caught your interest and made you want to join our awesome Engineering Team?

I come from a startup background, so I was drawn to the uncertainty, excitement and opportunity at Belly. Belly is in a stage where we are growing up and there’s still opportunity for big change.

However, there is still a good balance between having an influence on the development of the product and also knowing that what we’re building is going to work. We know that there is a market for the product we are building. The stage that we are in as a company, is really exciting.

The culture at Belly as a whole and specifically within the Engineering Team, also attracted me. As a company, we are surrounded by really competent and caring people. The camaraderie is great, the levels of fun and excitement are high. Belly has a very communal atmosphere. All of the random things that we do from celebrating birthdays, achievements, anniversaries, to ringing the gong or hitting the pinata when someone gets a sale, to the weekly $100 idea, all add to Belly’s unique culture.

In terms of getting our work done, we have a lot of flexibility, but it’s not uncommon to walk into the office early and find most the engineering team already hard at work. The motivation to produce high quality work is very contagious.

Sometimes we plan to work from home when we really need to plugin, and other times we plan to work together from a coffee shop to get a change of scenery.

The Belly office is always humming and there are no walls between engineering and the rest of the teams that make Belly great.

What is your role at Belly?

I am a Software Engineer, helping the Belly team deliver on what our customers and the market demand.

What are you most excited about working on while you’re here? What do you want to work on next?

Since we are growing and working at a larger scale, a lot of our internal processes need to be upgraded or automated and complex processes need to be streamlined and smoothed out. One of our team’s highest priorities is getting our Operations Teams the tools that they need, to do their work better and faster.

We have a very large system with a lot of moving parts and a relatively small Engineering Team. Our Engineering Team is kind of like the little engine that could. This makes everything that we do very exciting. Everyone is working on multiple large, complex projects, but at the same time, we are all willing to stop what we’re doing and lend a helping hand when needed.

I look forward to helping belly enable and then manage growth.

What has been your favorite moment at Belly over these past two weeks?

No way could I choose just one, but if I had to, it would be the day that the Platform Team decided to work from Filter Coffee Shop. We have these impromptu off-site work parties, that make us very unique.

Another thing that I love is how throughout the day, people will just get up and go outside. They will go and get fresh air, coffee, and talk about random things. The coolest thing about this is that people go together. We may need a break from the work we’re doing, but not the people with whom we are working.

Are you familiar with our core values? Which is your favorite one and why?

There are two that I really like, one is more personal and one is more for Belly. For myself, Relationships People really resonates with me. I believe this value is fundamental to everything that I do. It’s a value that drives all of my decisions, both large and small. Take Our Work Seriously But Not Ourselves, is my favorite value for us as a company. We have a work hard, play hard mentality.

In essence, our work matters, everyone’s work matters at Belly. We are all working as a team and we can’t really do it without each other.

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