Team spotlight: Vendia Software Development

Kayak from above with 4 rowing people. Blue and aqua water background. Sport and moving concept. Red kayak and 8 paddles.
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Kayak from above with 4 rowing people. Blue and aqua water background. Sport and moving concept. Red kayak and 8 paddles.

Get to know some of our talented teammates, and learn what it’s like to be a part of Vendia. Then, check out our careers page, and see if you’d like to join us!

Meet the team

Randell Beltran

What do you love about working in the Vendia dev team? 

I joined Vendia because I was curious about serverless and blockchain architectures and use cases. I wanted to learn from the engineering and leadership team who built those at AWS and applied those lessons and insights in starting Vendia. I am excited to work with the team to practice the tenets and values that will make the company successful.

What does a productive, rewarding weekday look like for you? 

I feel productive when I fix at least one broken thing that day. In software, something is always broken in the code or in the house, and that something needs fixing or maintaining. It’s progress even when “little things” get done. The weekday becomes rewarding when I get out on a morning run before work or at the end of a busy day. At this time, I get to listen to my go-to podcasts and some lofi.

DJ Carroll

  • Role: Senior Software Engineer
  • Homebase: Seattle, WA, USA
  • Enjoys: Skiing, family walks, wine tasting, volleyball, soccer (playing and watching), camping, hiking
  • Go-to karaoke song: “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks

What drew you to software development as a discipline? 

Software development, like many other engineering disciplines, allows you to get fully immersed in your work or problem at hand. You can work to debug some suspiciously complicated bug, or work with others to develop a plan of attack to implement a new feature. Ultimately, you get to see your solution come to life (digitally) and get that sense of accomplishment. Software engineering, and especially serverless development, allows you to iterate and solve all types of problems much faster and more often than other disciplines because you can move so quickly. This allows me to work on many problems (and hopefully solve them) and feel like I did something.

What does a productive, rewarding weekday look like for you?

If I can make progress or grow mentally, physically, and personally, I call that day a win. Mentally, I am always trying to learn new things by reading, listening to books and podcasts, and especially learning from others. Physically, I try to always set time aside to work out and be active, or at least get my steps in! And personally, working from home more often has freed up a lot of time to focus on other activities like cooking, hobbies, and spending time with my partner and puppy. 

Ryan Green

  • Role: Principal Software Development Engineer
  • Homebase: St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Enjoys: Mountain biking, music, traveling
  • Now streaming: I’ve become a bit of an urban planning geek in the last few years so I’ve been streaming “Not Just Bikes” on YouTube and “The War on Cars” podcast.
  • Find Ryan on TwitterLinkedIn | GitHub

What drew you to software development as a discipline? 

I chose engineering as a field of study because I’ve always possessed a curiosity to learn how things work, and I’ve always enjoyed the process of building and creating things. I was ultimately drawn to software development because of the ability to quickly express concepts into practical systems as compared to physical systems.

What does a productive, rewarding weekday look like for you?

I have two young kids, so my day always starts and ends with some quality play time and making sure everyone is well-fed.

I contribute best when I’m prepared for deep thinking and creativity — for me, this means being well-rested and exercised. Often, my best solutions and ideas come when I’m not in front of a screen. I try to prioritize getting a good night’s sleep and getting outside around lunchtime — usually a quick mountain bike ride on the coastal trails near my home.

Philipp Hussels

  • Role: Director and Head of Engineering
  • Homebase: Seattle, WA, USA
  • Enjoys: Hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, cycling, back-country skiing, farming

What’s the best advice you’ve received so far in your career?

There are (almost) no absolutes when it comes to business and technical decisions. Everything is gray, and we always need to probe our assumptions. One important exception to this is, of course, our Kind Human Policy. We do not compromise on that.

What do you love about working in the Vendia dev team?

There are several things that are important to me when I pick a role. First, I want to work on a meaningful mission. At Vendia, we make it possible for our customers to collaborate more efficiently and share sensitive data (including personal data) in a way that sets a new standard for privacy and security. Second, I look for learning opportunities. The fact that we break new ground in product development and engineering is a big motivation for me. Finally, I want to work with highly capable and kind co-workers who challenge and teach me in a respectful manner. Vendia’s company culture is attracting exactly this type of co-worker.

Rory Jacob

What drew you to software development? 

Software development is this endless and exciting problem space. You have all of these complex problems around queueing, distributed systems, control theory (and many others) that you can spend endless hours researching and learning about. At the same time, I can spend a few hours making a website that rains little corgi gifs when you type in a special passphrase. Very different (though equally as important) problems to solve.

What’s the best advice you’ve received so far in your career? How have you acted on that advice and benefited from it?

Think of this job as a career, and consider the tools and skillset that I should become an expert in to grow my skill set. Take a carpenter; they have their set of tools that they spend years becoming experts with. To an expert carpenter, it becomes second nature to know which tool to use for a particular job, how to angle it, its size, etc. All of this is because they put years both into the discipline of carpentry and into practicing with their tools. I was recommended the book The Pragmatic Programmer, which takes this same concept, and puts it in the viewpoint of a software engineer: Where can I make the same investment in my tools or skills?

As an example, for me, the first thing I wanted to do was improve my speed moving around an editor, making me more efficient. I decided to use the VIM editor as my main editor and use VIM key bindings where I could (sorry, emacs fans…though I did come around to emacs evil mode several years later). I was terrible for a long time, constantly referring to a cheat sheet I printed out and taped to the wall beside my desk. But over time, it all started to click. I became proficient, first being able to move around a file without having to think about it, and then doing more complex actions with a few keystrokes.

Brad Lucas

  • Role: Senior Software Engineer
  • Homebase: Renton, WA, USA
  • Enjoys: Hanging out with my partner and our two pets (a Samoyed and a Maine Coon); traveling the world, near and far; everything hockey (I’m a season ticket holder for the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, frequent attendee at games of the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, viewer of international tournaments, and, as a side project, I’ve started dipping my toe into hockey analytics) 
  • Find Brad on LinkedIn | GitHub

What’s the best advice you’ve received so far in your career? 

“People over product.”

I had heard these words early in my career when I, admittedly, found it hard to avoid chasing companies that were “cool” or roles that were using the hot new technology. However, it didn’t take long for me to see the value of this idiom in practice after working on some not-so-pleasant teams. As such, I quickly grew to appreciate who I’m building things with more than what I’m building, and I have built out my network with a great group of people because of it.

What do you love about working in the Vendia dev team?

On a note related to my previous answer, I love that I don’t have to sacrifice the “people” part of building software while working with top-notch engineers on any of the technical challenges we try to solve on any given day.

Coming from a very Microsoft-heavy background – Azure, .NET, etc., I had some initial concerns about ramping up and delivering at the level of quality I had been used to. However, I was able to lean on the team early and often in getting up to speed with ease. Now I can leverage that background in various aspects of how we build things at Vendia.

Dmitriy Naumenko

What drew you to software development?

I’ve always been “that kid” — the one who fixed everyone’s iPods and spent my free time messing around with computers. When I started college, majoring in Computer Science felt natural. I’ve never looked back, and I love what I do. 

What do you love about working in the Vendia dev team?

Our team is filled with incredibly driven and talented engineers. Members of the dev team will go out of their way to be kind humans and help one another solve problems. They inspire me to be the best engineer I can be.

Devin Sandhu

  • Role: Senior Software Development Engineer
  • Homebase: Seattle, WA, USA
  • Enjoys: Playing board games, reading sci-fi and fantasy books, and hanging out with my cats
  • Now streaming: “Andor” — it’s everything I’ve ever wanted from the Star Wars shows
  • Go-to karaoke song: “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift (Hey, hey, hey)

What drew you to software development?

Growing up, I wanted to be an architect (like designing real-world buildings). Computer Science was actually my backup major in college. Learning the theory behind programming in my college courses and having an internship in the industry made me realize how early we are in the information technology revolution. I found that very exciting. Software development is constantly evolving, and its impact on the world is constantly increasing. If software is eating the world, then building software is the place to be.

What does a productive, rewarding weekday look like for you?

My wife and I both work from home with our two kittens. Every day starts with some serious commotion as our cats run up and down the stairs trying to get fed early. Once they’re fed, I always start the work day with an espresso and a baked good (my wife is a fantastic baker). If it’s a meeting-heavy day, the cats will make their presence known by trying to attack my hardware (it’s called a mouse for a reason, right?). On meeting light days, I practice my own form of rubber duck debugging while playing with the cats (they’re showing some real promise as engineers).

Join the Vendia team

If you’re looking for a place where you can build with joy and solve challenging, but rewarding problems with other kind humans, we’d love to hear from you. Explore our careers page, share any postings with your network, and stay connected when you follow us on LinkedIn.