Our “Pepperdata Profiles” series shines a light on our talented individuals and explores employee experiences. This week, we talked to Jeremy Hay, who has been central to the company’s front-end development for six years.
You were at Microsoft for six years, Jeremy. How, when, and why did the Pepperdata switch happen?
The Pepperdata founders reached out to me in 2013. It was clear they were building a great team with a bunch of smart people. At this point, I was happy enough at Microsoft, but I wanted to change what I was doing.
To be honest, I had realized that a big corporate place wasn’t right for what I wanted to do. I want to excel at front-end development. However, at Microsoft, I wasn’t experiencing much growth. Each day, I was increasingly getting worried about my technical skillset stagnating. I felt like staying at Microsoft would limit my knowledge base going into the future. I wanted to go somewhere where I could learn more, learn something different. When Pepperdata came along, it was perfect.
What, precisely, is your role at Pepperdata right now?
So I lead the front-end engineering team. However, the structure we have at Pepperdata is pretty flat, in that there’s no hierarchical report structure. It works really well. No one expects their opinion to be the only one that counts. Everyone’s opinion matters. In that atmosphere, where everyone’s input is treated equally, the best solution to a problem naturally emerges. It doesn’t matter how junior you are; your opinion matters a lot.
That’s very cool. So let’s get into your six years at Pepperdata: How has your role changed and evolved in that time?
For the most part, I think it’s been pretty similar throughout, in a way that makes me happy. I continually come up with creative solutions to problems and use technologies that I deem best fit the job. I get to work with a great team full of good people that I like working with.
Probably the biggest change is the fact that we have way more people on front-end development now. Six years ago, it was pretty much just me and another senior engineer, who focused more on API, while I focused on the UI. Now, we have seven people. And we’re spread out—some in Toronto, while others in Seattle.
It’s been a challenge, at times, from a managerial perspective. From talking to the CEO and customers about new features, then taking that information and talking to the team to figure out who does what. There are a lot of moving parts. However, we typically get new features added without much fuss. It’s always good to