Not many people can say that the Scholastic book catalog set their entire career in motion.
While other fourth-graders chose books like Animorphs and Goosebumps, I decided to purchase an HTML book for kids.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that book was the tinder that ignited my love for the internet. Back then, all I knew is that I wanted to build something, anything on the internet.
Luckily for me now, nothing I first built actually made it on the internet, but all that changed after I got my first copy of Photoshop Elements 2.0. I said goodbye to Microsoft Paint and hello to my first web design gigs. Sure, I wasn’t winning any awards, but I soon became the go-to Myspace page designer for everyone I knew.
Eventually, my love for web design and development led me to a bachelor’s degree in internet marketing, and I landed my first job as a web designer. Everything was going swimmingly until one day, Steve Jobs decided to pen an open letter about his “Thoughts on Flash.” Like most companies in the world, Apple’s decision to ban Flash meant we needed to rethink everything we were doing. Fast.
The massive shift away from Flash gave me a chance to help reinvent our websites and products, so my job ended up morphing into both software engineering and design. We didn’t have product managers at the time, but I was essentially a product manager who also developed and designed.
Then another big shift happened. An opening for the head of product came up and I, a software engineer/designer, was being considered for the role. While I did know all the ins and outs of everything we had built and worked well with the team, I was never actually a product manager. Even still, they ended up selecting me as the head of product, so I guess when life gives you lemonade, you quickly take it and drink it before someone changes their mind.
Over time, I realized my company selected me because I was a good pattern matcher.
I learned that the more you can pull from your library of experiences or problems you’ve encountered, the better you can combine the right ingredients to make magic happen.
And thanks to the amazing team we built, that’s exactly what we did. I enjoyed building the team and helping create one of the fastest mobile banking apps in existence.
Then, about a year ago, Wade Arnold asked me for a favor. He wanted help drafting a job description for his product leader at Moov to help transition it from a set of open source projects to a product company. Having worked with Wade before, I happily obliged. I already knew a bit about Moov’s open source efforts and had even joined the community, but I needed to learn more in order to help with his request.
Wade explained how Moov was not building on top of anything else, but instead would go straight to the payment networks. Having worked at a big core banking company, I spent most of my career bolting layers on top of legacy tech that existed before the internet. I had to build integration after integration all hopping to multiple systems and the thought of hitting the reset button really excited me. As a product leader, I wanted nothing more than to remove the payment hurdles from my team and offer them a new, direct, transparent, and cloud-scalable solution.
This job role also emphasized the chance to build and grow a team. Having put together teams of highly skilled individuals in my past, I can honestly say it’s the most rewarding part of my career so far. The role also offered a chance to work with a new set of problems, like a blank piece of paper, and gave the product leader the ability to build and guide a team tasked with solving those problems. I soon realized Moov was the place I wanted to be, and I offered my name for consideration.
I’ve worked at Moov for a year now, and I can honestly say that leaving my previous team was the hardest day of my life. I loved that role. Luckily, I’ve gotten the chance to stretch my design and developer skills again, even helping guide marketing when needed. It’s like all of my experience and education had culminated into this perfect Moov puzzle, with each piece fitting exactly with what the role needed.
I’m truly honored to be a part of Moov. Yes, my team is amazing, but the attitude of mutual respect and principles of working at the speed of trust is deeply rooted in everyone across the company. We’re putting together a group of scrappy doers and tinkerers all working together to create things that have never been done before. What’s more, our team members have such colorful backgrounds and experiences that it’s helping shape our product from every viewpoint.
The entire company is marching toward our mission to help developers, which means taking our whole product and making it a feature in theirs.
Every day, I see how we’re delivering on our vision: to make developers the hero in their organization. We want developers to find Moov, incorporate it quickly into their product, and receive praise and accolades for solving the major problem of embedding payments. We at Moov know there’s nothing like us on the market. My hope is that other companies find us and discover just how fast we can make them.
This is why I joined Moov—and why you should too.