Tech Talks: Dan Fusaro
July 29 | 2014
For our second round interview in our ‘Tech Talks’ series, we spoke with Senior Software Engineer, Dan Fusaro, about his time here at globaledit. As the longest-running member of the development team, Dan has been with us from the beginning. So we wanted to find out how globaledit has changed as a product and as a company in the last eight years. We also learned about his passion for hot sauce, why he’s known as ‘Lunch’saro, and about his preteen cameo in a well-known indie film (.gif included below!).
You’re known as Dan ‘Lunch’saro around the office. Where does that come from?
I’ve been here a long time so I know all of the good lunch spots. Finding good places to eat that won’t break the bank is a bit of an art form, especially in Tribeca. It’s amazing what you’ll find with a little digging though.
What are some of your other talents?
I love to cook to the point where some would call it an obsession. I would say 85% of the photos on my phone are things I’ve cooked. Presentation is key. And I’ve “performed in” four hot sauce eating challenges in my life- three of which yielded free t-shirts.
Can you cook anything for us?
I cooked for our “Taco Night” here a few years ago. There were two pork shoulders, rice, beans, and lots of guac. The most challenging part of that exercise was carting 50 lbs of grub down the 1 Train.
How has globaledit changed in your time here?
Since 2006, we’ve gone through three major versions. When I started they were just releasing version two of globaledit, and it was pretty basic photo selection. I was brought in as their first in-house developer to build something called “Image Editor.” It was a detail-view of photos and provided the ability to rate them, use the keyboard, insert metadata, among other things. After a few months, we started hiring more talent and began to lay the groundwork for another major version, 3.0. Since then, globaledit has taken on a life of its own and continues to grow exponentially. Even in the last year we’ve doubled the size of our development team and features released.
How about the changes in company culture?
We’re part of Industrial Color Brands, so we share offices with the other divisions of the company- Industrial Color and Impact Digital. We’ve always been neighbors, but over the last few years departments have gotten more integrated with what globaledit is, what it does, who makes it, how the software process works. Working side by side with our sister divisions allows us to collaborate and get feedback from the very best in the photo industry. We have an amazing product and development team and people in the companies use the software we build, which is helpful.
What’s your favorite Industrial Color Brands company tradition?
I would have to say celebrating the World Cup. This was my third World Cup at the company, and it’s always been really fun. We project the games on a big screen and have a pool going.
What do you think has made the biggest difference in the creation of globaledit?
I would have to say hands-down, GitHub, which is a cloud-based source control system. Git enables everyone on the team to have their own local version of globaledit and freely develop what they specifically need to develop. Once the dust settles, you commit your code to the cloud, and then more or less press a button and everything gets built. It enables us to be creative and take chances, which can breathe life into any project. We can shift and flow as we need in order to meet the needs of what we’re building.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your position thus far?
Just putting out an all-out quality product. I do primarily user interface. With user interface, it’s how people use
software–how they click, where they click, their thought process. What are they trying to do with the software? globaledit is sort of like Photoshop, where there are a thousand ways to skin a cat. Some people use globaledit for markups, some people use it for metadata, some people use it to organize their photos, some people use it for talent approvals. There are so many different use cases and personalities using the software, you have to try to make everyone happy. I have to put myself in the role of different users- let’s say a Creative Director versus a Talent Agent, etc…in order to really think about it from the other side. It’s challenging.
What’s a “Hackathon”?
About once a month, we come up with a loose theme, like speed or collaboration, and spend a day building whatever we like. Sometimes it’s globaledit related, sometimes it’s not. The point is to have enough flexibility to be able to come up with ideas and take chances that you wouldn’t necessarily do at other times. It’s risky – things could not work out or things could be awesome. You give yourself a day, and you make something you feel that globaledit could use, something that you’ve had an idea about. It usually ends up being interesting, and it’s a way to let loose. We always have bagels- with lox!- too.
Aside from developing the software, are you a globaledit user?
Yes. I actually used it to review and approve my engagement photos. It was cool because we uploaded a ton of images and then could both access them separately. We each went through and made ratings and selects at our individual offices and were able to collaboratively come to our top choices.
You’re getting married? Congratulations!
I am! In a week actually. I’m going to have the wedding favors be my personally made hot sauce. We are going on our honeymoon to San Francisco, to Napa, and to Portland. It’ll be a cross between city and country activities for two weeks.
What is the most fun or enjoyable part of your job?
Thinking about how something should work, and then building it to work the way you envisioned it. It’s sort of like art – it’s creative. I can look at every piece of globaledit and tell you a story about how it works. All those things involved in getting it to work- the language and programming structure and how all the data interacts. Every pixel on that screen tells a story.
What do you think are some of the best/most interesting parts of working in the creative industry?
It’s very fast-paced. A lot of people are trying to solve a lot of different problems all the time and those problems overlap. I also like being directly involved with what’s going on in the production industry. For example, the talent approvals we host for The Walking Dead. We have the zombies from the show logging in and approving pictures in talent approval galleries, which is pretty cool.
What are some of your favorite tools/apps to use? I use an application called Synergy, which allows me to use one keyboard and mouse for both MAC and PC. I’ll go on a MAC and have all my web browsing and chat stuff, and my PC for my programming stuff so I don’t have to use two different sets. I’ve been using it for a long time. I’ve got one monitor set up to code work in the middle, one on the left to do database work, and schedules and emails on the right. I’m always firing on all cylinders.
I also love my standing desk. It’s adjustable so you can move it up or down whenever you want. I’ve started a company-wide trend. I used to want to sit all day but I’ve done that long enough.
What’s the future of globaledit look like?
We’ll continue to focus on making our customers’ production process faster and easier. Being bred from the creative industry, we’re able to forecast customers’ needs before they even know they have them. We have the products and the tools to be able to make it happen.
So…Final Question. Your cameo in “Welcome to the Dollhouse”?
I was 12, and my friend’s sister had acting as a hobby, so they were always going to these open castings to be an extra. I happened to stay over at my friend’s house that night, and they were going to this casting call. So I went, just thinking we were gonna hang out all day. Suddenly, the director chose me to be the jerk in the first scene, where the main character is walking with her lunch tray. I did all my interpretations of being a jerk, but the director kept catching me eyeing the camera.
On my last take, I was wondering how to look at her without looking at the camera, and it’s this tiny moment of consciousness. And that’s the shot he used. It took a while to come out. It was almost two years, and when you’re in the 7th grade to the 9th grade, it might as well have been 20 years.
Thanks so much Dan and have a great wedding!
Stay tuned for our next interview in the series.