Tech Talk: Matt Callahan

 

Once a month, we meet with one of our software developers to get to know the team behind the technology. Meet our Aussie Software Engineer, Matt Callahan, who ensures the scalability of the globaledit platform for future developments.

 

What do you do at globaledit?

I am currently a software engineer at globaledit. I build out some of the core features and ensure the system architecture translates into code properly for successful scalability. So every time a new feature comes out, I oversee it to make sure the code structure is clean, secure, stable, and scalable in the long run. Also, because the application is available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Desktops, I focus on building out our API, which globaledit platform is utilizing more and more.

 

mattc1What is your role in the feature development process?

When the team comes up with a feature request, we’ll do a proof of concept to come up with possible solutions and technical recommendations – keeping in mind the existing code structure and future developments. For every new feature, we think about: What the customer wants, how the changes are going to affect the customer and the existing features, and how we can build on the system architecture without affecting future releases. It’s a trade-off: Sometimes the best technical approach might not solve customers’ needs, or a great new feature might have a huge impact on the system.


What’s your professional background?


My previous role was a Software Consultant in Melbourne (Australia). This involved working with different clients both remotely and on-site, and sometimes with multiple ones at a time. My clients would range from SMB to huge enterprises in finance and banking. I liked the team aspect, the negotiation and discussion.

Eventually I moved to New York, and I was working remotely for the same consulting company. It was a great experience, in the aspects of freedom and setting your own schedule. After some time, communication became very challenging with the different time zones, and I missed working with people and building things. That’s when I decided to join the globaledit team.

 

How did you get into engineering?mattc2

I grew up on a dairy farm in Australia. Most of my siblings have an engineering mindset, but more hands-on. I guess that’s why it comes naturally to me. By the age of 10-12, my parents got a computer with Windows 3.1, and my father bought revolutionary farming software to manage the farm. I helped him setting it up and digging into it, that’s how I started understanding the file system. Eventually one day I was tinkering the computer and accidentally deleted everything. That’s how I learned the importance of backups! Later on, I moved to Melbourne to get a Computer Science degree, which opened so many doors.

 

What do you like best about working here?

What I like about my job is that we can be involved and have a direct impact on the product by incrementally improving it. A lot of little things allow us to be strategic and acquire big clients and it is very satisfying. In my previous job as a consultant, I had to deal with lots of variety (bank, plumbing, trading), which I really enjoyed. But there was no continuity of seeing the product evolve. I have been at globaledit for two years now, and I can definitely see how the usage has improved today vs. back then because we acknowledge product feedback from our customers.

 

unnamed-1What are your favorite sources of inspiration?

I listen to a lot of ‘nerdy’ podcasts for developers and engineers, especially on my commute: Full Stack Radio, Javascript Jabber, .NET Rocks!, The HanselMinutes Podcast, and the Software Engineering Radio. It helps keep up with the technology, consider different approaches to a problem, or give tricks and tips, etc.

Also, I like building experimental websites and systems on the side. Technology is constantly changing, so you have to challenge yourself to stay on top of it. Working with new systems is a great way for me to keep my mind open to new approaches. For example, I developed a platform that could predict results of sporting events. By analyzing the different betting markets, the system would try to find a combination for a guarantee win. It didn’t really work, but I still learned a lot from building it.

 

Do you have any hobbies?

In Australia I loved watching Australian Rules football and cricket – I still watch it but the time difference can make it complicated. Since I moved to the States I’ve started following the American Football League, which means I have now 12 months of non-stop sport to watch!

Also, my wife and I love to travel. I have been traveling since I was 18. I went to Japan for 3 months, got the travel bug, and went backpacking all over Asia. I love New York City, but I try to travel at least once a year overseas.