Eric Jon Nielsen, Engineer

You’re working on Tempo’s cloud initiative. What’s that been like?

Motivating, demotivating, challenging, rewarding. It’s been full of a ton of learning experiences and constantly being on my feet.

What trends do you see in the cloud? What excites you?

Containerization is a big trend that continues to grow. Orchestration tools (like Kubernetes, Mesos or Kontena) seem to be the battleground as far as Cloud technologies go at the moment. A lot of people are trying to create the best Orchestration tool and no one has nailed it quite yet.

How do you stay up-to-date with cloud technology?

Hacker news and Reddit are honestly my biggest go-to’s. I’ve also learned a ton by talking to other developers that work in the Cloud outside of Tempo.

What are your biggest challenges and how do you manage them?

The biggest challenge for me is making sure my team and I prioritize and work on the right things at the right time. It’s easy to go down rabbit holes and you always have to keep your head above water to make sure you’re still heading towards your end goal.

What’s a typical day for you at Tempo like?

It varies. Some days I have my headphones on all day, programming away. Some days I’m spending completely with a teammate solving a problem. Some days I’m supporting other teams that are using our internal tools. Then there’s the days I’m snowed in at my out of town house working from home. The only constant is coffee.

How would you describe the company culture at Tempo?

The culture at Tempo is a culture of self-sufficiency and camaraderie. If you have a good idea you can influence what your team and the company does in a big way.

What do you like best about working at Tempo?

I like the relationships I’ve made and the flexibility it gives me in my day to day work. I also like that I’m rewarded for constantly improving my own skills.

How has your background benefited you in your role at Tempo?

I come from a music and sound engineering background, and I think both have helped immensely in my career as a software developer. Growing up learning an instrument taught me how to stick to a routine and it also taught me how to practice. Sound engineering taught me how to be patient and enjoy doing monotonous things that don’t pay off for a long time.   

What advice would you give others seeking to work in this field? What qualities do you think are important?

I think it’s really important as a software developer to be the kind of person that is open and always looking to learn new things. I know it’s totally cliché and you hear this about the software development field a lot, but I guess there’s a reason it’s cliché? If a person is genuinely interested in learning you can see it big time while working with them. Someone who knows they don’t know everything is the kind of person I want to work with.

What song or music do you listen to when you need to go into “work mode”?

I usually fall back on rhythmically complex electronic music like Autechre and Squarepusher or rhythmically complex jazz like Tigran Hamasyan or any middle eastern-based jazz musician. Being barraged by a stream of well-engineered noises or just pure musical intensity seems to get my brain going.