Employee Spotlight  -  Robby Hajek - Software Engineer

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var superheroDev = new Dev(‘Robby Hajek’);

Each month, we feature one member of our smart and scrappy startup family here at Covered. This month we are delighted to get to know one of our Software Superheroes, Robby Hajek, a little bit better.

Robby was the very first full time employee to join the Covered Team and we consider him family. He is a remarkably talented engineer, a fast learner, and he has a keen eye for new technology and innovation. Not only can he crank code (his lightning fast keyboard strokes are music to our ears), he is also a thoughtful, loyal, and trustworthy teammate that embodies all of Covered’s Core Values. So without further ado…

Universe.findOutAllTheThings(superheroDev);

What is your favorite Covered Core Value (Accountability, Transparency, Collaboration, Excellence, and Generosity) and why?

My favorite Covered core value is Transparency, because it builds trust. It’s hard to foster an open, collaborative environment without having high levels of trust among the team.

What aspect of your role at Covered do you enjoy the most?

The aspect of my role that I enjoy most is the ability to contribute to high-intensity, iterative development. While getting to continually learn new things I also get to come up with new ideas and implement them quickly. It’s really motivating to go from planning to production for a feature with what feels like very little wasted time.

What do you enjoy about working at a start-up?

I enjoy working at a start up because there is never a dull day. I really love the ability to learn a wide variety of new skills and the capacity to meaningfully apply them.

Stand-ups & Donuts

What are you listening to/reading these days?

The last book I read was Snow Crash, which I absolutely loved and can’t believe I’d waited this long to pick it up. Before that I read the Southern Reach trilogy which I also enjoyed. Just started watching a new TV show called Counterpart and I’m looking forward to Westworld returning soon!

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Probably still something technical. I’m fascinated by the future potential of blockchains and have been following the space for the last few years, specifically the Ethereum ecosystem. I could see myself contributing time helping tackle some of the scaling issues present and developing decentralized applications.

What are three career/professional lessons you have learned so far?

  1. Work hard and be nice to people.
  2. Write code humans can understand.
  3. Ask a lot of questions

What inspires you?

Science inspires me. I love spending time thinking about the cosmos, the improbability of it all, and how it fits together.

What three traits define you?

Questioning, Adaptable, and Ambitious

What were you like in high school?

I was basically friends with everyone, and there was over 1000 students in my graduating class. I was lucky enough to grow up in a neighborhood with almost a dozen other kids the same age, so a lot of time was spent hanging out with them. I played Soccer and participated in Computer Club. I started taking college courses for Networking (CCNA) my Junior year at the local community college and that helped shape my interest in technology.

What is one thing about you that people would be surprised if they knew?

I’ve seen the band Phish over 60 times in concert across about a dozen different states

If you had to teach someone a new skill in five minutes what would it be?

How to break down a difficult problem into logical steps and then subsequently Google Fu 101

Yoda's Google Fu

What’s the next thing on your bucket list?

Learn to play the drums

What is the most recent app you downloaded?

The NCAA March Madness app

You’re hosting a dinner party. Who are the 3 people, living or dead, who you would invite?

Nikola Tesla, Tom Scholz, and Jimi Hendrix

If you could witness one historical event, what would it be, and why?

The first moon landing, not from broadcast but actually standing there next to Neil and Buzz.

Robby the astronaut
“I’m on the moon” — Robby

What is your favorite activity to do for fun?

I love to travel and am excited to be going to Singapore and Indonesia next month.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

ISP Tech Support

What are your top two guilty pleasures?

TV/Movies and Candy

If a song had to play every time you entered a room, what would it be?

This Must Be The Place by the Talking Heads

What animal would be coolest if scaled up to the size of a horse?

Who wouldn’t want a clumsy, horse-sized puppy. At full adult size it would likely be much larger than a horse too. I was a big fan of Clifford as a kid and I think it’s showing.

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