This week, Rose went on the record with Alex Lambrides a platform software engineer, who started his career at Perfect Sense following his graduation from Virginia Tech in 2018. During the conversation, Rose and Alex discuss what initially attracted him to Perfect Sense, the features he has already contributed to Brightspot, his professional growth since graduation, and his bike trip across the United States.
You started at Perfect Sense after graduating from Virginia Tech? Why did you decide to start your career here?
I found out about Perfect Sense at the Virginia Tech CSRC Career Fair. The combination of the work Perfect Sense does and the list of its clients sounded very interesting. I also connected to the company's support of Special Olympics. I had volunteered with Special Olympics in the past, so hearing about that relationship really excited me and drew me into Perfect Sense.
Since starting at Perfect Sense, you have worked on the platform team. What are some of the features and improvements you've contributed to Brightspot?
The two biggest features that I have worked on have been integrations with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Comprehend and InDesign. The integration with AWS Comprehend uses machine learning to suggest tags within Brightspot based on the content an editor is creating. The integration with InDesign allows clients to export content from Brightspot directly to print.
What inspired you to become a software engineer?
I have wanted to be a software engineer since I was a kid. Growing up, I loved inventing and told my mom that I wanted to invent a jetpack or rocket shoes. I soon learned that knowing how to program would allow me to build and invent my own things, which led me to software engineering.
How do you feel that you have grown as a developer over the past `16 months working at Perfect Sense?
I think I have grown a lot in a many different ways. First, I have learned how to work within a team. Additionally, as a software engineer, my skills have expanded because of the exposure to different areas and the different technologies I have needed to use in order to build cool stuff that people use everyday.
What traits are most important to making you successful at your job?
The ability to learn and being curious are most important. Every day I am working on different projects with unique challenges, so learning on the fly, picking up new skills, and wanting to explore new ideas has helped me succeed.
Based on your experience, how do you think Brightspot best benefits our clients?
Brightspot's full suite allows an entire organization to run its complete operation through our platform because it offers so many unique plug-ins and integrations. For example, through the integration with InDesign, clients can manage their digital-to-print workflow entirely in Brightspot. The encompassing Brightspot system lets clients accomplish everything they need in one place compared to other, more limited CMS tools that don't extend beyond the web.
You had the chance to participate in our Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding Race in Aspen, Colorado, last January. What did you learn from this experience?
That trip was one of the most fun times of my life. I had such a blast! The main thing I learned was how to have fun and enjoy every moment. Every athlete was having so much fun, even in the face of defeat. I strive to bring that much joy to every aspect of my life.
Besides the people, what is your favorite part about working at Perfect Sense?
My favorite part is the new challenges we face every day. There is never a dull moment here. I never get bored because there is always a new feature or something interesting to work on and challenge me as a developer.
I read that you biked over 3,600 miles across the United States. Can you tell me more about that experience?
In college I biked across the country as part of a fundraiser through my fraternity to support people with disabilities. My group biked 75 miles per day and stopped in local towns to hang out with local Special Olympics athletes and meet other organizations serve people with disabilities. As a group we raised close to a million dollars. Not only did we raise a lot of money, but we also had the special opportunity to meet and spend time with the people we were helping.
What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of the office?
My two favorite things to do are snowboard and play hockey. I am a big Washington Capitals fan!