Todd has been working for Brightspot since January 2012.
This week, Rose went on the record with Todd Loisel, a development operations engineer at Brightspot, formerly Perfect Sense, who has taken quite a winding path to his current role. Todd started as a quality assurance intern at Brightspot nearly 5 years ago. Since then, he has gone on to serve as one of the lead developers on Univision.com. During their conversation, Rose and Todd discuss this journey, as well as Todd's passion for the Washington Capitals.
How long have you worked for Brightspot? What brought you here?
I have worked here for almost for five years. My work anniversary will be at the turn of the year. I wasn't in this industry at all before coming to Brightspot. Basically, I convinced Dan Slaughter to get me a job here because it just seemed fun. He always talked about the interesting work he was doing, so I asked him to help me get my foot in the door.
You have had an interesting career path at Brightspot, starting in QA, moving to development, and now working with Dev Ops. Can you tell me about this journey?
It has been an interesting ride! When I began, I was very new to the industry without much experience, so I started as a QA intern. Being surrounded by the people that are here, I learned very quickly what I needed to do and how to accomplish things. At Brightspot, the adage that you learn something new every day is very prominent. I feel that I leave work every day with new skills. Through QA, I learned how to use Brightspot, which sparked my curiosity. With help from others, I learned how to build projects with Dari and Brightspot. Then, on the Univision project, I got my first exposure to Dev Ops, which is where I am today.
You played a central role on the Univison project, the largest and most complex project Brightspot has done to date. What was the most satisfying part of launching that project?
We had several launches starting with Uvideos, which was extremely fulfilling. Next, we launched Univison.com in August 2015 and a re-design project in February 2016. I think the most satisfying part of the project is our relationship with the client. It was an interesting 3-year ride, but now our product and development teams are the on same page with a very smooth relationship. Looking back on that path, it is rewarding to see where we are today.
What is your current project? What is your role on the team and what unique challenges are you working to solve?
In the dev ops world, we don't have a single project per se. We are all over the place. We take client requests as they come in and work through that queue. It's a challenging role because you have to switch tasks very quickly, and often things you think you'll do in a day aren't what you wind up doing. It requires me to be very flexible.
What traits are most important to making you successful at your job?
I guess passion and humility. I am very interested in what we do. We have really unique technology here and I truly believe that we offer something that nobody else does. I understand that I don't know everything, but the people here are willing to help me. Admitting you don't know something is the first step towards learning.
What piece of advice would you give to a recent graduate starting his/her career?
Embrace challenges. That's the fastest way to learn.
Besides the people, what is your favorite part about working for Brightspot?
We are routinely challenged to solve interesting problems. Sometimes it can be very frustrating, but it is incredibly satisfying to solve the difficult ones.
We all know you love the Capitals! What are your predictions for them this season?
I think we will be a much more versatile team. We learned from the playoffs last year that we were close, but that a faster team could beat us. We are going to look for a lot more north and south play. My prediction is, of course, a Stanley Cup championship!
What was the last concert you attended?
A few weeks ago, I saw two groups called Dopapod and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong in Baltimore.
What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do of the office?
Besides sitting in traffic, I like to go to rock climbing. I'm a member at EarthTreks and I climb a lot with my fiancé. I also enjoy playing my guitar.