Highlighting Eight of Praxent’s New Hires of 2020
As the first half of 2020 comes to an end (I can’t believe it either), we’ve been reflecting on some of the incredible folks that we’ve hired so far this year. They’ve only been with us for a few months, yet they’ve already contributed so much to our team and we want to sing their praises to the internet! Here are eight of the amazing folks who have joined our team this year:
Alex comes from an extensive background of account management work as well as project management developing IOS/Android apps and CMS/Website development, and Praxent was lucky enough to snatch her up as one of our Delivery Leads in February 2020! She works, lives, and plays out of Austin, TX, though she spent some time in the Netherlands for a few years while attending high school. She found herself back in the states where she attended Arizona State University, and now she bleeds maroon and gold. She is a huge history buff, is passionate about skin care, and is crazy about sports (Go ASU Sun Devils, Arizona Cardinals, and Arizona Diamondbacks!) All of this is to say, Alex makes for a great trivia teammate (I mean c’mon, she’s an expert on sports, history, and world culture) and an even better Praxenter.
Sarah also joined our team as a Delivery Lead in February 2020. Born and raised in Dallas Texas, Sarah went on to Indiana University for college before transferring to The University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘em!). She’s clearly a woman with brains and brawn, because her favorite class was accounting, she played lacrosse, she started in front-end development and QA before transitioning into Project Management, she was on the crew of a 4 masted square rigger (think pirate ship), AND she says she likes to ride her Pelaton to RELAX. I’m more of a lay-on-the-couch-and-read-a-good-book kind of gal myself, but clearly ambition and hard work does the trick for Sarah. Lucky us!
Jason joined Praxent as a QA Analyst in March 2020. If you looked up “Never Settle” in the dictionary, you’d find his name listed right below it. He is constantly pushing himself to learn everything there is to know about anything ever, and after getting to know him, I’d say he’s pretty darn close! Jason graduated with a degree in digital and visual art, so on top of his 10 years of QA Analyst experience, he is also adept at printing and digital design. He didn’t think those were enough skills to have, so he’s added front-end development, a third speaking language, mixed martial arts, teaching Brazilian jiu jitsu to kids, a soap and t-shirt project, and a “few quirky websites” to his never ending list. Oh, and he’s a barber as well, because why not? He guided our CEO through a self-quarantine haircut during a virtual team happy hour. What can’t this guy do??
Ryan also came from a creative background; he completed his BFA at Savanah College of Art and Design, and further honed his creative skills as a member of East Austin’s Big Medium studio before moving into software development full time. He’s always been a programming enthusiast since receiving his first computer in grade school, and he’s now experienced with a wide variety of languages and technologies, with a specialization in Java (and some dabbling in front-end technologies like React). Ryan joined Praxent as a Software Engineer in March 2020. His onboarding was certainly exciting; Praxent made the call to go completely remote on March 13th (Friday the 13th, coincidentally) in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, and his first day with us was the following Monday, March 15th. Despite our very fresh culture shift, he rolled with the punches proving that he can put out amazing work no matter where he is; at an office, on a plane, in a train, or even a bus! Which is a really good thing, since he does actually live in a bus (by choice!).
Roberto joined Praxent in March 2020 as a Software Engineer after almost 10 years of experience in web development, with a focus in .NET technologies. It seems like there’s a trend at Praxent where our engineers start their college careers off as artists – probably something to do with creating something from nothing! Roberto went to college and studied both coding AND music (specifically the violin)! He really enjoyed reading and learning English growing up, so it was a very easy decision for him to want to learn the language of music and code. Roberto definitely left his mark on his first day – we like to introduce our new hires to the whole team with Taco Tuesday, as well as icebreaker questions, during which a still-ongoing debate about the colors orange and yellow was ignited. Something else we can’t stop talking about, though, is Roberto’s incredible work at Praxent so far; there’s no debate about that!
Lance’s transition to our team was super exciting because his position was an entirely new role for Praxent, AND he was the first Praxenter where we had to get creative with onboarding due to social distancing measures. He is an award-winning software professional with over 25 years of experience in technology, business, and strategy, and in April 2020 he joined Praxent as our Senior Director of Innovation to drive market research and build a community of financial services and software redesign professionals. There are many reasons why we’re lucky to have Lance on the team; he can make donuts and his dad joke game is on point, but my favorite is actually his knowledge and expertise in the world of mindfulness. He and his wife own the Austin Mindfulness Center together and combined their skills (software professional + psychologist) to create an online program that helps people with anxiety.
Joe joined Praxent in May 2020 with 11+ years of web developer experience. His transition to Praxent was perfect timing, because his first week coincided with Praxent’s first ever Relaxathon. Here is Joe, all new to Praxent, and then we just so happen to shut the office down, quit working for half the day, and focus on relaxing with games and Netflix parties. Maybe we should have a Relaxathon the first week for every new hire! After all the fun, Joe got right down to business and has been killing it ever since. A colleague shared his experience working with Joe, and I’d love to say I’m surprised but I’m not: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Joe these past several weeks. Joe strikes a perfect balance of craftsmanship and lean engineering. His code is clean and pragmatic. On several occasions, he’s overcome blockers (technical and functional) with creative thinking and collaboration. When he mentions a problem he always says, “and here’s how we can fix it.’” How freaking cool.
As the coordinator for Praxent’s onboarding process, I’m extremely lucky to meet and greet and learn all about our awesome new hires. While this year has definitely been full of turbulent challenges and changes, these wonderful new people have truly brightened our company culture and brought about positive changes for our team. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we are very grateful to have them at Praxent!