The AdvicePay company culture is fueled by our team members. We pride ourselves in having a fun, innovative, and engaging team that loves showing up every day to get the "job" done.
For this month's team member spotlight, we talked to Isaac Noda, Lead Developer. Isaac comes from a family line of programmers, which may have had something to do with his dropping out of nursing school to attend a code boot camp. He’s been a self-proclaimed “button masher” ever since and does a lot of cranking through code for AdvicePay’s Development team.
Q: How did you hear about AdvicePay? What drew you to AP originally?
Isaac: I heard about AdvicePay through Joe Timmer (the Director of Engineering). He and I actually learned to code together at the same bootcamp and were roommates during the program (along with 4 other people actually, in a 1 bedroom - fun times!)
I trust Joe’s evaluation deeply, and he was really impressed by the leadership at AdvicePay. A lot of startups like to grab VC cash, immediately buy a ping-pong table, and overwork their employees under the guise of “teamwork”. AdvicePay really seemed to care about their team’s well-being and happiness.
I started as a part-time contractor, and every interaction I had with the team gave me this vibe: we’re all human and we’re here to do our best and make our customer’s lives genuinely better. It’s been just over a year now that I’ve been a full-time employee and I’m super grateful to be able to say this impression has held true!
Q: What have you gained from working at AdvicePay?
Isaac: Coming from a larger company, I was used to having a pretty narrow set of responsibilities. At AdvicePay, the door is open to dig into things as much as I want to (for example, I volunteered to cover our Support desk for a day - how cool is that?)
More responsibility and growth opportunities have really leveled me up (for example, this is my first job with managerial duties). I’ve definitely gained more knowledge and experience in looking after a codebase, thinking about our internal processes, and brainstorming on features and designs. In addition to professional experience, AdvicePay has leveled me up as a human being. The team is so encouraging and open to ideas that it’s honestly inspired a level of ambition in me that I didn’t have previously.
Q: What does a day in the life look like for you at AP?
Isaac: Before work starts, I typically let my cat outside and hang out with him for a little bit. It’s definitely nice to start the day by watching a cute fuzzy animal prancing around in the sunshine.
After that, I usually have meetings for an hour or two depending on the day. Most times, these meetings are check-ins or planning -- seeing if our development is going as planned, if there are any blocking issues or questions, how people are feeling, and what our next couple weeks to a quarter look like
After meetings, I have some time set aside to pair program with other team members if need be. Finally, I try to get feature work done for the rest of the day while keeping an eye out for any bugs or questions that come up.
Q: What is your proudest moment at AP?
Isaac: I really enjoyed being at last year’s XYPN Live conference. Coders typically don’t get a ton of interaction with actual users, so we are a few steps removed from the impact we might have. Being able to be present with my team, meet real users that use our software, and hear their encouragement and gratitude was quite a fulfilling experience!
Q: If you didn't work in development, what would you want to do?
Isaac: Start a ramen shop! A really small one, like 10 seats. Traditional Japanese interior, and we’d only serve two dishes: a classic Tonkotsu and a vegan ramen. You can see I’ve thought about this a lot :)
Q: What are seven words (or less) of advice for others in your profession?
Isaac: Stay curious and take care of yourself.
Q: Do you have a go-to sound or song that you listen to when you need to just start working?
Isaac: I typically listen to lo-fi instrumental beats while I’m coding. I had to Google it to figure out how to describe it and here’s what I got: "mashes up traditional hip-hop and jazz elements to create an atmospheric, instrumental soundscape”. In other words, coffee shop music that gets me in the zone!
Q: What is the first thing you do when you get off work?
Isaac: Right after work, I typically try to do something active. At that point, I’ve probably been sitting and staring at a screen a little too much. I might go climb at my bouldering gym or workout at home.
Stay tuned for more employee spotlights -- they will be featured on our blog and social media.
Posted by Shannon Beck
As part of the Marketing Team, Shannon uses her creative skills to help folks learn about AdvicePay and how to get the most out of it. Her experience in marketing for continuing education and tech companies means that she’s both a learner and a teacher through her work. When she’s not wrangling email or posting on social media for us, she enjoys kayaking with her dogs, Rook and Rizzo, or trying out new recipes with her husband. Born in Baltimore, she’s still an avid Raven’s fan, cheering from Montana.