In the Spotlight: What a New Start Says About Working at Lakeside

By naming his tunnel construction business The Boring Company, Elon Musk used double entendre to cop to something few CEOs would want to admit: that many lines of business are, well, boring. At least on the surface *ba dum tss*.

“Enterprise IT software” doesn’t sound much more exciting than digging holes. And it’s not something most developers envision themselves working on. But as I look around the Lakeside Software R&D office, I see a lot of young, engaged faces, whiteboards filled with code, and collaboration across generational divides.

Instead of giving you a whole spiel on why it’s great to work at Lakeside, I decided to hold my microphone up to the horse’s mouth. That is, host one of our software engineers on our podcast.

Avery Dews is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan and current backend developer at Lakeside. His interests include Mac OS, pottery, and film. He joined us this week on Lifeguard IT to talk about what university classes proved most useful for his job role, what drove him to apply to Lakeside, and what his experience has been like at the company so far.

Below is a lightly edited transcript of a portion of the episode. To hear the full thing, listen on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher, Overcast, or PodBean.

Questions about the episode and suggestions for future topics can be directed to [email protected].

Heather: How did you find Lakeside and what made you want to apply?

Avery: I was perusing the career center site the engineering college graciously lets graduates access up to a year after they graduate, and I found Lakeside. I liked that it was primarily stuff that I had experienced in the operating systems course (a lot of backend, C++ stuff) because at Michigan, you primarily learn C++ in your engineering courses. So, it seemed like it was a good match for my skillset.

Heather: Was there anything else from your job search experience that you feel like would be helpful for people looking?

Avery: I remember being a student and feeling like I was supposed to go to one of the big-name tech companies out in San Francisco. I don’t know how much the university pushed it, but that’s definitely the message that I received.

I would say for anyone looking for a job, there’s so many opportunities out there besides the bigger names that might be better for you. So, keep an open mind. You never know where you might fit in the best.

Heather: How would you describe the Ann Arbor office culture?

Avery: The Ann Arbor office is very laidback. I can go talk to my supervisors at any time. Sometimes the CEO will come in and he’ll talk to you. Everyone’s very approachable here. People are nice; there’s a lot of company bonding stuff at work and after work. It’s a team-oriented atmosphere, but at the same time there’s always space to do your individual work and get it done.

Heather: What have you learned over your first year as a full-time software developer?

Avery: I have learned how to estimate how long something’s going to take to do. I’ve learned how to be more effective with my research around stuff that I need to figure out how to do. And I’ve also learned—and this is probably the most important thing—I’ve learned how to be confident in my code. Like we mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, I’m the Mac person. So, it’s my project. And I’ve learned to trust my knowledge and my ability to produce code that will work. That confidence is something that you can’t underestimate, and I feel like it’s something that I very much got from being at a company this size.

Are you or someone you know looking to join a growing company with a mission to create software that improves people’s experiences with technology at work? Explore your next opportunity at https://www.lakesidesoftware.com/careers.


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