Venn at Work: Mike Terrano, Developer
As a Developer at Venn, Mike’s day is full of variety: building integrations, solutioning for clients, and collaborating on team projects.
How do you start your day?
After dropping off my son at school, I head into work. Once I get to the office, I grab a coffee and a Rice Krispies Treat (breakfast of champions) and then sit down at my desk to go through my schedule for the day. Typically, I have a few meetings throughout the day, so I spend my morning planning what tasks I can make progress on in between those meetings.
What is the primary responsibility of a Developer at Venn?
A typical day for me includes building out workflows and integrations. Right now I’ve been working on a Slack to Salesforce integration. When I’m not deep into the developer work, I’m meeting with a few of our clients who have service requests. Those calls usually come with a lot of questions, so it’s my responsibility to coordinate with the team and provide a solution for them.
I use a variety of tools in my role. We use ClickUp to help everyone stay organized and keep track of all of our tasks. Slack is the team’s go-to communication app. We use it to collaborate with internal and remote team members. Two of our developers are remote, so we use Tuple so we can take control of each other’s screens. It’s kind of like Zoom, but having that ability to control the screen makes collaborating on projects easier.
What experience did you have prior to joining Venn?
I was actually not always a developer. This is a career change for me. I worked many years in banking and insurance. I’ve always noticed how the tech industry is always accelerating and changing every day, so I decided I wanted to be in on the action too.
My journey to becoming a developer started with a coding boot camp. Prior to that, I never considered myself to be a huge tech guy, but I enjoy learning new things and wanted to challenge myself to try something new. Over the course of a year, I obtained a bunch of certifications in AWS, Docker, Kubernetes, and all kinds of different technologies.
Before landing my role at Venn, I had applied to a thousand different jobs. When I found Venn, I was intrigued by the company’s marketing and how they featured the team on the website and across social media. It just looked like a fun place to work.
“What stood out the most during the interview process was hearing that Venn is very transparent with its clients and does not take on projects if the team doesn’t have the resources to deliver. My grandfather and dad were business owners, so I took a lot of interest in Venn after hearing how they approach work in an ethical way.”
What do you like about your role?
One thing that worried me about being a developer was the idea of me sitting in a dark room by myself coding all day. I’m more of a social person, and fortunately I’ve gotten the opportunity to socialize pretty frequently while working at Venn. We take plenty of time to have fun and interact with each other as a team—like on Fridays we have this thing called “Roll Call” where some members of the team get together for a game of Mario Kart or Jackbox.
What's your favorite thing about working at Venn?
I love how every day is different and my responsibilities vary. A lot of developer roles out there require you to work on a single thing, and I imagine that would become stale at a certain point.
“I appreciate how open leadership is at Venn. My manager is very open to feedback and new ideas from the team, and it makes me feel important to the team.”
How do you explain what you do to family and friends?
Surprisingly, it’s easy to explain what I do to others. I just say I build integrations between systems to help other businesses focus more on what they’re best at. My work helps others take tedious tasks out of their day-to-day—and my family fully understands what that means with their experience working in insurance. When I worked in insurance myself, things were not automated. So, my role now focuses on introducing business automation to people who can greatly benefit from it.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
Outside of work, I love spending time with my family. I’m one of the coaches for my kids’ soccer team. I enjoy helping others learn and grow, so I always look forward to teaching the kids at their practices. Cooking is also something that is very therapeutic for me. I love exploring new recipes and trying to make things from scratch with fresh ingredients. I’m also into sports. I keep up with baseball a lot—my favorite team is the Dodgers—and sometimes I enjoy playing golf.
Outside of work, Mike enjoys baseball games, coaching his kids' soccer games, golfing, and cooking new recipes.
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