“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s a saying we’ve all heard, but how many of us can actually say it’s applicable to our lives?
David Hunter, director of software engineering at Boom Supersonic, can.
For decades, Hunter was working as a software engineer, software architect and technical leader at a handful of startups. As a hobby, he followed his fascination with aviation, earned his pilot license and eventually managed a flight school.
About five years ago, Hunter decided it was time to combine his two main interests — software engineering and aviation — into a career. “I learned about Boom and started the interview process, and as soon as I realized there was a good match, the experience was nothing short of transformational,” Hunter said.
Hunter isn’t the only Colorado tech leader who turned his passions into a thriving career. We rounded up six more leaders, from Udemy to DAT Software & Analytics, Vertafore and more, to hear their stories. And if you’re looking to find a career you’re passionate about, you’re in luck — each company is actively hiring new talent.
What they do: Using next-generation sequencing technology, Invitae (Formerly ArcherDX) develops tests that detect the genetic variations associated with cancers and inherited disease.
Why Licon has stayed at Invitae (Formerly ArcherDX): “Our company mission is an easy one to get behind,” Licon said. “Our mission, ‘to make personalized medicine accessible to everyone who needs it,’ does two things. First, it motivates me when work gets tough or arduous, and second, it ensures we attract and retain people who are truly inspired by the mission. I think those two things give meaning to my work here and foster an environment where folks are more focused on the collective mission than any individual aspirations.”
Our mission gives meaning to my work and fosters an environment where we’re all focused a collective goal.”
What excites Licon about Invitae (Formerly ArcherDX)’s future: “I believe that the Personalized Cancer Monitoring application is an exciting step in the right direction for precision medicine,” Licon said. “The idea of being able to detect relapse in a simple blood sample is amazing to me. Having worked on the project for years, I can’t wait to see it come to the market and hopefully see it become widely adopted and ultimately used to save and extend the lives of recovering cancer patients.”
What they do: Vertafore provides software solutions for the insurance industry designed to boost productivity, lower costs and help agents and carriers grow their businesses.
Why Sale accepted a position at Vertafore: “Transparency and honesty are elusive traits when implementing and living a company culture, and they’re important to me,” Sale said. “I felt both during my interview process and follow-up. I asked real questions and got real answers. I got a clear vision of my role and a great idea of the opportunities for me to grow with Vertafore.
“The agile mindset is built on the value of every individual and engaging interactions — and insurance is no different — it’s all about relationships. Trust is a keystone to any good relationship and a necessity when striving for operational excellence, and I felt like I was going to work with individuals who knew they could count on each other.”
During my interview, I got a clear vision of my role and a great idea of the opportunities available for me to grow with Vertafore.”
What excites Sale about Vertafore’s future: “Improving the ability to deliver on shared value is a process that never ends,” Sale said. “I believe that Vertafore is constantly looking for new ways to improve the development process and maintain focus on the customer. I’m excited to work with teams and individuals to achieve high performance as the insurance technology industry embraces more technology and digital innovation.
“I’m big on culture and love looking at the behaviors necessary to achieve outstanding results, not only in my role as an agile coach but in the overall company. It’s not just how a culture looks, but how does it act and how does it feel? At Vertafore, we continue to embrace the principles that are important to us, while showing up curious by asking, ‘How can we do this better?’”
What they do: Udemy is an open course provider designed for professional development or personal enrichment and offers student’s over 150,000 courses in 65+ languages.
Why King accepted a position at Udemy: “As cliche as it sounds, I joined Udemy because I believe in its mission to improve lives through learning,” King said. “Today, over 40 million students around the globe turn to Udemy to learn skills they need to thrive and I can relate to this. I dropped out of high school shortly after the ninth grade to help support my single mother. Fortunately, I found my way into sales very early in my career but I heavily depended on employer-provided resources and education such as Udemy to not only upskill myself but to cover any gaps from not completing high school or a college degree. I would not be where I am today without the investment employers have made into me through their educational resources.”
I joined Udemy because I believe in its mission to improve lives through learning.”
What excites King about Udemy’s future: “The tremendous growth we’re experiencing is nothing short of amazing!” King said. “A key founding mission of Udemy has been to democratize learning for all and that couldn’t have held truer this year as the world turned to learning as a way to overcome uncertainty and adversity. For example, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched the Udemy Free Resource Center with hundreds of free courses with content in over 20 languages.
“But I have to say, I’m most excited by our internal conversations on how we will leverage our platform to serve communities that may not have the opportunity or means to a traditional college education. And to take it a step further, making sure our hiring efforts are cognizant of the many paths to success and are inclusive of all walks of life.”
What they do: Boom Supersonic is an aerospace company that designs and manufactures Overture, a line of commercial airplanes.
Why Hunter accepted a position at Boom Supersonic: “We have all heard the advice that you should seek out your dream job and ‘if you like what you do, you'll never work a day in your life,’” Hunter said. “For decades I believed I was doing just that, working as a software engineer, software architect and technical leader in many exciting startup companies.
“As a hobby, I followed my fascination with aviation, earning my pilot’s license and eventually managed a flight school for four years, just for fun. Around five years ago I decided I should explore job opportunities to combine my two main interests: software engineering and aviation. I thought the combination could make work incrementally more enjoyable.
“I learned about Boom, started the interview process, and as soon as I realized there was a good match, the experience was nothing short of transformational. I was amazed at how excited and motivated I was to start a job building software in the aviation industry and be part of a history-making team. I’ve come to realize this job has spoiled me as now I can’t imagine wanting to work on any other project. So, I strongly recommend that even if you like what you do, you should never stop following your interests and being open to considering new opportunities.”
I’ve come to realize this job has spoiled me as now I can’t imagine wanting to work on any other project.”
What excites Hunter about Boom Supersonic’s future: “I enjoy change and new challenges,” Hunter said. “I’m excited about my future with Boom not only because this amazing team is going to leave its mark on aviation history, but I clearly see multiple different opportunities laid out before me within this organization. I started working on Boom’s XB-1 program and now I am leading my team to help Boom engineers design the supersonic airliner, Overture. Next will come a new role supporting the team through the highly regulated airplane certification process. Then, we get to build a world-class manufacturing capability. Following that, we get to create information infrastructures to help airlines around the world operate thousands of Overtures, safely carrying passengers every day. I cannot imagine a boring day at work for the rest of my career.”
What they do: Matillion enables businesses to migrate and transform data into actionable insights to quickly solve business challenges.
Why Yesunas accepted a position at Matillion: “Sixteen months ago, I thought I was joining a special company in terms of the executive team, vision, product, culture and the market we operate in, but it has exceeded my expectations in every way,” Yesunas said. “I don't think I’ve ever been as ‘all in’ with an organization in my 10+ year tech-sales career and that excitement continues to grow every single day. The culture is palpable and fully top-down from our CEO Matthew; the product is constantly improving as showcased by our best in class retention in arguably the hottest sector in technology; the vision has never been more clear; and the executive team is comprised of some of the smartest, approachable, genuine, and experienced folks I’ve ever been lucky enough to work for. The fast-paced nature of an organization at this stage means every team member can make an impact in achieving our collective vision and the people I get to work alongside just make it easy to give it your absolute best day in and day out.”
The fast-paced nature of our organization means every team member can make an impact in achieving our vision.”
What excites Yesunas about Matillion’s future: “We continue to lead with our culture and values at the forefront as we constantly evolve and make improvements across all key areas of the business. I’m excited to grow the very important commercial sales function and deliver key revenue in order to help drive this business forward to the next level,” Yesunas said. “Besides just growth and revenue, I’m personally driven by always looking to improve our sales process, coaching up the next generation of future enterprise AEs and always focused on improving personally since, at Matillion, we strongly believe no person, process or product is ever finished.”
What they do: Using a number of proprietary software solutions, DAT Software & Analytics matches freight for shippers, brokers, and carriers, as well as provides deep data insights across the supply chain.
Why Dulberger has stayed at DAT: “For the last decade, I’ve been focused on building software products that harness data to generate durable economic value,” Dulberger said. “I joined DAT because it was a chance to do just that, but in an industry that's around all of us every day. The U.S. freight industry is $800 billion and it’s the backbone of how goods are transported across this country every single day. The industry is highly fragmented though, with millions of small businesses operating as shippers, brokers and carriers. Additionally, the market lacks transparency and is rife with inefficiencies that add cost and volatility up and down the supply chain.
“At DAT, I have the chance to help these millions of businesses, and in so doing, shape an industry that impacts every consumer in this country. That’s pretty cool in my book.”
We help these businesses repurpose wasted time and capacity to more productive uses elsewhere in their organizations.”
What excites Dulberger about DAT’s future: “I’m most excited about making the freight market more transparent, efficient and predictable wherein the millions of businesses in our industry can reduce manual processes and realize efficiencies, which will, in turn, optimize the larger supply chain. Our tools help these businesses repurpose wasted time and capacity to more productive uses elsewhere in their organizations.
“DAT is uniquely positioned to deliver on this mission with critical mass and an upward trajectory in all key areas — headcount, geography and product suite, including year-over-year revenue growth for the last five years. As part of this growth, my team’s focus is on developing analytics products that leverage the scale of our network to ensure that all businesses have access to actionable market and operational insights. The work is fascinating and transformative.”
What they do: Wix is a website-building platform designed to empower any business, community or individual to build their online presence.
Why Le Falchier accepted a position at Wix: “In just eight months, Wix has provided a fun and challenging environment that allows me to excel,” Le Falchier said. “As a customer care expert, I am empowered to create solutions for our users, which is invigorating to me. At the end of the day, I take great satisfaction in knowing I was able to make a difference in the lives and dreams of those I assist. The eclectic group of people I work with inspires me to push myself in my professional and personal growth. The culture within Wix allows for opportunities to develop my skill sets through projects delivered to my team. It is energizing to be part of a culture where hard work and ideas are recognized and appreciated!”
The eclectic group of people I work with inspires me to push myself in my professional and personal growth.”
What excites Le Falchier about Wix’s future: “The acceleration of growth within Wix Denver has been nothing short of amazing!” Le Falchier said. “The momentum from 2020 has only magnified as we move into the first quarter of 2021. With plans to invest in key customer care initiatives this year, I am ecstatic to be part of a culture that puts a high level of emphasis on the user experience. My role allows me to contribute to this vision through call monitoring new experts during the first interactions they have with our users. Reinforcing all aspects of customer care is an empowering experience. It provides our new experts with the tools and a ‘roadmap’ to find creative solutions that fit our users’ needs.”