This week I had the pleasure of chatting with Zach Pendleton, Development Director for Bridge. He is one of our more seasoned 'pandas' (pandas being Instructure's unofficial mascot, in case you were wondering). Having joined the company over 4 years ago, he has spent the better part of his time managing the Bridge engineering teams.
But that's not all we chatted about...
"Smart groups are my favorite Bridge feature."
It is evident that Zach appreciates and embraces the diversity and contributions of each individual on his team. His effort to personalize management and make his team member's contributions meaningful is also transparent when developing features in Bridge. Which is why it's no surprise that his favorite feature is 'smart groups'. "By bucketing my employees into smart groups, by role, I’m able to automatically assign relevant training to new employees," he says, when differentiating development from the very beginning.
"Came for school, stayed for the Mexican food."
There is more to him than meets the eye. Zach was raised in Utah. During his school years, he played lead guitar and performed back-up vocals in an oldies cover band. "We performed at school dances, corporate parties, community events, and the odd barbecue." After a short stint away, he returned to Utah for graduate school and has been here ever since (partly because of the Mexican food!) A self-proclaimed vinyl enthusiast and foodie, he shares his knowledge of pop music and fine cuisine with his two kids. Some Zadie Smith or George Saunders by day, new restaurants and concerts by night. That's Zach!
"In an alternate universe Justin Bieber is a software engineer."
It's clear Zach loves what he does as a profession. "I am always excited about learning more and improving as a software engineer, and as a manager," he shares. He says not a day goes by that he doesn't have the opportunity to learn or teach something. But if he had his way, Justin Bieber would have been a software engineer and he would be living the life of an international pop star. "But in this universe, it just didn't work out."
We are all so lucky to have such a passionate and energetic gentleman leading the engineering charge for Bridge!
Have any questions or feedback for Zach? Share them by posting your comments below!