December Employee Highlight

Tommy Siedlaczek

Role: Principal Software Engineering Manager
Joined: November 9th, 2020
Home: Vancouver, BC, Canada

What were you doing before joining Datajoy?

Before Datajoy I spent almost a decade at Microsoft, initially as an engineer and then becoming a manager, leading teams to deliver new services and productivity tools for customers. I spent the majority of my time there working on Office Online, the web apps, which was a lot of fun with great people.

What attracted you to Datajoy?

The people, the opportunity to build a new business, and the chance to learn a lot while doing so. I believe entrepreneurship is critical to growing the pie for all, and that the world is not zero sum. It takes initiative and risk taking to create new value — and the proposition of joining Datajoy, a startup with amazing talent that was also well-funded, posed a great next step for me in my journey.

What does your typical day-to-day look like?

A strange coincidence of Datajoy is how many people on the team are new parents, and I’m part of that. So I generally start my mornings waking up early with our 6-month-old daughter before my wife takes over for the day. I look forward to it, it’s such a benefit of working from home that I spend quality time with her instead of commuting.

For most of the past year I was on the maker schedule of uninterrupted focused time as we built our product. Mornings would start with a daily sync followed by a ‘parking lot’ of optional deep dives topics to create clarity on immediate work, before transitioning back to focused time. The bonus of an experienced team forming the culture of the company is we’ve all had the chance to experience ways of working that we like and don’t — and we’re all pretty aligned on what that looks like! 

What makes Datajoy special compared to other companies you worked at?

The talent across the full breadth of the company is pretty surreal. From the earliest days, I have been blown away by the quality of each member of the team and how much order they create from the chaos that could otherwise be. Coming from a big company I was expecting to feel a lot of rough edges from working not just in a small company, but in a brand new one. But it’s been so well organized right from my earliest days. This is a company on a clear mission to grow and deliver huge value to customers, and each individual plays a valuable role in their area.

Favorite thing to do outside of work?

Being active while spending time with family and friends is my jam! Lately it’s been hockey and golf, but my regulars also include tennis, snowboarding, volleyball, and cycling. I’ve lived away from my friends and family due to my career in the past, and it was a conscious decision to move back and it’s something I don’t take for granted. Life’s just more enjoyable when spent with the people you love!

What is your superpower?

I’d say understanding and empathy. It’d be awesome if it were flying, or teleporting, but I’ve always had a strong desire to understand both things and people, and over some period of time that’s turned into a strength. I love thought experiments, and running them to understand how systems or sets of people would work. I enjoy integrating new ideas, simplifying the complex, and thinking laterally across contexts. People are a source of marvellous complexity, and also a source for everything that gets done in this world!