I'll just let myself in

Editor's Note: We’ve got a busy week planned on the Wildbit blog. Over the last month we’ve added three extraordinary members to the Wildbit team. Each one of them wrote an incredible post to introduce themselves on Basecamp, and we thought you’d like to get to know a little about each of them too.

So far this week you’ve met Slava and Ben, today please welcome Andrew Theken to Wildbit. He’s a developer who started consulting on Postmark libraries in 2014 and joined the Wildbit team full time this month.

Andrew Theken

Hi, I’m Andrew, but you might better know me as, “That guy who’s been working on Postmark libraries.” Wildbit doesn’t typically hire consultants, but last year Chris, JP, and Nick decided to take a leap of faith and asked me to work on the Postmark client libraries. I have been trying to do my best since then. Although I’ve been milling around the Wildbit office and in HipChat for several months, now is a good time for me to introduce myself.

Let’s start with hobbies: Board games, books, music, hiking, camping, cooking, and bicycling are some of my interests. I’m happy to discuss any in detail, but “Innovation” is my favorite game, and Paul Simon is pretty much my all-time favorite artist. I do some volunteer work, but I don’t like to talk about it much. Here’s a fun fact: A long time ago, I cut every board that went into a Habitat for Humanity house.

My wife (Kate) and I married in 2007. We’ve lived in North Carolina, Ohio, and now Philadelphia. My wife is a post-doc researcher. Obviously, the smartest thing she ever did was agree to marry me…or, was that the other way around?

I’m a proud graduate of THE Ohio State University, though my degree is in Geographic Information Science — which is just a fancy way of studying Geography (not just Cartography) using computers. I took a bunch of Computer Science and Math classes, but they didn’t amount to a minor.

I’ve been writing software for about 15 years, and did BBSes and web pages before that, back when the HoTMeteL editor was cool. I’ve been glued to a computer monitor for a long time.

Over the years, I’ve worked on a bunch of Open Source projects, and there’s something really satisfying about building things that people find useful.

Last year, I left a secure job at a large company. I value continuous delivery and incremental feedback as key components of building awesome software. However, when working in a large organization, sometimes "enterprise-y" processes are often adopted that conflict with faster, trust-based, approaches. The decision to leave a comfortable job with guaranteed income, was scary. My plan was to work on some projects I’d been putting off, and then to do some consulting work. Things went awesomely well. There are a lot of perks to working for yourself (and some downsides), and I learned a ton about what kind of person I am.

Since I decided I wanted to work on software, my goal has been to build things that make people’s lives better, even in small ways.

And that’s why I’m here.

I’ve shared this with the Wildbit team, but it’s really important: I could keep working mostly on my own, but there’s a limit to how much can be accomplished by a single person. I found that if I wanted to elevate what I was working on, I’d need to be part of a larger team. It’s really hard to build a team as talented as Wildbit’s. Why build a team when you have a chance to join one that already has incredible talent and a fantastic culture? This is why I am excited to be joining Wildbit.

I’m glad to be here, and I’m looking forward to building some awesome things that make people’s lives better.


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