Danny Thomson

Latest

People + culture

Stytch Team

September 1, 2021

Today we continue our celebration of our Stytch-iversaries with two of the engineers who helped round out our first Stytch team, Danny and Mary. We’re excited to celebrate this milestone with them and share more about their journey at Stytch! Danny joined us as our first platform engineer, learn more about his experience here.

What do you love most about working at Stytch? 

I’m constantly learning how to build and run an API-first company from an engineering and business perspective. 

What does a typical day at Stytch look like for you?

As a platform engineer, my day to day tends to vary since I get various platform requests through the week. I aim to have a couple hours of deep focus time where I can solve my current task, and then fill the rest of my days helping troubleshoot any platform issues that pop up, reviewing PRs, and chatting with my teammates over a Zoom. I usually start working around 8:30 to 9:30 and wrap up sometime between 5 to 6.

What’s been the most surprising thing about Stytch?

This is obvious in hindsight, but I didn’t realize how many different decisions go into building a product and a company. When I worked at larger companies, a lot of those decisions were abstracted away from me, and allowed me to focus on a narrow problem. Meanwhile, Stytch has me more touching problems across the entire company. This has made me appreciate the amount of work it takes to start a company.

Stytch has gone from 0-1 in the last year, what have been some of your biggest learnings about joining an early stage company?

I’m constantly shocked by how fast this past year has flown by, and I’ve realized that startups make it easy to lose track of time since there’s always more work to do. A good piece of advice I got was to occasionally slow down for a minute and appreciate all the hard work everyone has done and enjoy the exciting time of building a company from scratch.

From a more technical perspective, I’ve learned to lean into making quick decisions for easy-to-change problems and take more time for more permanent decisions. As an example, changing a variable name in the file is a quick PR and not worth discussing, Meanwhile changing a database is usually a months-long trip project and requires significant planning.

Which Stytch value resonates most with you and why?

I resonate with Stytch’s Think Exceptionally value. I love throwing out novel (and sometimes unfeasible) approaches to a problem and then working with my teammates to find a way to make them possible.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on at Stytch?

My most interesting project is researching and building out Stytch’s OAuth product. I’ve enjoyed exploring the problem space more and incorporating those learnings into building a richer user experience

How did you end up becoming a software engineer?

Going into college, I knew that I wanted to do some kind of engineering, and I decided to take the intro CS course in the spring quarter of my freshman year. I immediately knew that CS was the right major for me, and I built an Android app the summer after the class. After graduation, it was an easy transition to become a software engineer.

When’s the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?

I went rollerblading for the first time as an adult and I had a blast! I’m now getting rollerblades so I can skate along the Embarcadero.

What song, hobby, or recipe got you through COVID?

I love repeating cooking recipes and trying to improve the dish each time I make it. I made the same apple strudel recipe five times until I ran out of flour during the flour shortage last year.

What’s your ideal weekend?

A mix of hanging out with friends at a park in SF, getting some delicious food at a new restaurant, and ending the weekend with a good movie.

What’s something you’re passionate about that’s not on your resume?

Food! I love buying, eating, and cooking new foods that I haven’t tried before.

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