Greetings, My name is Brad Decker, and I am a fullstack software engineer and experienced technical leader. I have experience implementing system architecture, user experiences, intuitive user features and leading teams of engineers in building products that scale. My goal is to find a new role where I can make an impact on the world.
I have been working in the real estate industry for the last seven years. The mission throughout that journey has changed, but the underlying principle was to empower consumers to buy and sell real estate like never before. As a homeowner I know too well what it was like to be bounced between different companies and services. I had to maintain contact with a title services company, mortgage company, the brokerage, my agent and a few others along the way. I had to send sensitive documents through email, including my social security number. It was no surprise to me that in 2018 Americans lost nearly $150 million dollars to real estate scams and wire fraud. I had hoped to provide a seamless experience via a home buying and selling portal, but big change requires a massive investment of time, energy and money.
In my next role I am looking for an environment that focuses on understanding the problem they are attempting to solve. As the lean methodology preaches, love your problem; not your solution. I hope to find a role that can make a broader impact on the role, either by creating software that empowers other engineers to more effectively help their customers, or by tackling challenges that we face as a civilization as we approach our next technical revolution.
In my role as Director of Software Engineering at HomeServices of America, I never stopped being an individual contributor. Being hands on with the code is important to me. I firmly believe that it makes me a better leader when I can speak from an informed perspective about the technical challenges my team faces. It also is imperative in order to provide good solid feedback, mentorship and guidance to the engineers that I work with. I have received positive feedback from my teammates when I leave them constructive, informed and sometimes "good" guidance on their pull requests. I can only do that if I understand the codebase. Furthermore, writing code is why I am in this career path, and I cannot leave that behind.
Led the company in a mission to build a national real estate portal SaaS platform, and consolidate the myriad of technology stacks of the brokerages under the HomeServices umbrella.
Led the company towards adopting a custom technology platform, including designing and implementing core architecture and user facing features.
Led the development team, providing feedback and guidance as well as implementing new integrations and technology to allow the company to take on new clients.
Operated as the principle backend developer and web developer. Responsible for implementing designs from photoshop files and setting up backend support.
Operated as web designer and developer for this computer repair and custom build shop in Fairview Heights, Illinois.
After launching our first customer on our platform we had to focus on how we scaled the product to more than one customer. We had always built with that intent in mind, but it wasn't until we gave it every ounce of focus did we cross the chasm between one and two customers. During this time I implemented the core of our multi-tenant configuration system that allowed us to go from one site to seven in just under a week.
One of my proudest moments as a leader was leading the team towards a fully collaborative style of decision making. I faced personal challenges along the way as I changed my leadership tact, and started focusing on driving ownership and alignment above even my own ideas and solutions. The result has been phenomenal, solutions are not only better but everyone understands the why behind them.
There is nothing quite like launching your product for the first time. Our goal with the platform was to reach feature parity with a brokerage so that we could replace their technology, this did not give us a lot of room to budge on scope. As a result we were running behind schedule and our small team was frantically fixing bugs and polishing features. Getting everyone moving in the same direction, and inspiring my team by being right there with them, squashing bugs, was exhilarating and deeply rewarding.
One of the bugs that was holding up our first product launch was a pretty massive memory leak. All of the engineering teams were occupied fixing other bugs or resolving the last acceptance criteria for features needed for launch, so I took on the memory leak. My journey led me all the way down into the React internals and I worked with the React and Next.js teams to identify the source of the memory leak. A new version of Next.js and React were released that patched the issue and we were able to launch without a hitch.
Brad has been my most valuable mentor over the past four years and I would highly recommend him for both leadership and deeply technical roles.
I've been in web development for 25 years, as a Senior Software Engineer for 22 of them, since the dotcom era, and I've been under a lot of managers -- and Brad is definitely in the top tier. Knowledgeable, patient, respectful and encouraging, eloquent, and wicked smart.
Brad and I became acquainted while I was a Technical Mentor (Hacker in Residence) at Hack Reactor (now Galvanized). He delivered an introduction to GraphQL to a room full of eager students and faculty. His reputation as an established contributor to and evangelist of Open Source JS preceded him. After the talk Brad was kind enough to exchange contact information with me and we continued a conversation about GraphQL and other open source JS tech of interest to us both. A couple months later Brad and I were working together at Concierge Auctions.