Hi! My name is Dane Anderson. I’m a senior back-end engineer here at Wonolo Workforce Solutions, located in Toronto, Canada. You’re probably wondering what is a senior back-engineer? Well, it’s hard to describe because we work on everything that a user doesn’t get to see. Things like when you input information into an app. We take that information and we store it in a database. We make sure that your information is secure, so no one can steal it. We also make sure that the actions that you make on the app are as best as possible, in terms of performance.
What events in your life have brought you to your current role today?
Thinking back, I think the biggest event in my life that got me headed down this computer path that I’m currently on was when I was three or four years old. My parents bought me an NES, the Nintendo Entertainment System, which is the original cartridge-based Nintendo. That got me hooked on technology as well as video games. I always had a computer in the household growing up. My parents saved up whatever money they had because they knew computers would be an important part of people’s lives. They always made sure we had some sort of computer. It was never anything fancy, but at least I was able to mess around on the computer. I would try to figure it out and take it apart, which they didn’t really like, and put it back together. Growing up, I also had a friend whose dad was a hobbyist programmer, and I would go over to their house and his dad would show us how to program in a language you probably never heard of called QBasic. I think it’s made by Microsoft. We would make games in that, such as number guessing and trivia. It was nothing fancy, just text-based. In high school, I always knew I loved programming and I loved computers, so I took as many programming courses that my high school had available to me. I went to University and took software engineering. Right out of University, I was working at the Toronto Stock Exchange, went to IBM as a consultant, consulted on my own, and then I worked as a software engineer at a startup company. Now I’m here at Wonolo and I absolutely love it!
When you have to make a difficult decision, what do you lean on?
When I have to make a difficult decision, I lean on my instincts. What I mean by that is I try and make use of that gut feeling that you get whenever you are confronted with a difficult problem or challenge.
Here’s an example from my experience. When I would take a multiple-choice test back in University, if I was second-guessing myself, I found that over time I would generally get the question wrong. I’ve just learned that my first gut instinct is usually the best way to go.
What is one life advice you can give to anyone?
One life advice I would give to anyone is if you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. What I mean by that is surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, and you will always learn. That’s one of the reasons why I actually love working at Wonolo. I’m definitely not the smartest person in the room, and every day it gives me the opportunity to learn from all my peers because they’re all so smart.
Please finish this sentence: If you really knew me, you would know that ______.
If you really knew me, you would know that I have a soft spot for animals, especially dogs. I enjoy video games and I absolutely love to cook.