Jesse Hansen

Senior Software Developer

What brought you to OODA Health?

I had worked with Jason Towner (one of our Engineering Leads) previously. We were both invited to a dinner to learn about the business and the opportunity. After the dinner, Jason decided to come to OODA & I went a different way. We kept in touch, and I remained interested in the OODA business idea. About a year later, I was invited to another OODA recruiting dinner. I decided that night that it was time to move. It seemed less risky than it did early on. I was ready.

What is something you are proud to have accomplished during your time here?

We’ve added a lot of features that have added a lot of value. When I started, you could pay a healthcare bill one time with a credit card. Since then, we’ve added payment plans, payments via ACH, and tons of features for the operators to be able to help people. I can’t take credit for any one of those things on my own, but being part of a team that has added so much functionality in so little time has been great.

What is something people don’t understand about engineering?

One thing people don’t understand about being a Software Engineer is that it’s more of an art than a mathematics exercise. It’s about creating something that can last a long time. Software Engineers, at least the good ones, have a lot more in common with artists or woodworkers.

What is something you have learned about software engineering since you have been here at OODA?

I don't want to be the smartest person at a company. I want to learn from others. I have learned a lot at OODA from senior management. Seth (our Co-Founder & Co-CEO) has given me great pointers on how to be a good mentor. My job is no longer just about building a product as an individual contributor, it is more about building the factory to build the product. Seth said something like, 'If we make you a team leader, your job is not to only be a good IC, it’s to raise everyone on your team as individual contributors. As a leader, bring everyone up with you.'

How are you adjusting to working from home?

I didn’t think I’d like it, but I love it. The first couple of weeks during the pandemic, I hated working from home- but I created a working space so I could have a different environment just like I do at work. The commute is a lot better, and I get to have lunch with my family. My team has a couple of members that were always remote. There was kind of a disconnect between the two halves. Now that we’re all working from home, I think we work together better. When we get back to the office, it’s probably going to look a lot different for our team than before this started & we’ll be better for it.

What’s the best way for you to remain connected with people?

As a team, we play Codenames over Zoom every couple of weeks as part of our retrospective process so that not every minute we spend together is about work. I also have weekly 1:1’s with all of my team members, and that helps a lot.

What do you like to do outside of work?

For a while, we leased horses and got into horsemanship as a family. I also have two dogs, Beagles. One is 1 year old, and the other is three months old. I love spending time outside with them. Before COVID, I loved going to the movies. I built a movie theatre in my house with a big screen and a sound system. As a family, we love watching movies there.

I couldn’t help myself (see the photo below), I had to ask- Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars. I think Star Trek is good, but it feels like Star Wars has a little more mystery to it. Star Trek is very 'high sci-fi' where there are lots of explanations and jargon. Star Wars is very 'hand-wavy' and 'The Force'! I personally like that better.

What was your first computer?

My first memory of a computer was when I was 6 or 7. My dad brought home an IBM 286. He had me format a stack of 50 floppy disks. He showed me the commands to type in to format them, how to put them in/ take them out. That’s one of my first memories. The computer also had a Starfield game, a first-person view of flying through the stars, and avoiding obstacles.

What is your favorite all-time app?

Slack. Not for work, but for my extended family. We use it a lot to keep in touch. It’s like a private Facebook without all the negativity of Facebook.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into software engineering?

90% of being a successful software engineer is knowing how to learn outside of work. So the lifelong love of learning is super important. That doesn’t mean you have to buy a bunch of books. There are lots of great resources that are out there for free- keep learning, don’t ever stop.

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