Fahad, why did you join Broadway?
Daft Punk’s single, "Get Lucky," can be interpreted as a motto for most computer science students: we’re up all night to get lucky. We put in long hours, but we get great jobs afterwards. There’s no other industry with such a high demand for recent graduates. With this in mind during my job search, I wanted to avoid getting swept away by fancy wining and dining (and in the case of Broadway, go-carting and paintballing). As fun as all that is (one of my first interactions with our CEO was shooting him with a paintball), I wanted to figure out a recipe for a company where I could excel and be happy for a long time.
I care about the current state of the company, where it’s going, who I’ll be working with, and how I’ll be able to contribute. I wanted a small company (less than 100 people) growing quickly (planning to become a big company in 5 years); this stage lends itself to leadership roles. I wanted a role that extends beyond programming: the chance to play a part in the conversations that shape the technical problems we’ll later solve. I wanted a company I was convinced could have something huge to offer, even if not immediately. And finally, I wanted a fun group of people. People I’d look forward to seeing every day.
What have you done at Broadway?
A lot! With five other new hires, I built TocExplorer: the primary visual interface for interacting with the TOC. The TOC is the core platform underlying all our products, so every single Broadway employee and customer uses TocExplorer every day.
After that, I worked independently on a series of projects. My last two have ranged from building a low-level device monitoring service using SNMP (a networking protocol) to designing an automated PDF report builder that makes graphs and tables with data from the TOC. Now, I’m working with a customer to integrate and deploy our suite of trading and e-commerce systems.
How is Broadway different?
I love that we have offices in New York and Austin. Even if I’m based in New York, interacting with and occasionally visiting the Austin office adds such an unusual and awesome dynamic.
Our executive team is transparent about all aspects of the company. They give regular talks updating us on potential deals, topics discussed in board meetings, and the set of technical projects queued up for the year. Obviously, this is all useful information for us to know. But, given that our company is in the growing-really-fast-and-getting-new-business stage, it also gives you rare insight into how a company works and how it evolves as it grows.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have a real product. My earlier recipe for a company could match lots of small software companies, but the TOC and the applications we’ve built on top of it distinguish Broadway. Josh and Tyler grew this company slowly and carefully over the last ten years. I had no idea this kind of company existed—I was brainwashed by only hearing about young investment-fueled Silicon Valley startups. The TOC and all the products we’ve built using it set the stage for a rapid but controlled expansion with new customers and into new spaces. What we offer isn’t some fun app that’ll easily get people excited, but a platform for building systems that can be applied generally to all kinds of problems.