Meet the Bears Interview: Brandon DuRette

Brandon DuRette, our Senior Software Developer, leads the Code Collaborator development team. Always there to offer an insightful perspective, Brandon can help with almost any problem, technical or not.p He's one of those guys everyone should know, so I thought I'd interview him as our current featured Bear!

Describe a typical day for you at the office.

Mostly I spend my days writing code, but I also do code reviews and answer questions from other developers and help out with tech support on some issues.


Where were you and what did you do before Smart Bear?

I've worked at a variety of startups and smaller companies in Austin. Immediately before Smart Bear, I was working on scientific computing applications and libraries at Enthought.


How did you come to Smart Bear?

Jason and I had worked together at Sheer Genius Software. Before I took the job at Enthought, Jason tried to recruit me to work for him/Smart Bear -- at the time Jason was the entirety of Smart Bear. At the time, I declined (mostly because my initial role was going to be sales; which I had no experience at and knew nothing about), but we kept in touch. A year later, Jason made a second offer this time to lead the development of a new product, Code Collaborator. I saw an opportunity where I could really contribute some of my expertise and also have a chance to grow in other areas (sales, marketing, etc.), so I accepted.


What is your favorite thing about Smart Bear?

As cliché as it is, the people. The team that we have is both technically talented and fun to be around. I'll even expand the people to include our customers. I used to do a lot more technical support than I do now, but interacting directly with the customers has always been great.


Any interesting stories during your time at Smart Bear?

One time we were out in the Bay Area for a week visiting various customers just to touch base, see how things were going, and get some direct feedback from them -- the kind they might not bother to call or write about, but when you're in front of them, they're happy to share. Anyway, we're in the van on the 101 heading north from Mountain View to San Francisco when I got a call on my cell from Eric, who was manning the home office. One of our customers, whose office just happened to be in downtown San Francisco, was having an issue and had called and asked for me directly. I got her number from Eric and gave her a call. Having nothing else on the day's agenda, we dropped into their office and got the issue resolved. No extra charge for onsite tech support -- you just have to catch us in the neighborhood.


What are some of your favorite websites?

I have an RSS reader full of blogs of all kinds -- some technical, some not. Some that come to mind: Schneier on Security; java.net; The Mindful Eye; Hacker News; The Java Posse; Card Player; and Android Guys.


What are your favorite activities? Hobbies?

Apart from coding? Photography, poker, gardening, cycling, and hangin' with my family.


Favorite music bands?

I'm not a huge music buff, but if I had to pick a couple of favorites, Jimmy Buffett and Junior Brown.


Favorite spots in Austin?

Fonda San Miguel, North by Northwest, and Z'Tejas top my list of restaurants. My deck and Lake Austin are good places to hang out with friends. I used to enjoy hanging out on Sixth Street or the Warehouse District, but that no longer appeals to me.


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