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Employee Spotlight - Steve Hallman

Curious to know more about Breaktime Media and our amazing team of talented individuals? Well, now you can! This month, we’re shining our Employee Spotlight on Steve Hallman, our Director of Engineering.

June 13, 2024

Get to Know Steve Hallman

As our Director of Engineering, Steve manages the team that builds and evolves the technology platform that powers Breaktime's creative, engaging consumer experiences. He's a player/coach, contributing code directly to the platform and working with his team to ensure that everyone has what they need to deliver great work.

To learn more about Steve, read his interview below!

The one song I currently have on repeat is...

Wildfire by Watchhouse! One late night a while back, Spotify's algorithm decided that I should hear some music from this folk duo called Watchhouse. The algorithm was not wrong. Their music is so incredible. I'd never say "I like folk music,” but here we are. Their track Wildfire has been on repeat this week.

If I could live in any decade, it would be...

None. I love imagining simpler times as much as the next person, but I have to admit...I'm good right here! I actually love the childhood I had and the career I've navigated. If I were born 10 years earlier or 10 years later I'm not sure that the stars would have aligned for me like they have.

Something I've never tried but want to do is...

Watercolor painting, making English muffins from scratch, and surfing. They’re all very attainable. If only there were enough time to try them all!

My favorite part about working with the dev team is...

How they love building things, myself included. We're problem solvers who get to work on technical challenges on a modern software stack every single day. Outside of work, most of us have hobbies that also involve some form of learning, problem-solving, and sense of accomplishment. We all bring those similar-but-different approaches to work every day.

If I could describe the dev team in one word, it would be...

Hungry! This team loves a challenge! As an established platform, we have our fair share of maintenance work that the team is less hungry for, but when new features come along, everyone's eyes light up! We've got a few big platform updates on the roadmap that we're all really excited to work on.

A dev-related resource I think most people should know about are...

The developer tools on your web browser. I don't expect people to necessarily use this regularly, but everyone should know that the web browser they use every day comes packaged with developer tools that allow them to see all the moving parts that their browser uses to display a website. The source code for the building blocks of the web -- HTML, Javascript, CSS -- is all right there. You can also see the network requests that the browser makes when you visit a website.

Opening up devtools can feel like "seeing the matrix.” It's inspired countless people to learn more about the web, and in some cases, make a career change to become a web developer!

It's also important to note that what you see in devtools is the literal foundation of the web. Everything is based on open standards and open protocols. These open standards are available to everyone, no strings attached. Devtools sort of illustrates why open source technologies are so compelling. If you're facing a bug with open source software, you can dig into the source code to see and understand what's happening -- you might even fix the issue and share your code update with the world! Contrast that open-ness with "walled garden" platforms and proprietary software and you can start to understand why those less-open technologies are so unsatisfying to work with.

I love Breaktime Media because...

We get to build a fun product that reaches millions of consumers. Working with a motivated, passionate team makes it even more rewarding!

Want to learn more about the rest of the team at Breaktime Media? Read more employee spotlights here!