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Meet Our People: Max Brundige

Max Brundige is a Developer on KSMC’s Business Application team. This 2019 Tech 25 Award Winner takes the phrase “life-long learner” to a whole new level with his drive to dig deeper on any topic he comes across, which has helped him transition from his Accounting degree to a career as a technical development expert.

What’s a typical day for a developer look like?

My day typically consists of taking on a requirement or an opportunity that a client has to develop a piece of software. I work with a team of three to five different developers to solve that challenge through writing code.

What have you learned from your role as a developer?

I’m learning a lot more technical things, so, how do you properly store data, retrieve that data, and supply it to the application. Prior to working in development, I really didn’t understand much of how the Internet worked. I would just open up Chrome and go to a website. Now, I get to work with people who have built so many things that you experience on the Internet.

The view of the front end of a website is really the endpoint of what you’re actually working with. There are so many different components – Analytical component leveraging scientific algorithms that work with that data, something supplying it, so many complexities around permissions and security. You’re just looking at the tip of the iceberg when you go to an application. Our team is actually getting to understand – and create – what’s beneath the water. That’s what the team that I work with is working to solve.

What’s your favorite app?

My favorite app has been consistently Spotify for the past five years or so. It simply has the best user experience for an application. My first ever gift that I received from my grandma was an iPod. I went straight home and downloaded my first song, and I remember paying per song or buying the CD. It required money and time. With Spotify, it’s at my fingertips, any music I want… create a playlist and share it. I haven’t surpassed 10 followers on a single playlist, but I still love the app. Plus, being able to stream whatever music I want has broadened my taste in music. I’ve gotten more into smaller, indie artists. I was just recommended “Of Montreal”, a baroque, psychedelic indie rock band. They’re pretty good.

How did you get into technology?

I studied Accounting in college. When I graduated, I was more interested in working with a smaller organization that was looking to come in, make an impact, and do meaningful work. The type of company didn’t matter; I simply wanted to be a part of a greater collection of individuals going out there and doing meaningful things. It just happened that I joined an organization doing those things with technology.

What I’ve learned is that it’s not necessarily about the domain of knowledge – Accounting, Finance, History, English…  – you can get into technology and make and impact and infuse what you’ve learned from those other domains of knowledge.

With Accounting, I learned discipline. An audit or taxes aren’t done in a single day. They take weeks or months. It’s a time series in which you have to do something repeatedly throughout that time. Technology is the same thing, right? We build systemic things,  things that change and transform organizations. This takes discipline and time. At KSMC, we really dive in and understand what’s going on within the organization to help build transformational things. Accounting was a good training ground for that.

How did you go from an Accounting major to a Developer?

I got into development because I got to work with a lot of great people that inspired me to use technology to solve certain opportunities that our clients have. I started in a role where I was more focused on working to understand the business and requirements. I slowly felt a gravitational force pull me toward actually building and working with technology, to be more hands-on-keyboard, to help develop that piece of software or item that the client needs.

What are you excited about right now?

I’m excited about KSMC’s sheer growth in size. It presents so many opportunities including how many different minds we’re bringing into the organization. It’s so much fun to meet new people and work to understand their different perspectives. Everyone in our company is a database full of information and knowledge, getting to interact with all of our new people and gain from their knowledge is excellent. 

What is your favorite KSMC value?

My favorite KSMC value is Empathy, and it’s been consistently that for the past few years. It really goes into the way we approach our projects at KSMC. We’re always thinking about what is best for our clients, our teammates, and even our communities. It’s something that is required on every single project that we do. It doesn’t matter if you are client-facing or if you’re in front of a computer all day.

What other technology do you love?

Other pieces of technology that I couldn’t live without – Netflix. What should I watch? Netflix tells me what I want to watch. I watch a lot of documentaries. Recently, “Rotten” has been a great series that dives deeply into something that we don’t really understand. Outside of that “Decoding Bill Gates” was excellent about how Microsoft came to be and how Bill thinks. The sheer amount that he reads is eye-opening. It made me read a bit more.

Tell us more about these feral hogs. (Watch the video.)

Okay, so, this feral hog problem started back when the settlers brought them over from a different country. They’re basically these big animals that don’t have any predators and Texas is dealing with these things in huge dramatic fashion. The Reply All podcast uncovered this problem through a tweet and they just dove deep into it and did a full story on it. I highly recommend you listen to it.