Our Engineering team develops the features and technology that are at the core of our system. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Cavanaugh-Broad, one of our Senior Software Engineers. In his nearly six years at ShowClix, not only has Aaron as completely revamped our reporting capabilities by developing our revolutionary Report Builder, he’s played a large role in the creation of many of our other tools organizers use to service their events.
Aaron graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Computer Science in 2011. In the summer going into his senior year, he worked as a Data Center Intern at Cray Inc., a supercomputer manufacturer, where he created internal tools to generate virtual supercomputers for development testing. After graduation, he worked in a series of developer and engineering roles, gaining valuable experience and honing his skills. Eventually he joined the ShowClix team, and he found that he had a real passion for the live events industry, as he loved developing new tools and features and seeing their positive impact on our partners’ events.
Today, Aaron works with the rest of the engineering team to coordinate and plan out new projects to ensure we’re continually evolving our system to the needs of our partners and the industry. When not in the office, Aaron can be found hanging out with his friends, looking for new video and board games to get into.
Walk us through a typical work week for a Senior Software Engineer.
I spend most of my time in any given week just working on whatever project is current! I do spend some time planning out the next projects for my team with our project manager, but mostly I’m just working on new features and updating our current technology. When we bring on a new hire to our team, I also spend a lot of time introducing them to our system and getting them up to speed on current processes.
You have been a key member of the ShowClix team for nearly six years now, and have been a part of our growth firsthand. What have been some of your favorite developments to the ShowClix system over the past several years?
My favorite addition to the system has to be the Report Builder, which allows our partners to create customized reports tailored to their specific needs. I worked on it for about 2.5 years, so I was excited to see this huge undertaking come to a successful end, and I was also excited to start on a whole new challenge! Plus, it turned out pretty well; it’s a really complex system that works really smoothly.
What do you find to be some of the most rewarding parts of software development of event technology?
I love working on software that people outside of our internal team members actually use. I’ve especially enjoyed working on parts of our checkout process; it’s really fun when my family or friends tell me they bought tickets to something on ShowClix. I’m like, “Hey, I built that feature. Cool!”
Engineering has the reputation of being one of the most challenging majors you can undertake as a college student. What advice do you have for those looking to move into this field?
Only get into it if you really really like solving puzzles. And Google. A good chunk of my job is Googling solutions to some really strange challenges. It just goes to show that even after almost six years, there’s still more to learn.
What’s something you’ve done outside of work that you’ve really enjoyed?
I went skydiving three times towards the end of college; it was really fun! I’d love to get certified so I could go on my own without an instructor, but it’s pretty expensive for a hobby.