Welcome back to one of our favorite blog series In the Greenlight, where you can get an inside glimpse into the Koupon team! We’ve never been much to brag, but we think our team is pretty incredible and they deserve their time in the spotlight. This month we sat down with Stephen Weigel, our Manager of Software Development.
Meet Stephen! This dedicated developer and new manager works with our engineering team to develop technology that's driving significant transformation in the convenience store industry. We're thrilled to help you get to know this amazing Kouponeer and all the exciting journeys he has taken during his career!
You've been at Koupon for a little over a year now, and you've already been promoted to Manager of Software Development. Congrats! Can you give us a glimpse into what that role entails?
Thanks! For the foreseeable future I’ll continue to split my time between coding and the new management responsibilities. Some of my priorities will be making sure the engineers are not in meetings they don’t need to be in, getting feedback and iterating on our current processes, and working one on one with the members of the team to make sure everyone not only feels productive, but that they feel their productivity is valued.
This will be your first time in a management role at Koupon. What excites you most about getting to manage a team?
One of the things that attracted me to working at Koupon was that as a company, Koupon really cares about its employees. I’m looking forward to helping my team members succeed and enjoy their job be part of my job description. I’m also looking forward to opportunities to work more with other teams, finding new ways to collaborate and continue to help Koupon evolve as a platform.
Koupon's engineering team is responsible for developing technology that's driving transformation in the convenience store industry. But with great power comes great responsibility! What has been most challenging about your role?
We do our best to accommodate integrating with clients on their terms whenever possible, instead of having a hard and fast way of doing things that the clients must adapt to. While this flexibility can introduce technical challenges, solving those challenges is part of what makes working on a platform as flexible as Koupon’s so rewarding.
Before your engineering days, you studied Criminology and Criminal Justice. Did you ever work in that field? And if so, how did you ultimately move into engineering?
While in college I worked for a time as a Fugitive Recovery Agent, more commonly known as a Bounty Hunter. It was an eye-opening experience on many levels. However, by the time I graduated I had become interested in photography and pursued that full-time instead of my original plan to become a police officer. While working as the Photo Editor for a local community college newspaper I volunteered to setup a website for the paper which sparked my interest in programming. Luckily engineering is a field where you don’t need a specific degree on your resume to land your first job, so many online videos and personal projects later I was able to switch to programming full-time.
5. Before you joined Koupon, you worked for a company with other 28,000 employees. How did you transition to a smaller company and what have you enjoyed most?
I’ve really enjoyed the transition to working at a smaller company. One of the best parts has been having the opportunity to meet everyone and having faces to go with the names on Slack. It’s also easier to see your efforts having an impact at a smaller company, and you feel less like just another cog in the wheel.
We hear you're a skilled photographer. What has been your favorite scene to photograph?
I’d have to say photographing my son growing up has been my favorite, although he might not qualify as a “scene”. One of my largest professional projects was spending three months photographing churches in Rome, Italy. Trying to capture the awe of walking around these buildings that have been attracting pilgrims for hundreds of years was a rewarding challenge and an opportunity I was fortunate to have.
Besides photography, what keeps you busy outside of work?
Family comes first for me, and spending time with my wife and two-year-old son keeps me busy most of the time I’m not working. Lots of playing with toy cars and magna tiles. When I do get some times for hobbies I bounce around between playing music, photography, and video games.
Check back next month for another glimpse into the Koupon team!