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Team Layr: Peter in Engineering


Ever wish you knew who's working behind the curtain to help build the AI that powers Team Layr? Look no further than Senior Backend Engineer, Peter.

Peter first joined Layr as a contractor in November 2019 and kicked things into full-gear as a full-time team member in March 2020.Since then, he’s been building #BetterBusinessInsurance by working to create Layr’s billing system and lighting up our team Slack channel with snaps of his new puppy, Hobbes.

Read on for more from our Meet the Team interview with Peter including Life at Layr Engineering, go behind the scenes, and learn more.

code Life at Layr Engineering

Q: What convinced you to take your job at Layr?

A: I’ve always wanted to experience working at a startup.

Brice, the head of engineering, and I already knew each other from the developer community in Chicago. Because I already knew and really respected Brice, it made joining the team an easy decision!

Q: What does a day “in the office” look like?

A: CODE, CODE, CODE!

I work from my couch, my bed, my desk or my table. I take breaks to take care of my new puppy Hobbes and feed myself but otherwise it’s CODE, CODE, CODE!

Q: What is the biggest victory or aha! moment you’ve had in your role since joining Layr?

A: It’s a work in progress…

I haven’t had a big aha! moment yet, but I’m currently working on building Treasury Management, which is essentially a billing system for Layr. As soon as it’s done I’ll feel a lot better…

Q: What is the most surprising or interesting thing you’ve learned about insurance since joining  Team Layr?

A: The vast amount of space to improve customer experience.

Before I joined the team, I didn’t realize there was so much space to grow and perfect the process of getting covered on the customer side of things. With the technology that’s available today, there’s no reason why buying insurance shouldn’t be as easy as a couple of clicks.

👀 Seeing is believing–see a tailored quote in about 10 minutes when you start our online proposal.

question_answer Peter on Background

When we sat down (virtually) to get to know pre-Layr Peter, we discovered there’s lots to learn. Peter’s experience on each company and team before ours helped him earn the backend know-how and scrappy, innovative mindset he uses every day at Layr.

While sharing some career highlights from his life before joining the crazy world of #startup, Peter mentioned the 6-7 months he spent working on a mobile application team. The app’s purpose was to enable communication between students and medical professionals – Peter helped the development team code and build its framework.

Looking back, it's strange knowing that what used to take me several weekends to complete, I can now do in a single afternoon.

It wasn’t until a year or so after he stopped working on the project that Peter saw a blurb about the app going live. “Knowing that there was a LOT of my code running an application that people were using was a very cool feeling,” Peter said.

Another career high point prior to Layr? Shortly after Peter became a developer, he earned his stripes at his first company by roughly reverse-engineering their dev-ops pipeline. The pipeline was implemented using Drone.io (which back then, had very rough documentation).

Drone.io
Drone.io is a Continuous Delivery system built on container technology. Drone uses a simple YAML configuration file, a superset of docker-compose, to define and execute Pipelines inside Docker containers.
Drone seamlessly integrates with popular source code management systems, including GitHub, GitHub Enterprise, Bitbucket and more.

Source XebiaLabs

Peter reflects on how far he’s come as a developer since his first job, telling us, “looking back, it’s strange knowing that what used to take me several weekends to complete, I can now do in a single afternoon.”

Each career milestone was one step closer to joining the #BetterBusinessInsurance team. According to Peter, it was the desire to take a risk that motivated him to finally take the leap and land at Layr. Now that he’s immersed in that very risk, we asked Peter what his best advice is for surviving startup. His response? “I’m not sure–I don’t think I’ve yet survived!”

psychology Behind the Scenes with Peter

We pride ourselves on the personality of our team–it’s what keeps us close-knit. As a new hire at Layr, expect to be tasked with creating custom emojis in Slack, regular contributions to our #didacticism channel, and of course, your honest opinion on sparkling water.

Here’s a sampling of the kinds of things we want to know about each member of our team. From workplace aesthetic to secret superpower, we asked Peter the hard-hitting questions to find out what makes him tick.

Q: If you were to take a snapshot of your workspace/desk, what would it look like?

A: My desk is actually kept pretty clean!

As I said, I really work all over my apartment, which means that my desk doesn’t get as cluttered. Though on Friday, I have to do a coffee mug sweep around the apartment…

Q: Latest obsession?

A: My new puppy Hobbes! And the best video game ever made – Cities: Skylines

Q: What’s your secret superpower?

A: Hobbes would say that I give good belly rubs.

Q: Do you have a quote or mantra you live by?

What will be, will be!

Here at Layr, we’re deeply respectful of who each of our team members are when we’re off-duty. Whether we’re learning about each other’s adventures and passions via Slack or chatting about weekend plans on our daily coffee breaks, we invest time in getting to know each other beyond Layr.

When we asked Peter what he would get up to on an unexpected day off, his answer was all about recalibrating and slowing down the pace. “I’d start with a slow morning at a coffee shop, then a workout after lunch, and round it out with a long walk with the dog,” Peter said. Give Peter a week off from the world of Layr, and he tells us he would plan a trip to the Pacific Northwest for some quality hiking. We upped the ante and asked after Peter’s ultimate splurge. “If I was a billionaire, I’d open a small, self-sufficient school or monastery somewhere.”

water rain GIF by Psyklon

Q: What emojis best describe you?

👍            🤷‍♂️            😬

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being get that watered-down, carbonated fruit water away from me and 10 being put it in an IV bag and hook me up, please, how great is LaCroix?