Roompact Welcomes its Newest Team Member: Ben Levy

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We’d like to introduce you to our newest staff member, Ben Levy! Ben joined the Roompact team a couple months ago as one of our Software Engineers. He works on the core development of many of the features of our software. Most recently he’s started working on some file upload handling to improve and extend the features of our Forms software. Although you may not directly interact with Ben, you will  likely use many of the features that he has a part in designing. Ben will be working remotely from St. Louis–a first for one of our software engineers.

Ben LevyHometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Alma Mater:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BS Computer Science
Favorite Emoji: ;p

Why are you excited to work at Roompact?

As part of a smaller team my impact can be much larger than at places I have previously worked. I am not just a cog in a machine but rather a member of a tight knit team working together to help others. I also get to work with some pretty cool tech. 😀 I will be forced to learn things that I never had to before, and that’s amazing.

What philosophy or values inform your work?

There is a person on the other end of the software. It is easy to forget when you get down in the weeds of a particularly juicy technical problem, but we are making software for people and that should always be in our minds as we develop our product.

How did you get into software development?

My father is an engineer and a tinkerer, he made several tools in C++ to help him out in his job so there were books about programing just laying around. I fondly recall attempting to read Sams Teach Yourself C in 24 Hours one Hannukah (and failing miserably). I had a number of false starts including my 5th grade science fair project where I made what I now know is a variation on a game called Nim. I called it “race you to the zenith” as I felt every game needs a good name and top just didn’t sound fancy enough. I used Borland C++ Builder a rapid application development tool that my father used in his projects. I couldn’t figure out a lot of stuff so I just strung together forms and buttons to create the program, barely any coding involved. I proudly saved it to a floppy disk (3.5” I’m not that old) to bring in to school. I put it on the computer and nothing, a complete disaster. I still got credit for doing a project (only reason I participated was 5th grade had to have something) so it wasn’t a complete flop. I didn’t do much again until high school when I took AP CS and then I liked it enough still to go for the degree, which I got from U of I. It was a long tough road but it has been interesting for sure.

What were you involved in when you were a student in college?

I was involved with an organization called the Jewish Education Team (JET). It is an organization to educate college and young professional jews about the depth of their Jewish heritage. We had educational programs and delicious Shabbos meals every week. I was also involved with the Hillel on campus where I served as a kosher supervisor in their kitchen.

Ben Levy

What is your favorite college memory?

Hanging out on Shabbos afternoon at Hillel, playing board games. Since we can’t work, write, or use electricity it was kind of a forced relaxation and restoration time period. You don’t feel guilty about hanging out for 3 hours playing games because there was nothing you were supposed to be doing but that (and maybe sleeping).

What is one fun fact that not many people know about you?

I have seen The Big Lebowski so many times that I am now at a point where I can basically recite the screenplay in order from memory.