Q&A: Forrest Murray, Software Engineer

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Where did you work before Six Vertical?

I’m a former startup founder at Loom. I was working in the IoT space for a couple years on a agriculture tech product. It was a system for tracking plant growth and environmental conditions.

I have a background in ecology and agriculture. I think what we were taking on was really ambitious and challenging with a lot of moving pieces. But that’s the kind of stuff that drives me.

We got really close to something that was viable, but didn’t get the market traction we needed fast enough. It was a good experience and I plan to test my entrepreneurial skills again in the future.

What attracted you to join Six Vertical?

I like the flexibility of working remote and I think that’s the way things are going work well for a lot of teams. You have to focus on getting the best people to join you; and they have to be responsible and want to contribute to team and community. That can be hard to get running a remote team, but I think it attracts a type of worker that is more independent and more creative than your average co-located employee.

What is your career trajectory?

The reason I joined Six Vertical is because the company is an upstart, really hungry and agile. I’m particularly drawn to those characteristics and it just seemed like a really good fit for me.

There are tradeoffs when you decide to join a young company. For me, I prioritized the benefits of getting into a company early and being exposed to the upside of something more agile versus the perceived stability of a more mature company.

At Six Vertical I saw an opportunity to work with people that have a lot of expertise and technical knowledge in digital commerce and I wanted to learn from them. They are really committed to developing our engineers and helping them grow their technical capabilities. And that was really attractive to me. 

It makes me want to reach into my network and find people who I know are looking for hybrid opportunities, and say, ‘Hey guys, you might want to check this out.’ And I actually have no qualms about doing that at this point.

Also, the founders Joshua and Christopher have been really open to the ideas I’m bringing forward, including foundational stuff and process improvement ideas. That’s not something you’re going to get at a Facebook or a Google. There, you’re just going to plug into the well-established machine. Here you’re actually part of laying the foundation. That's huge.

How do you see Six Vertical helping you grow?

We’ve already discussed doing more with AI and machine learning, and there are definitely a lot of places where those things might be applied in what we do. That’s a personal goal for me. And the way I see it, I think that’s a good addition to any developer’s career to at least be conversant in those topics. 

What do you do outside of work?

One of the important things for me is to travel. I like to take time off in between projects. I recently went to Africa and I think it’s really important to come back from things like that with a new perspective. That’s going to make me a better everything. A better human. It’s what I need to keep things new in my life.