benefitexpress is proud to be a company that honors exceptional performance. That's why we created the Standing Ovation Award - an award given to two employees each quarter to honor and recognize their efforts of going above and beyond to fulfill our Community Pillars.
Nominations are submitted by fellow peers, and are tallied, read and carefully considered before being awarded at our company-wide 'Town Hall' meetings each quarter. Each award is read aloud to highlight just how much the winners have done to deserve the recognition. Standing Ovation Award winners also receive $2,500.
Software Developer, Mike Strupp, wins the second Standing Ovation Award for the second quarter at benefitexpress.
What is your role at benefitexpress and how long have you been working here?
I have been a software developer at benefitexpress for a little over two and a half years. As a software developer, I’m involved with both maintaining existing software as well as building out new software features and enhancements. This involves a lot more than simply writing programs: I interact with product owners, business analysts, quality assurance professionals and other developers to make sure that the job gets done correctly and efficiently.
What motivates you, in general and at work?
I try to create software that is designed well and solves important business problems for our clients. I prefer to create solutions that are simple yet effective. When I’m working on existing code, I try to implement solutions that have the lowest chance for introducing new bugs or complications into the code base.
What does a typical day look like for you? Can you describe your day-to-day duties?
Most of the time, I’m writing and debugging software, as well as interacting with others on the team to clarify requirements or respond to issues regarding items I’ve worked on. Having a solid understanding of both the business goal and the user expectations is key to this effort. From time to time, we have meetings as well. Each morning, we have a relatively quick “stand-up” meeting, where we step through all the projects we’re currently working on. During these meetings, we give updates to other members of the team, ask and answer brief questions and chart a course for the work of the rest of the day. We also have one or two meetings a week to review tasks that are on the horizon and to clarify the requirements of that work. We also conduct planning and wrap-up meetings at the beginning and ending of our work sprints.
Why do you like working at benefitexpress?
Everyone I work with is very smart and very focused on delivering the best user experience possible. That being said, it’s not a stuffy environment: people are quick with a joke as well. We are all very committed to making sure that our system works accurately and efficiently.
How would you describe the benefitexpress culture?
It is professional and collaborative. One of the best things about our culture is that everyone works well together, and openly shares information both about technology as well as how the business works. Also, it’s not a high-pressure environment, which is important when you’re working in a creative domain like software development: when you rush things, that’s when things tend to get damaged (or important details overlooked). Also, management tries to keep things interesting and fun – there are a lot of “extracurricular” activities at benefitexpress that allow you to blow off some steam and meet other employees at the company.
What’s one of your favorite memories since being at benefitexpress?
I have a lot of good memories since joining benefitexpress. Last year, I worked on a project to automate certain functions within our import/export module, and the project went very smoothly: we delivered on time with few, if any, issues. Another is when I figured out how to get some non-native programming code to work within one of our new programs. There wasn’t an obvious way to make it work, and after doing some research, I figured out a way to get it to work correctly. This solution made it easier to extend what our software can do. Finally, our corporate outings are always fun. The company picnic we had at the local park was a blast, with dancing, games and even a mechanical bull!
Congratulations, Mike! We're proud to call you a member of the benefitexpress team.