We’re programmers, designers, security experts, cloud junkies, tech support superheroes, and more — but we’re also real humans, not the faceless robots some people like to imagine us as. The DreamTeam is made up of many hardworking talented individuals with interesting stories to tell. In our new Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do (on and off the clock), and how they keep DreamHost irreverent and fun — just the way we like it.
An Atlanta resident and full-time remote employee, Justin Lund is the product manager for DreamHost’s cloud services. Justin has worked at DreamHost for three years; Before this he worked at companies with both DreamHost’s former CEO and his current boss, VP of Cloud and Development Jonathan LaCour. Justin’s main focus is our customers, ensuring that we’re building products that both solve their problems and that they enjoy using. When he’s not busy being awesome at developing our cloud products, Justin can be found traveling with his wife, cheering on his alma mater (Georgia Tech) at football games, looking for new music, working on his car, and watching Formula 1 racing.
Read on to find out more about Justin, including what it’s like to work remotely (thousands of miles away from our headquarters), what he’d rather spend his time doing instead of having a drink with anyone of his choosing, and more!
What do you love most about working at DreamHost?
For me, it’s the combination of the people and the values. Doing things the DreamHost way means being open, honest, transparent, and democratic which creates an environment built on trust.
Working remotely full-time sounds like it would be a pretty sweet gig. How do you like it? Are there any drawbacks to working remotely, especially in a different state?
I work from home about four days a week. One day a week, those of us in Atlanta work together, get lunch and attend monthly python and Openstack meetups. It’s usually great, but the three hour time change can be difficult sometimes. I tend to have very quiet mornings where I work on reports, emails, work backlog, etc. Then in the afternoons, I’m usually in meetings or collaborating on something with other DreamHosters.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? What is the number one challenge you face in your role?
I love talking to our customers. It’s great to hear how they’re using our products and finding out how we can make them better. There’s no better way to get feedback, good or bad, than to get it straight from someone using our products. As for the biggest challenge, personally I don’t like how long the “payoff” is for new features or changes. It takes time, sometimes days, weeks, or even months to create new features. I wish I could just make them appear with just the snap of my fingers.
If you could switch your job with anyone else at DreamHost for just one day, whose job would you want?
Nobody! I like my job too much.
Where’s the best place you’ve traveled to, and why?
I know it’s cliché, but Paris is one of my favorite places. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a handful of times over the last 15 years and every time I’m there I’m mesmerized. There’s some magical combination of its history, architecture, culture, and people that keeps me wanting to go back, no matter how many times I’ve been there.
Do you have a nickname? How did it originate?
Nothing to see here.
If you could be a superhero, what would your superpowers be?
I’m going to assume we’re including magic powers here and say the power to apparate. In methods of travel, I don’t think there’s any better way to go. Just instantly appear wherever you want. Sushi: *pop* appear in Tokyo. Spend the day at the beach: *pop* appear in Hawaii. Maybe one day we’ll have a working hyperloop and it’ll be almost as good.
Words to live by — What are yours?
“It could always be worse.” That phrase applies to almost any situation and has helped me in more ways than I can count. I’ve faced some pretty severe health issues but it made it easier to get through when I realized that I could be worse off than I was. It’s easy to be overwhelmed but I’ve found that always helps me.
If you could have a drink with anyone, (fictional, alive, dead, famous, non-famous) who would it be and why?
I feel like this amazing power would be wasted on me. I’m sure it would be great to have a drink with any number of historical or future figures. I’d rather take a practical approach and cede my time to a team of scientists so they could consult with Albert Einstein and figure out cold fusion. We’d all be better off!