Software Development
Engineering / Startups / Workplace culture

How I Work: Dan Edlow, director of engineering at VitusVet

Edlow's focus is on empowering the company's engineering team. Here are his thoughts on pet health, podcasts and PCs.

Dan Edlow. (Courtesy photo)

This is Baltimore’s new “How I Work” series, where we’ll take a look at the tools and tips the region’s startup founders and creative leaders use to get through the day. If you’d like to be a part of this series, e-mail us.

Dan Edlow is the director of engineering at VitusVet. He has been with the pet health technology company for seven months.

His start came around the time VitusVet moved to Canton’s Brewers Hill Hub from Columbia last year. That offered a good location to attract tech talent over that time.

Edlow said he is a member of a team that is bought into a mission of “ensuring pets get the healthcare they need.”

“Many of us are pet owners ourselves and are very passionate about this,” he said. “We also put a lot of importance into delivering a great customer experience and the relentless attitude of our team in building these relationships is a testament to that.”

In his own role, Edlow said his main focus “is to empower the engineers and the engineering team collectively to succeed.”

“I also spend a lot of time thinking about our approach to technology and aligning the team on a technical vision for the future,” he said.

This is how he works.

What’s the first thing you do every day before doing any tech-related work?

I start nearly every day off getting coffee at Dunkin’ and listening to a podcast on my drive into work.  A couple current ones in my rotation are “Stuff You Should Know” and “Reply All”.

How often do you check your email, and do you use any program to get to Inbox Zero?

I’m not much of an email person, but I tend to check it periodically throughout the day to see if there is anything that requires immediate attention.  I spend much more time on Slack since the whole team is on there and the more urgent stuff tends to flow through there.

For ongoing projects, how do you keep track of your progress?

Here we use Jira for issue tracking and project management. But I really like the simplicity of Trello and tend to use it a lot personally.

When you need to take a break, what are you turning to?

I like to take a short walk and grab a cup of coffee.  I always enjoy getting in a quick game of ping-pong with one of my coworkers. When I’m really focused on something, though, I will often times just power through without a break.

Where do you turn for inspiration when you’re feeling low?

My wife has always been a great motivator and is the person I go to most often for advice. I’ve also been lucky enough to find a couple great mentors along the way who are always happy to let me bounce ideas off of them.

What’s your gear?

I started out as a .NET (Microsoft) developer, so I’ve always been more of a PC user over Mac. For programming I’ve gotta have a couple monitors, at least, and nice bluetooth headphones are such a good investment if you listen to music while you work.

What’s one time-saving tip you have?

If you are someone who finds themselves in lots of meetings, block some time off on your calendar every day so you have a few hours to focus and get things done.

Companies: VitusVet

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