In our next Pinwheeler Spotlight, Devin DeCaro-Brown, a Product Manager, reflects on a fond memory that sparked his interest in software and how it shapes his impactful work at Pinwheel.
What is your job title?
What are some of your key objectives right now?
I’m focused on building the best direct deposit switch product in the market and leading Link development. As a product manager, I help answer the what and why questions for our products.
What drew you to your field?
I initially thought I wanted to go into business when I was applying to college but a conversation with my grandma changed that perspective. We talked about how I liked math, science, and working on computers which led me to try electrical and computer engineering. After taking a couple of computer science classes, I decided to change my major to computer science and engineering. These classes provided insight into the endless possibilities available through software. While I am an engineer at heart, I knew that I still had an interest in the business side of companies and wanted to find a balance between them. Fortunately I discovered a product manager intern role which married engineering and business skills to satisfy my dual interests.
What have been your favorite things about working at a startup?
After around four months at a startup, two of my favorite things are the amount of space we each are given to expand in our roles and the scrappiness way of working. As part of career development, I want to have roles that allow me to learn and expand my scope as a product manager. Startups present a unique opportunity to grow at a quick pace along with the company and that includes taking on more responsibilities. As for scrappiness, when we identify something that needs to be done, we are able to rally the team and knock out the work. This helps us move quickly and respond to market trends, customer feedback, or intuition. As we continue to mature as a company, we will need to be more structured but I have enjoyed this phase for the change in pace!
What Pinwheel value resonates most with you and why?
Don’t limbo, hurdle. This value to me represents the expectations and standards we are setting at Pinwheel — we will not settle and always push for excellence. There is a bar set for how we perform our jobs that we all need to clear.
What's the most gratifying part of your job?
When I was considering my next role, I thought a lot about the people in my life and how l could make a positive impact in their lives. Every person has to deal with finances to some extent and the services offered to them can really make a difference in their day-to-day life. I find building products that can have a direct impact on people’s lives most gratifying. We’re building a financial platform that will enable new use cases for customers like neobanks or lenders and ultimately for end users.
What do you like most about having a hybrid work environment?
The flexibility to work from wherever. We have learned that companies can still be run effectively in a hybrid model, which opens opportunities to travel and explore new places while still being able to work.
What do you like to do when you aren't working?
Cooking or learning something new. I’m always seeking new recipes and information on random topics, which will sometimes lead me to spend several days learning about something. Recently it was how container/ocean shipping works and the bottlenecks in the system that are contributing to current supply chain issues.
Favorite Slack channel?
#gen-wins-and-shoutouts — the celebration of team wins and recognizing teammates for their achievements is refreshing when we spend so much time heads down on projects. We have so many great things going on and #gen-wins-and-shoutouts gives a small glimpse into that work.