Meet the Team: Eduardo Del Balso

Eduardo Del Balso Welcome to our new series, Meet the Team, where we dive deep with a member of the tech team. We kick off with Eduardo, one of the early engineers, to hear what he’s made of and his life at LendingHome. Give us the rundown of your background. Who are you? What do you do […]

Eduardo Del Balso

Welcome to our new series, Meet the Team, where we dive deep with a member of the tech team.

We kick off with Eduardo, one of the early engineers, to hear what he’s made of and his life at LendingHome.

Give us the rundown of your background. Who are you? What do you do at LendingHome?

My name is Eduardo, I come from a sordid past of entrepreneurial endeavors: I was born in Montreal, Quebec but lived in Argentina until I was 5, then moved back to Montreal and grew up there. I received a computer engineering degree (Concordia Co-op! Shoutout!) in Montreal, Québec.

Since graduating, I’ve been busy:

  • In 2005, I bootstrapped a web hosting company and sold my way out of it in 3 years
  • Around 2008, I took over my father’s daycares when he got sick for approximately 1.5 years, expanded them from 130 places to 150, including building/leasing a commercial building, and negotiated and executed the sale of one of them (80 places).
  • I then realized that I was leveraging a lot software to run my dad’s business, and also realized that that’s what I enjoyed, so I started working on some app ideas around 2010 and hustling some independent contracts wherever I could find them.
  • In late 2010 I decided that I should get some professional engineering experience and I went job hunting in NYC and SFO, but fell in love with SFO after doing a few trips and crashing at a friend’s place who had decided to move here.
  • On those trips I fell in love with SFO as a city and In 2011 I took my first professional engineering gig at ModCloth. That team was awesome!
  • In 2012 I left ModCloth to join a small t-shirt startup called Thread Council with the man who created Where In The World is Carmen San Diego? (True story!), and while I did a lot of cool things there, including a Kickstarter campaign that raised 50k, the company ultimately did not work out.
  • Matt was an investor in that company, and I had booked some meetings with him to get some advice on the situation at Thread Council and get myself on his radar.
  • Eventually I found out that Keith and him were starting a new company, and I had been keeping an eye out to work with those two people specifically since I had moved here, and so when things went south at Thread Council, the timing ended up being perfect and I sent Matt an email asking if he needed help.
  • The rest, as they say, is history. 🙂

As an early engineer, what made you take the leap to join LendingHome?

I really have a lot of respect and admiration for the work of Matt & Keith. A lot of my close network worked with both of them at HomeRun, and through their lenses I got a pretty good view of the type of work they did. Even before HomeRun got acquired, I had always said to myself, “I need to keep an eye on these guys’ next move.” and the moment it became a possibility both in my circumstance and as a decision, I pounced. 🙂

How would you describe a typical day for you?

Good question… it’s hard to think of a typical day. punt

What are you most proud of?

I think what I’m most proud of is how much we’ve accomplished at this company in so little time. Thinking back on what I thought LendingHome would look like 2 years after I joined, I could never in my wildest dreams have imaged the scope of the undertaking that we took on and the fact that we actually pulled this off.

In hindsight, I think back and realize that every day at work early on we were making astronomically important decisions on an almost daily basis. I actually open my on-boarding “Welcome to LendingHome” presentation with a slide that says, “LendingHome: A tale of naive ambition.” and I think that’s because I had no idea that we were unknowingly starting 9 companies all at once with a group of 15 people.

I always knew it was big, but if I had truly known the immensity of this company’s mandate up front, I would have probably have walked away and said, “That’s a fool’s errand. Have fun morons.” but I’m most proud that we stayed, and we worked together and we never ever once questioned whether it was possible, intelligent, wise or even a good idea.

We simply had a tacit agreement that this was going to work and we were all there to collectively figure out the smartest path to success.

And now we have a huge-ass company that’s way bigger than I thought it would be. That’s dope. 🙂

What’s your favorite programming pro tip?

Oh man, so many… Umm, I think learning about inner-loop/outer-loop and red/green/refactor at ModCloth really changed me in a huge way. I’m very ADHD and am certainly of the refactor-cat lineage, but I think when you BEGIN with a good integration test and graduate to a good unit test, you become hyper-focused on doing the minimum to get that use case green, and not only do you have a good test to keep your code running, but you also have inadvertently found the shortest path to done.

Oh, that and those vim shortcut modifier like t and i, for example, dti delete everything until the letter i, or my favorite: di’ deletes everything between the ’ tokens, so you can easily, for example, re-write strings, or rewrite the contents of a ruby block. I don’t know the technical term for that middle modifier in those vim shortcuts, but they’re pretty sweet.

What gets you excited about LendingHome?

This has changed a lot over time. I think early on it was certainly the team, and I still retain the same amount of love and admiration for all those people and new people too, but things aren’t quite as tightly knit as they used to be as we scale this company up.

I think these days, I am excited about all the new challenges around scaling the team, and I like that our environment is very supportive of personal growth. I am unhealthily obsessive about everything I take on, and as we scale this company and I’m finding myself more and more blocked by people challenges and not technical challenges, the wealth of new and old faces that are supportive and offering me advice here is something I’m really appreciative of.

What do you do outside of work?

It’s been a good 10 years that I put my head down and started to hyper-focus on successfully executing my journey through technology and entrepreneurship. I’ve been thinking about code, system design, LTV analysis, segmentation/conversion funnels, UX optimizations, leveraging software systems for business outcomes, leveraging human/organizational systems for productivity and happiness. I used to once be a well balanced individual, but moving to San Francisco has easily quintupled my focus on these things.

These days I spend a lot of time trying to shed myself of technology and take on things that I can’t google. I’ve been a musician my whole life, and recently have found that the more things I can google, the more creativity I don’t engage in, if that makes any sense. So these days I’m spending a lot of time reconnecting with my love for music, mainly by studying playing the piano. I’m actually studying jazz piano with a private teacher and loving it.

That and video games… sigh. I blame Sean Murray. For everything. 😛

Hope you enjoyed the interview! Our engineering team is growing and we want to meet you. We’re hiring engineers in our San Francisco and Columbus, OH offices. See our careers page to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you!

Meet the Team: Eduardo Del Balso was originally published in LendingHome Tech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: LendingHome