Welcome to our latest chat with the folks behind the scenes that help make the magic happen here at Loot Crate!
Loot Crate is a company that’s constantly launching and creating new things; whether it’s new product launches and crate lines or brand new tools and platforms we use internally to make what we do easier every day – that latter of which is where Dave Yu comes in! Dave has joined up with Loot Crate last month, and I wanted to sit down and get an idea of how his experience with us has been so far, give it a look!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Dave! Before we get started, why don’t you tell us who you are and what you do here at Loot Crate?
I am the lead software engineer for the Internal Tools engineering squad.
What were you doing before you joined Loot Crate?
I most recently worked at a tech startup that was trying to make health insurance easier to understand, buy, and use, for the average consumer. The best part of that experience was being part of a team that was wholly passionate about the product vision and really loved working together.
What made you want to bring your talents to Loot Crate, and what sets it apart from other companies you’ve worked for?
I could tell from my earliest conversations about Loot Crate that it would be a fun and unique place to work. The combination of tech, creative arts, and pop culture makes for really interesting challenges and opportunities.
What about the tech and engineering side of things appealed to you as a career?
It’s really fun and fulfilling to design a system and write code that makes something work better or makes something more enjoyable to work with. The problems and challenges are constantly new and varied, and the same solution rarely works more than once, so there’s also a great creative aspect that I enjoy.
I know you’ve only been with us for a little over a month, but what’s been the most interesting part of being in engineering for a company like Loot Crate?
It’s definitely different being part of a company where engineering isn’t necessarily building the products we’re selling, but I do enjoy being in a supporting role. Working on internal tools allows me to doubly focus on how to provide Creative, Marketing, Customer Support, Operations, and other teams with better tools to enhance their functions, and hopefully make their jobs easier and more enjoyable too.
As someone who has a focus on engineering for internal tools, what’s it like coming into a new company and introducing new and better ways to do things?
Still being relatively new at Loot Crate, I’m not in a place where I can flatly say, “Here, this is a better way to do that.” Strong relationships are foundational to engineering great tools, so my job early on is just to discover and understand the ways things are done now and how it does or doesn’t work well.
It’s not always a necessity for Loot Crate employees to be geeks, nerds, or gamers, but is there anything outside of work that you really nerd out on?
My wife and three kids (all under six) get most of my fandom, but I allow myself two games, Star Wars Galaxy of Heros and Civilization VI, for whenever sleep is not essential. It won’t be popular here in Los Angeles, but I’m also a huge fan of the San Francisco Giants. I do love baseball in general though, and frequent stats and analytics sites like FanGraphs and FiveThirtyEight.
I totally get that, I’m an Arizona Diamondbacks fan… Anyway! And now, for my go-to final question for each of my Behind the Crate interviews: If you could create your very own product line for Loot Crate, what would it be?
I think a limited edition Sid Meier’s Civilization crate would be amazing, with figures of civilization leaders, posters of the world wonders and little mini-figures of the military units.
I think this is a great idea, and there’s so much to unpack there for an incredible crate experience. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Dave!