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Welcome to another edition of the LeadingResponse Meet the Team blog series!
Today we want to introduce you to Daniel Allen, Architect Lead Gen Engine. Let’s get going!
Hi Dan! Let’s start with who you are and what you do. Can you give me your 30-second elevator speech?
Daniel Allen, Architect for the Lead Generation Engine. I am maintaining and refining the tools we use to match those seeking help with the professional firms in their area that can best help them. My goals are to improve our use of integration tools to ensure that our clients have a smooth experience working with us, and to keep our system reliability high as we continue to embrace the technology and work patterns of the 21st century.
Wonderful! What is your favorite thing about your career?
How many different things I’ve done and places I’ve worked. Over the past 20 years, I have worked at or with over 18 different companies or institutions. From a 3-person publishing company or a 2-person land surveying firm to the 10th largest school district in the country or one of the largest live-event planning firms in the world. I have worked in public and private sectors; I have been an hourly employee or a contracted consultant. During this time, I have seen how a lot of companies run and how even more of them don’t run, this has led me to learn about business, flexibility, and problem-solving.
What motivates you to work hard? And what is your proudest accomplishment?
I enjoy knowing at the end of the day that I have solved one problem, or made one person’s job a little easier, or prevented one system outage. I made a difference, and that difference was good.
It is primarily my wife’s accomplishment, but my daughters are truly nice people and a joy to be around. If I accomplish nothing else, just being a part of them growing up is the best.
What did you want to be when you were small?
I wanted to be an astronaut, then I wanted to be a starship engineer. When I got older and learned that spaceship engineering wasn’t offered at the local college, I studied civil engineering instead because technology comes and goes, but dirt doesn’t change. Now I do software engineering, which is a little like, and a lot different from, all the above.
Imagine you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
I’d read all day. A good novel, a warm blanket, a cup of coffee, a firm couch, and a window looking out over a lake, would be a nice day.
Follow-up question then! Who is your favorite author?
Timothy Zahn. He is known for reigniting the spark in Star Wars, but his body of work is so much broader than just Star Wars. He writes conflicts, heroes, and villains, that are deeper more complex than just good guy and bad guy. Most of his characters have deep reasons for what they do, and by the end of the story if you haven’t changed who you are rooting for, you at least understand why their opponents feel justified in opposing them.
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
I’ve spent my life around stories of all different types. Reading, watching, telling stories. Stories are how life is measured.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I have no idea, because I am now so far from where I expected to be 5 years ago, and that was so different from where I thought I’d have been 5 years before. Life is always changing things, so you just have to roll with the changes and find your next step whatever that might be.
So true. So let’s talk about how you got here – what’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Moved half-way across the country with my family of 5 and what fits in the back of our van. No house to move into, no job waiting for me, just a need for a different environment than where we’d been and a certainty that somehow, we would work it out.
That’s kinda terrifying. So would you consider yourself a “glass half full” personality?
Yes, my glass is half full; the bigger question is, what is it half full of? Water, whiskey, hydrochloric acid, mercury, gold coins? The contents are far more important than just the amount.
Solid point! What’s your favorite movie?
Oscar, The Princess Bride, The LEGO Movie, Free Guy. There are so many movies that I have enjoyed, I can’t pick just one. I’d say right now I really like Free Guy. I came for the MMORPG NPC story idea, with Ryan Reynolds and Taika Waititi, and I stayed for the much deeper story about finding meaning and place beyond just surviving a daily grind.
What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
A hatchet, a large sheet of clear plastic, and a pair of leather gloves. With these items, you can build shelter, gather wood, and distill drinking water, and in survival-type situations protecting your hands is extremely important.
Well thought out answer, I’m impressed! Last one! If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
It changes, sometimes it would be “Contents under pressure.”
In larger social situations, “Student driver – Please be patient.”
Most of the time, it would be, “Contains compounds known in the State of California to cause cancer.”
Dan, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me! We are so happy that you are part of LeadingResponse, and we can’t wait to see what amazing things you bring to our team! To learn more about the LeadingResponse team, view our Team Page! And learn about more of our team members on our Meet The Team Blogs!