Get To Know BV: Patrick Tulskie

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patrick tulskie
Patrick Tulskie is the Director of Engineering at BeenVerified.
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We’re taking a look at the people who bring you BeenVerified. This time, we talked to Patrick, who last month celebrated his 10-year anniversary at BV!

What’s your name? And tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Patrick Tulskie. Most people call me Pat, but I prefer Patrick since my mother goes by Pat. You can imagine how confusing that can be.

I live somewhere in Westchester, New York, but I’m all about exploring the state, the country, and the world. You’ll rarely find me sitting still.

My father taught me to program when I was in third grade, and I’ve dabbled in it here and there throughout childhood. Now I’m Director of Engineering at BeenVerified!

What do you do at BV?

Until recently, I was focused on building out product and working heavily in our various applications. These days I mostly work on helping others accomplish their goals and focusing on leadership and technical guidance. I probably spend about 30% of my time actually coding.

How long have you worked here?

I’ve worked at BeenVerified for 10 glorious years. I’ve been through five offices and a business model change. I remember when it was four people in a single room. Now we have multiple locations with about 100 people. It’s been a crazy ride.

What did you do before? How did you end up at BV?

Previously, I worked at Reader’s Digest in InfoSec working on keeping the bad guys out, running forensics for post-mortems, networking support, and writing software to automate privilege management. During that time, I was coding in my spare time and had released some software for analyzing Twitter feeds to detect bots. BeenVerified saw that, reached out to me, and the rest is history.

What’s a typical day like for you?

To be honest, there is no typical day for me at BV. Generally speaking I use my time during the commute to read through email and go through my calendar. Once I hit the floor though, all bets are off. I usually have a series of recurring meetings and a set of objectives I’m working towards, but it’s not uncommon for me to skip all of that. Sometimes I’ll crash someone’s meeting or get nothing done on my to-do list for the day because I’m focused on dealing with business critical technical challenges.

In addition to focusing on business critical stuff I’m constantly reviewing code from other engineers, helping with deployments, and hacking on projects that are outside the scope of our normal planned work.

What’s your favorite thing about the BV office and culture?

Can I have two favorites? Yeah? Okay, good.

My favorite thing about BV culture as a whole is how everyone, since the earliest days of BV, has been pushing each other to be better and do better. The whole company is built around the idea of becoming the top 0.00000001% of your craft and while we may not all hit that level of perfection, we can all do our best. Having that sort of support structure makes for an extremely fulfilling workplace and an environment where anyone who wants to thrive is able to. I love coming to work every day.

My other favorite thing is purely how the office is set up. There are no walls and while this can make focusing difficult sometimes, it makes informal meetings and conversations super easy. It’s helped to foster a sense of community that I’ve not found in any other workplace I’ve been to. People from all different areas of the company do lunch together, work oddball hours together, and collaborate in unexpected ways. It’s awesome to watch and be a part of.

BeenVerified really is the best place I’ve ever worked and I doubt there are many companies out there that can implement the things we’ve built into our culture. I love everyone I work with.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I almost went to college for graphic design with the ultimate goal of becoming a game designer or a 3D illustrator. While visiting schools, I was talked out of it by the head of graphic design at one of the schools I’d been accepted to. From there I decided to get into computer science, and fell in love with it.

Also, before BeenVerified I was unable to grow a beard. Now I have a beard.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I actually have a bunch of hobbies and I feel like I don’t get to spend enough time on all of them. Here’s a quick list: rock climbing, hiking, working on my car, racing my car at various driving events, photography, woodworking, making beer, and generally doing stuff with my hands. My brain is wired to solve problems and create things so when I’m not working, I need to keep it occupied or it might try to take over the world or something.

Have any shoutouts? Any social media handles you’d like to mention?

Big time shout out to Josh, Ross, and Jay for taking a chance on me a decade ago. It’s been an awesome ride so far.

You can find me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/_patrick. Remember to follow me, subscribe to post notifications, and go through my last 20 photos and SMASH that like button on all of them. Leave a comment to tell me why you like or dislike my posts. Thanks.

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