Meet Zen Planner: 20 Questions with Matt Carle

At Zen Planner, we are surrounded by really talented and interesting people. I sat down with Matt Carle to learn more about his background, passions and work at Zen Planner.

1. Where did you grow up? 

Cumming, Georgia (A northern suburb of Atlanta)

2. Where did you go to college? 

Georgia Tech (Go Jackets!)

3. Why did you decide to go to school for engineering?

I kind of gravitated towards math and computers growing up. I started taking an online python course when I was in high school but never really followed through with it. I actually started out in the business college but was well beyond the math requirements so was either going to switch majors or get some kind of math-focused minor. I took a CS class the second semester of my freshman year and immediately changed my major to computer science.

4. What led you to Colorado?

I got an internship in Denver the summer before my senior year.  I loved Denver and got a full-time offer after graduation, so I decided to move out here.

5. Where is your favorite place to be?

That’s a tough one! I’d say my favorite places right now are Steamboat Springs and Snowmass. Anywhere with mountains and water really.

6. If you could describe yourself in five words what would they be? 

Curious, busy, restless, clumsy and light-hearted.

7. What hobbies will you never give up?

Guitar is probably one that I will never give up.

8. When did you start playing the guitar? Were you ever in a band? 

I started playing the guitar in the fifth grade. I never really joined a formal band, but I definitely enjoy having a jam session with others when I get the chance.

9. What is your favorite type of music?

I mostly listen to Rock. Everything from Zeppelin/Stones to some of the newer alternative stuff like Rainbow Kitten Surprise and Shakey Graves.

10. What is your favorite quote? 

“You’re never a loser until you quit trying.” – Mike Ditka

11. Biggest Pet Peeve? 

Slow drivers in the left lane.

12. How did you get into fly fishing and skiing? 

I got to take a ski trip to Keystone/Breckenridge when I was in the 7th grade and was hooked. I didn’t get too many opportunities to come out west after that, so I had to settle for “skiing” around North Carolina and West Virginia. Needless to say, when I moved out here, I got a season pass and have typically been in the mountains every weekend during ski season.

I think my grandparents got me into fishing when I was really young but it was one of my favorite hobbies growing up. One of my friend’s dads taught me how to fly fish during my junior year of high school and I never went back to spin/baitcast fishing. The fly fishing in Colorado has been a pretty big step up from Georgia! There are so many opportunities out here to explore new water and challenges.

13. What sort of DIY projects are you working on?

I’ve been starting small – just picture frames, shelves, etc. I’m going to refinish my stairs which will be interesting.

14. What is something you are not good at?

Mountain biking. I went once and it was a pain-filled day.

15. What has been your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment would probably be buying my house two years out of college.

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16. How do your hobbies outside of Zen Planner impact your work? 

The biggest impact I’ve seen is that they force me to have patience. I think that’s important in my work at Zen Planner because it prevents me from rushed and hacked-together solutions. I’m also a CrossFitter so it’s nice to see our product actually make an impact in something I enjoy.

17. Was fitness part of the reason you applied to Zen Planner?

For sure! I had been running for a while and had just started CrossFit when I joined Zen Planner. Being able to work in a market that I really enjoy was (and still is) very exciting to me!

18. What is your role at Zen Planner? 

I’m a software engineer on the payments team.

19. What is your favorite part about working at Zen Planner?

My favorite part about working here has been the opportunity to learn from and interact with very smart people day-to-day. The dogs and keg are great too.

20. What advice would you give to new hires?

Don’t be afraid to look to your teammates for help when you need it and share information and knowledge as well!

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