Meet the Aries Team: Matt Van Voorhies, Software Engineer

Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What did you do before joining Aries?

I have been a Software Engineer at Aries for 9.5 years now. Prior to joining Aries, I spent nearly a decade working as a software engineer at a company whose primary business was a scanning and archiving solution for medical records.

How have your previous roles helped you in your current position?

The one role that perhaps influenced me the most wasn’t a technical, or even a full-time role – it was my part-time job at Burger King in high school. While I learned many life lessons in the job, the pivotal moment was a single three hour class on customer service. It was so well done that ever since the course my first and primary goal in every job I’ve worked, regardless of the industry, is to deliver value for the customer. That customer focused mindset fit perfectly among the like-minded people here at Aries and is one of our core values as a company.

How do you stay up-to-date with trends in the industry or in your field?

I try to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies in my field generally by reading from a number of developer resources, Microsoft dev blogs, Stack overflow, etc. For the latest in the academic publishing industry, I enjoy reading articles from Scholarly Kitchen/SSP and the Aries Systems Twitter account.

How do you collaborate with other departments within Aries?

As a member of the Engineering department, I closely collaborate with QE and Operations/DBA as a part of deploying the code that we write out through the release pipeline to the production systems. Since we’re responsible for implementing new functionality, I’m constantly working with Product Management to bring new features from idea into reality. We are also responsible for fixing any bugs, so I will often collaborate with the Client Services team, especially when I’m working on a bug that is particularly challenging to reproduce.

Tell me about your department and the people you work most closely with.

The Engineering department at Aries is a dedicated group of experienced professionals. It’s rare in the software engineering world to be able to work in a single department at a single company for almost a decade and still feel like you’re one of the newer members. I think that says a lot (of good things, of course!) that we have so many developers that have been here for more than ten years.

I’ve worked with almost every member of our department in some way or another and most recently as a member of a tightly-knit agile unit with some of the best and brightest people as colleagues. Our team motto is “We have the capacity” and it is 110% accurate!

Describe your typical workday.

There is no such thing as typical and every day is a new adventure! That adventure usually starts with a morning scrum with my fellow developers. From there I may be implementing a new feature, fixing a bug, researching how to integrate a 3rd party product or helping other engineers.

In the last year and a half, I’ve been one of the few people routinely in the office throughout the pandemic, so I am often called upon to assist with analyzing machines for colleagues working remotely or helping our office manager with odd jobs or tasks around the office.

What do you most enjoy about your job? What do you enjoy most about working for Aries?

I love engineering, writing code and solving problems, but the best thing about Aries is the great people. Beyond that, it’s great to know that the work that we are doing is supporting the advancement of science and medicine and really helping people.

What are you currently reading, listening to, or watching?

My wife likes to tease me about my love of Hallmark mystery movies, in particular the Aurora Teagarden mysteries series.

Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work.

Most of my time outside of work is spent trying to keep up with our kids, Astrid (5) and Billy (7).  If there is any leftover time, I spend it working on home improvement projects and DIY automotive repair. I’m a huge fan of the 90’s – early 00’s Jeeps and consider myself an amateur Jeep mechanic. I have an old Jeep Cherokee on which I have fixed a number of major and minor problems, from a clutch job to a new A/C system, to keep it road-worthy.