Name: Dallas Gutauckis
Role: Lead Android Engineer
Hometown: Port Orange, FL
Hypothetical SeatGeek talent show performance: Balancing things… such as a barstool on my finger, a hockey stick on my foot, etc.
Twitter handle: @dallasgutauckis
SGFL (SeatGeek Foosball League) Ranking: 2, 3? Either way, behind the undeniable king of foosball and sobriety, Ben Clark.
What was your path to SeatGeek?
This morning? I took the L train into 14 St/Union Square as I often do and then walked the few blocks uptown to the office; sometimes, I ride my bike. It’s a cool 7-mile ride.
I grew up programming. I started around age 9 with Visual Basic (whooo! … just kidding) and switched to web development combined with some basic C muddling. I was doing things like modifying game servers to be able to provide user scores to forum software and link accounts (in-game username being the same as the forum username, shared auth, credentials, etc.). From there I focused more on full-stack web development, doing contract work during high school and my first year of college. I dropped out of college to work at a startup in 2007 at a company called myYearbook. I worked on full-stack web development there for about 3½ years.
In 2010 I was attending Google I/O. That was the year they sent all of the attendees a Motorola Droid ahead of the conference and suggested they work on something and come with questions and whatnot to bring to the conference. So, with that, I made my first Android app. I essentially made Words with Friends for Android before it existed. (If you don’t know Words with Friends, think online multiplayer Boggle.) After that, my manager noticed I was doing Android development a lot in my spare time and asked if I’d be interested in working on the myYearbook Android app full-time. I obliged and ended up really loving it.
Our company was acquired in 2011. I stuck around for a while. Then, in late 2013/early 2014, Alex Blum and Jack Groetzinger both reached out to me from SeatGeek asking if I wanted to lead the Android team. It was really a perfectly awesome fit for me. I wanted to move to New York City, and I wanted some new things to work on. I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made to move.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on since joining?
It’s not out yet, but we’re working on adding SeatGeek Checkout to the Android app. SeatGeek Checkout greatly simplifies the purchasing process for users by allowing them to save and re-use their payment information across many different ticket sellers. It’s an obvious win for users, and it’s also an obvious win for us. Checkout presents some exciting technical hurdles for us, especially as we’re working with new technologies like RxJava as well as ensuring we have solid test coverage for Checkout (something we really don’t want to break). We also have some fun new design and UX concepts we’re introducing to the app, so I just can’t wait to see it being used, and — we hope — loved!
What do you want to work on next?
I have really big ideas for revamping our search user experience and would really like to have a refined experience there. I’m hoping we’ll be able to do some design sprint work there as well — a process we haven’t tried out yet.
What’s your favorite SeatGeek experience?
As pretty much everyone at SeatGeek knows (it’s in my onboarding presentation, as well as in every product presentation I give), I’m a huge fan of the Philadelphia Flyers. I really enjoyed going to the playoff games last year at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers; even after the Flyers lost to the Rangers and the Rangers were playing the Canadiens, I still went to those games with a colleague and had a blast. So, in summary, I’d say that the general experience of going to hockey games with our ticket perk is my favorite SeatGeek experience.
What’s your top NYC recommendation — food, fun, neighborhood, etc.?
I’m a huge fan of breakfast foods and sandwiches, but particularly breakfast sandwiches. Tompkins Square Bagels is one of my favorite places in the city. Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque gets a solid second. Any time a friend is visiting from out of town, I’m sure to take them to both.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read recently?
I read The Martian by Andy Weir recently. This book has definitely made the rounds in the tech/science fields, but also in general society (or so I’m told). I really liked the book. I didn’t actually read it, I listened to it on the L train. It’s a bit hard to follow when you’re listening to him rattle off numbers and equations, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Apparently, there’s also a film scheduled for release in November of this year.
What’s been your favorite SeatGeek team event?
No offense to “Batsu!”, which we went to recently and had an awesome time at, but I enjoyed the hell out of the Arcade Fire concert we went to. The crowd was great, the band was great, the show was great, and hanging out with SeatGeeks was great. What more can I say?