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Meet Our Prodigies: Justin Krinke

Prodigy Careers Blog

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  • Prodigy Culture
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Meet Justin Krinke - Principal Software Developer II! Justin joined Prodigy in November 2018. He is responsible for enablement work to support our internal teams, working on the highest priority projects and helping to find scalable solutions, supporting the company’s work with MarTech, eCommerce, and Parent users.

Hey Justin! What led you to this career?

My father was an engineer and my grandfather was a carpenter. I didn’t play with traditional toys, I played with soldering irons and table saws—which sounds kinda scary! So it was just a natural progression from being a builder and making things. Ironically, I also wanted to be a teacher and was going to go to school to study fine art and world history. But first went backpacking across Europe and realized I was pretty good with computers. So I thought "let’s pivot to that."

What attracted you to working at Prodigy?

I’d always wanted to be a teacher. My plan was to go back and teach at a college level. But Prodigy brings me closer to that self-desire to be an educator. I work a lot with teams, coaching and working through problems and trying to educate internally, as well as being part of an education platform. It's very satisfying. So that's what drew me to Prodigy and continues to keep me here.

What makes working at Prodigy special?

I have a very big passion for education. We genuinely really care about education and the state of education in the world. I'm also a very big proponent of my own personal growth and education. During my career I have had the opportunity to work in many different domains and technical stacks, which has allowed me to have a broad knowledge. That knowledge and experience has been leveraged by Prodigy. I often assist teams with infrastructure and helping them with their lower-level systems and supporting them in that way.

What part of your job is most rewarding?

I wear Prodigy swag sometimes in public and that’s all I need to tell me what kind of positive impact our product has. Kids will come up and say “hey is that Prodigy?” It makes it very special. I was picking-up my kids from school one day and I had a Prodigy sweater on, and a teacher came up to me and told me how much they love using our products in class. That’s love from our users that I haven’t experienced with other companies I’ve worked for.

What are you most excited about for the future?

I think there’s huge potential for the company. We're still growing, and that growth will have a direct impact on the education system. We’re already helping students in math and English, and there’s the potential to help them in other subjects too. I’m just really excited about all the opportunities to support our mission to help every student in the world love learning.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining Prodigy?

We talk a lot at Prodigy about Radical Candor. It’s one of our core cultural values, and if you practice that you’ll have an amazing experience at Prodigy. I actually find our core values are very close to my own personal values, which is probably why I’ve felt so settled here. The great thing about Radical Candor is that you’re openly encouraged to challenge and respectfully disagree, even with senior leadership. If you do that at some other companies, you won't last long. But it’s openly encouraged here, and it makes you feel very safe in giving your opinion, even if you ultimately disagree and commit to the work. If you value that kind of environment, Prodigy is a great place to be.

Interested in joining Justin at Prodigy? Check out our open positions!