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Welcome to Prodigy: Lance McKee

Prodigy Careers Blog


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Our Welcome to Prodigy series spotlights some of the top talent to recently join our mission to help every student in the world love learning! Want to be part of our team? Check out our open positions here!

Meet Lance McKee - Software Developer III, Math Game. Lance joined Prodigy in December 2023. He’s based in Washington, and education runs in Lance’s family—which makes him a natural fit for Prodigy!

Hey Lance—welcome to Prodigy! What is your role here?

My role is working with Live Ops and preparing new features, like Treasure Track which recently launched. I also help with a bit of clean-up of older code, making sure that the user experience is as good as it can be.

What is your career background?

After college I wanted to get into programming, but none of the studios were hiring programmers! So I joined a game studio in Salt Lake City as a quality assurance tester and kept bugging the other programmers to give me little programming tests. When word caught on that I was doing an OK job at those, I moved to a programmer position and have been developing games ever since. I’ve worked on different platforms and different styles of games, but my favorite thing I’ve done is working on kids games—especially if they are helpful to kids.

What attracted you to Prodigy?

I knew what Prodigy was because all three of my kids had played it in school and loved it, so it was a no brainer for me to pursue this over other offers. I had been talking with a few different and ‘bigger’ companies, but Prodigy was really attractive to me because of its mission. My wife has also worked as a Teaching Assistant, and works 1-1 with kids who were falling behind. She had also seen first hand how helpful Prodigy was for kids in getting them excited and motivated to practice math. Helping kids is very important or me, as well as working for a company that does what they say they’ll do.

What have you enjoyed most during your first few weeks?

Since I joined they have proven again and again how what they do matches what they say. They make day-to-day decisions that put the user first. Being User Obsessed is something they talk about a lot, but it really is what they are. I’ve also loved the feedback from the kids! In my welcome pack there was a letter from a student welcoming me to the company. It’s great when the company shares stories at our All Hands meetings of the positive feedback from kids and parents we get every day—that stuff always makes me tear up a little!

What excites you about the future at Prodigy?

There’s been talk of branching into other subjects, with the launch of Prodigy English being part of that. I struggled in school with chemistry, and it’d be great if we could eventually help kids in all subjects. My mom was an English teacher, so getting into English was great. There’s also the very real impact we have. We track data and KPIs, but there are the things that are not so easily measurable, like the amazing feedback from kids and parents. Knowing you’re helping them is a big thing for me.

What advice would you give to someone who was considering joining Prodigy?

That it’s as great as you think it might be. Once you get in the door there are surprises about just how good it really is. They have done a great job of pivoting and shifting the company to ensure team members are freed-up to do the best work they can do. Other companies make demands but set-up team members to fail. But we adapt and keep up so we can do what we do as effectively as possible. You really feel able to do your best work and make an impact.

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