Life at OPENLANE: Q&A with Joe Lardizabal, Product Engineer

Joe Lardizabal has been with us for over 16 years and helped create much of the technology OPENLANE currently uses. He talks to us about his advice for young programmers, remote work and his OPENLANE story. 

What has your journey at OPENLANE looked like?   

My experience has been terrific. I started in 2006 and went through many stages of growth with OPENLANE through acquisitions. OPENLANE has given me many opportunities to use my talent to improve the business.   

What is something you are most proud of during your time at OPENLANE?  

The technology that I have helped build.  

What do you like the most about working at OPENLANE?  

I was part of a team in 2006 to see if remote work makes sense. It was working from home before working from home was a thing. I have a home office and have been doing that since I started. The flexibility of remote work here is amazing.      

What is your favorite aspect of technology?  

The creation piece. Lots of software developers are linear and logical thinkers, so one of the creative things they can do is create software, business solutions and programs. Technology allows us to get more creative with these solutions, programs and software.   

What’s a piece of advice for newcomers?   

Don’t discount the value of doing QA, professional services and understanding your customer. More important than coding is understanding your customer. It doesn’t matter what you code if they don’t like it. QA is the best place to start in any org because you get to read other people’s code and see the landscape. You get a breadth of the skill sets in that company before you establish yourself. I would encourage everyone to spend time in QA and get to know their customer. After you move past those two things, you get to professional services. This is when you get in front of the customer and they present you with their particular set of problems and pain points.   

What’s the last movie or show you binged?  

When Top Gun: Maverick came out, I introduced my kids to the original Top Gun. We were trying to figure out which one was better and to help them make up their minds, we binged a ton of Tom Cruise movies.  


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