RaiseMe Community

Raisin Spotlight: Todd Nestor, Engineering Manager

Meet Todd Nestor, Engineering Manager at RaiseMe.

Todd Nestor headshot

How long have you been at RaiseMe? 2.5 years!

What brought you to RaiseMe? I met a then-current RaiseMe Engineer at a recruiting event.  He explained to me the mission of the company and I was intrigued. I myself hadn’t been able to finish college because of financial reasons and trying to work full time to make it through.  So I connected with him on LinkedIn and we went from there! During my interview process I found that I really liked the RaiseMe engineering team. I ended up cutting my interview process with other companies short and accepted an offer with RaiseMe a day or two after Christmas 2016!

What’s your favorite thing about working at RaiseMe? The team!  I love coming into work each day. We have such a great team that I never get the Sunday evening dread of Monday, but instead look forward to coming into work Monday morning and getting back into work!

What sort of interesting challenges have you faced at RaiseMe? At RaiseMe I’ve worked on a lot of interesting engineering challenges including: 

  • Dynamically creating tens of thousands of pages of content about various colleges, microscholarships, and other things.
  • Creating referral competitions with hundreds of thousands of competitors.
  • Optimizing performance for several pages and features to deal with our ever-increasing user base.

What’s on your reading list? I have a bit of an eclectic reading list, in recent months I’ve read:

  • Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card (entire series – for probably the 10th time in my life)
  • The Belgariad and The Mallorean by David Eddings (both series – for about the 30th time)
  • The Ideal Team Player
  • Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  • Managing Humans

What’s one college course that you loved? Astronomy Lab! I took this as an accelerated course during a summer semester.  Every night we would take a bus up into the mountains and use pretty nice telescopes to look at the sky for several hours!  Since it was an accelerated course, we had class four nights a week. I have been very interested in astronomy since I was a kid, and for a long time thought I’d do it as a career… so this course was like a dream come true!

At what point in your schooling/life/career would you say you “found your path?” I feel like I’ve found my path multiple times, because I’ve pivoted and started up different paths multiple times.  Programming has been an interest of mine since I was 12 years old and have always enjoyed it, though I wasn’t sure I was going to do it as a career.  When I graduated high school I worked with developmentally-disabled adults to help them learn the skills they needed to join the workforce. At that company (PRIDE Industries), we took outsourced manufacturing jobs and I loved it, I got to do some social good while also helping things get manufactured.  I ended up leaving that company to take my first job doing programming, but when that company went under a couple years later I returned to PRIDE and continued working there for a few more years. Next, I decided to join the military in 2008. I enjoyed my time in the military and thought I’d make a lifelong career of it, but I chose to leave in 2014 when my initial contract was up due primarily to family reasons.  It was in 2014 that I returned to the world of programming, or software engineering, and decided that would be my career, which it still is now! It is hard to say when exactly I “found my path” because I feel like my path has changed multiple times, but as for the path I’m on now, I’d say I found it while I was living in Beijing with my wife back in 2014 and I decided to take a job as a software engineer once more and have been doing that ever since!

Want to learn more about working at RaiseMe? Check out our jobs page.

First and foremost, Mariah really loves snacks. She also loves people. She is a Teach for America alum turned ed-tech People Operations Manager with a side hustle co-leading RaiseMe’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy & programming.

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