Employee Spotlight: Tom Henzie

Tom HenzieTom joined Escape in December of 2008. He came to us with 25 years of experience in the Broadband and Telecommunications industry. His previous company offered software solutions for Cable, Satellite and Telecom providers. During his time in the industry, he held positions of software analyst, developer and development manager. Most of Tom’s experience has been on teams specializing in billing database conversions. He joined Escape Technology to contribute to a quality product developed by a dedicated team of professionals. Tom enjoys the outdoors, golf, gardening, biking and the occasional ski trip.

What is your favorite part of working for Escape? — Definitely the people I work with. It really does feel like family, maybe because we work so closely together. Or, maybe because our management does a great job with those group activities. Working with a team of such smart people keeps you on your toes.

Can you give us a quick play-by-play of your average work day? — Each day can be very different, but I usually start by reviewing emails first thing in the morning. If one has information about a new or updated CR (change request), I would probably go there next to review the notes. Then it's usually on to development work, which is mostly but not limited to custom code for HRAs (human resource authorizations). Some of the HRA-related CRs address changes to system-wide Escape Online 5 software, so I often help with the unit testing of those.

I also handle all of the remaining conversions from our Classic product to Escape Online 5. Although few in number, a couple of our customers have recently requested a second conversion to move older data into what they will use as an archive database.

Then there are the occasional miscellaneous items. I may get a request for a custom SQL script from Escape Customer Care, a database project or something else out of the ordinary. I enjoy the "special" projects as they provide opportunity to work with all the different parts of the software.

What have been some of the highlights of your career? — When I first started at Escape I was assigned to conversions, and there were a number of projects lined up for both single districts and COEs. Both the system and school business data was new to me, so I had a lot to learn. It was quite satisfying to complete those projects.

I also did conversion work with my previous employer, where I started in 1983. Through each transition from the large "mainframes" to the PC-based systems in use today, it was always a big deal to move all the customers to the new system.

What are your favorite activities or things to do when not working? — I enjoy traveling, especially when there’s a beach involved. Walking, hiking, biking, anything to get outdoors. My wife and I like to go garage saling on Saturday mornings, but we never buy anything. It’s fun to just look. Sometimes estate sales can be really interesting — might find that hidden Van Gogh.

Where are you from originally? — I was born in Tucson AZ, but was raised in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.

If you weren't a Software Developer, what would you be? — I would be a meteorologist. I’ve always been interested in the forces of nature and weather phenomenon. Even though they can be very destructive, I find the power behind severe storms fascinating. Maybe I should enter a contest where first prize is a ride along with storm chasers in the Midwest or the guys that fly through hurricanes to take measurements.

What is your favorite food? — Probably Mexican, but there’s nothing like good southern cookin'.

What is your ringtone? — It's called Hillside on my iPhone. Not sure how I ended up with that one but it's easy to hear.

If you could meet one person, who and why? — I’d like to meet Mark Twain and hear his take on an earlier America.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? — I would like to fly. Having the ability to lift off and glide through the air seems like it would be very quiet and peaceful. Kind of like the feeling when diving underwater. Suddenly, all you can hear is the wind and your own heartbeat.