Team Impel includes musicians, foodies, avid animal lovers, athletes, and more, and their passion, energy, and grit make Impel successful. Impel’s Employee Spotlight Series highlights one of our incredible teammates each month, giving you an authentic and behind-the-scenes look at our culture. This month we’re introducing you to Software Engineer Ash Slyvestre.
Tell us about your background and how you got started in your current role as a Software Engineer at Impel.
I am a Brooklyn-born New Yorker of Haitian descent on both sides and before I got started at Impel, I was a Doordash Delivery driver while I was studying to improve my skills as a developer. At the same time, I was doing a coding bootcamp called Fullstack Academy where I met a lot of good people and formed long-lasting friendships. As far as how I got started at Impel, my career coach is neighbors with Kurt Zikaras, who is now my manager, and she connected us – I cannot thank her enough for opening the door to this opportunity.
Which Impel core value resonates with you the most and why?
I am a strong believer in perseverance, so I’d say I’m most aligned with Grit at Impel. I believe that when it comes to a passion or a skill that you want to learn, no matter how hard it may be or how long it takes, you can always accomplish your task so long as you don’t give up. What you do to progress in your goals in and of itself is a test of your perseverance and how much you want to achieve those goals. It is how I was able to get this far in my skills as a developer and as an artist. At some point, you learn to love your craft because you chose to never give up on it no matter the circumstances.
Can you describe a project or accomplishment you’re particularly proud of from your time here?
Well, so far I am proud of participating in my first company talent show and giving it my best with that art piece. That was such an accomplishment because I was so nervous! I do wish I had more time to finish it but, I am greatly impressed with how much progress I’ve made in a short amount of time. I am looking forward to the next talent show!
Speaking of Impel’s Got Talent, your submission was pretty incredible – a hand-drawn depiction of the Battle of Thermopylae. Is drawing a hobby that was self-taught and how long have you been doing it?
Thank you! I am really glad everyone enjoyed that art piece. I started drawing way before I started programming; I’ve been doing it all my life and even went to an art high school to hone my drawing skills. It has ended up more of a hobby since I changed direction to programming but I am trying to fuse my art skills with my programming skills, which brought me to game development.
Tell us about a professional or personal goal you’re currently working towards.
I have been bouncing around goals, both professional and personal. I would say right now my main focus is a personal goal of developing my first game in Unity which created games like Among Us and Cuphead! For now, however, I will be in the learning phase of that goal. I am really excited to see where my journey toward my goals will take me!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Other than programming and art, I go for walks outside and I’m able to do that a lot more now that the weather has been beautiful. I can’t wait to go to the beach again! I also hang with some friends, and try to stay consistent at the gym! You gotta be active to balance out the hours spent looking at screens.
What are some of your favorite foods or restaurants?
Oh man, I love a good steak, especially if I can get my hands on Black and Bleu, which is rarer than rare! As for restaurants, a good Caribbean restaurant that I always seem to go back to is Peppa’s Jerk Chicken in Brooklyn. I strongly recommend their Curry Goat with Plantain.
What books, podcasts, or movies do you recommend to others?
I gotta give all three! I have to say The Lex Fridman Podcast has been my most watched podcast, what with the ever-growing ecosystem of AI, it is insightful to hear how AI is evolving. Haven’t watched a good movie lately but, I do recommend people watch the Bridgerton series on Netflix. I have never been so attached to a romance series like this and I am here for it! And for books, I gotta go with Meditation by Marcus Aurelius. I have been exploring deeper into my interests in philosophy and Mediation was my first introduction along with a Love Letter from a Stoic by Seneca. So, if you are in the market to try your hands in philosophy, I recommend those!
Ash fit in quickly with Team Impel when he started in November, making his first code deployment to help a customer during his very first week on the job. We’re looking forward to seeing all that Ash can accomplish and to playing his future video game – we’re manifesting that for him. Follow us on the Impel Facebook and Impel Instagram pages for updates. Be on the lookout for next month’s employee spotlight on Zach Holt.