Inside with Jamie Dulude – Architecting the Future of Radiology
Meet Jamie Dulude. A New Englander at heart, Jamie works out of our Boston headquarters as Director Principal Architect. He spent years working for a local and successful online retailer before making the switch to healthcare. Today, he’s focused on building a scalable software that enables Candescent Health to deliver it’s services to radiology partners. Read Jamie’s interview to learn why he made the move, what he looks for in a teammate, and what makes him happiest.
Outside of the office, what keeps you busiest/happiest?
Outside of work, I have a number of things to keep me busy. I have an 8-month old daughter who is the absolute light of my life. After office hours, she gets most of my attention! And if getting a new job and having a baby wasn’t enough change for one year… my wife and I also recently purchased our first home. I spend any free time I have on house renovations. Prior to a house and a baby, my main hobby was my 1968 Mustang, which I have been restoring over the past 4 years and plan to have complete within the next year.
You spent 5 years at Boston-based online jeweler, Gemvara. What did you love about working there, and why make the switch over to healthcare? What made Candescent Health worth leaving for?
When I joined Gemvara (called Paragon Lake at the time), it was a very early stage startup. It was fairly early on in my career and I loved that I was able to have a positive impact on how quickly the business grew. There were a lot of ups and downs at Gemvara, and I took pride in working for the company as long as I did. After 7 years (2 as Paragon Lake and 5 as Gemvara), the company’s growth had plateaued. I felt that my ability to make a positive impact on the growth and ultimate success of the company had come to an end.
There were several factors that led me to joining Candescent Health. First, the reason I came to know about Candescent was through Gemvara’s former CTO and Candescent’s current CTO, Murali Menon. I had worked closely with Murali for several years during the early stages of Gemvara and he contacted me immediately upon his arrival to Candescent. In addition to Murali, two other former Gemvara engineers (Michael Korthuis and Peter Chapman) had joined the Candescent team. I highly respected Michael, Peter and Murali and I knew a team of this caliber had the ability to make Candescent successful. The final factor the led to me joining Candescent was two meetings I had with our CEO, Scott Seidelmann. Scott was very willing to meet with me over drinks and casually discuss the history of the company and his vision of what the future has in store. He made me a believer in Candescent’s mission and the type of impact we can have in both the radiology world and broadly in healthcare.
What do you do as Director Principal Architect at Candescent?
My main focus as Director Principal Architect is working closely with the development team to take our software, which was originally built to support one customer, and transform it into a scalable software that enables a service. While doing this transformation, we’re also upgrading our technology stack to leverage modern frameworks and solutions. These technologies include Symfony, AngularJS, Bootstrap and RabbitMQ. We’ve also put our entire application on AWS (Amazon Web Services) and have taken advantage of solutions such as Amazon Aurora to get performance gains in our application.
In addition to day to day development work, I also work on variety of tasks that would fall under the “DevOps” category. These include working with our operations team to help configure infrastructure necessary to support our application, setting up build environments, and overseeing deployments.
As we grow as a company, I also spend time interviewing candidates to try to find new talent that would fit well on our team and help us achieve our mission.
If I were applying to join this team, what 3 work traits should I have?
This is a great question and I know a lot of engineers would answer this with a focus on technical skills. However, I’m going to take a different approach.
First, and most importantly, you need to be customer centric. Having the ability to see the problem through the eyes of the customer rather than the eyes of the developer is critical, not only to work on Candescent’s team, but for any job as a developer. I see far too many engineers get hung up on the technical challenges and lose focus on how and why the business is trying to help its customers.
Second, knowing the difference between building quality software and over-engineering. There is a fine line between building something that’s high quality and scalable, and over-engineering something that is completely unnecessary and will make life more painful for future developers to try to accomplish simple tasks. Again, this goes back to having a solid understanding of business goals and understanding how the software you’re building will be used by our customer.
Third, be a teammate, not an individual. You need to understand the value in working closely with your colleagues to help grow and scale the department. Think about the product roadmap and think about the team you have in place to build it. Will you be able to accomplish everything being asked for with the current team and skill sets? If not, think about where you can spread your knowledge throughout the team to alleviate any bottlenecks.
That’s a tough question. I’m 100% a New Englander at heart so it’s hard to picture myself anywhere else. I grew up in Rhode Island, went to college in New Hampshire, and I’ve been in the Boston area for 10 years now. I love the tech startup community that Boston offers. I love the change of seasons here. I love living close to a major city, yet still not too far from good skiing and hiking. I suppose the Denver area would come close to meeting the same criteria that keeps me in Boston, so if Candescent opens an office in Denver, I guess I’d be willing to make the move.