Sanna Sharp
Aug 13 · 5 min read

Get to know the man tasked with bringing V3 to your screen.

Tim Routowicz, shot by Alex Choi

Tim Routowicz is many things: a Michigan native and proud U of M alum, now a New York resident. A fair-weather pianist. And: the man who painstakingly laid down the code for Campuswire’s earliest iterations. We caught up with Tim in Campuswire’s SoHo headquarters to talk tech with one of Campuswire’s original team members.


Hi, Tim! Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Hey, Sanna! Sure– I was born and raised in Michigan. I’m 29 years old, and I graduated from University of Michigan with a bachelors in computer science.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities at Campuswire?

I contribute and oversee day-to-day development of the web app and backend. Up until fairly recently that meant I oversaw myself, but we now have a solid team of engineers taking us to the next level!

What do you do when you’re not coding Campuswire?

I enjoy going to the gym, but have been falling short of that lately… I try to sit down at a piano every now and again… can’t let those years of lessons go to waste! Other than that the usual… picking up a new book, playing video games, and spending time with friends.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Working with great minds and having– hopefully — a valuable impact in the role I play.

So, I know that you’re one of Campuswire’s founding fathers. How did you originally meet Tade? [Oyerinde, Campuswire CEO]

A friend, Robbie, introduced me to Tade during Summer ’16. At the time, Tade needed an engineer to help rollout an MVP of CW and I had a nine-to-five job with time to spare. I came on as a contractor with an expected duration of two, maybe three weeks. Weeks carried into months, and I was given a full time offer in November ’16– with a prerequisite of moving to NYC with Tade!

And now you live in NYC. How do you feel about the city?

The city feels like home now. There was an adjustment period, as I’m sure there is for most people.

What were you doing before Campuswire?

Before Campuswire, I held a few different jobs switching between roles as a software engineer and sysadmin.

How challenging were the first few months of the company/first few months on the job?

‘Challenging’ might not be the best word. We had a lot on our plate, but Tade and I put in the hours. In the early days, we only had one goal: build something that works. We didn’t have the usual deadlines that a more mature company would have. It was — and still is — the best career decision I’ve made.

Can you remember one Campuswire moment that stood out as the most challenging?

Does interviewing count? It’s one of those things you don’t appreciate until you’re the one in the hot seat.

On the engineering side– growing pains, in general. We moved fast early on and the accrued technical debt has bit us a few times. I don’t think this was avoidable completely, but we’ve definitely learned a lot on when it comes to planning and thinking ahead.

“In the early days, we only had one goal: build something that works.”

And which moment at Campuswire has stood out as being the best?

I was stunned by our early users’ eagerness to give feedback. Without them, Campuswire would not be in the shape it’s in today. We can bikeshed all day about what the UX should be, but real user feedback is what brings the pieces together.

What’s something you didn’t expect about your job/the company?

I always expected to move fast. But actually moving fast– consistently– is something that really wakes you up. Without the right team, communication, mindset, etc, I think that could become quite the de-motivator.

Let’s talk a little about your early life. What was your favorite subject in middle school?

Band class? I’d say science outside of that.

Band class, huh? What did you play?

The alto saxophone!

Ooh, I was a clarinetist with alto sax-dreams.

I actually started on clarinet. Played it until I was in middle school.

Clarinets are kind of a sad instrument, no one wants to hear a clarinet solo. But alto saxophone– I was actually talking to someone earlier about how knowing the sax automatically makes you the coolest person in the room.

[laughs]

Facts. Tade actually plays the alto sax, too.

Well, we’ll have to have a sax-off.

I’d win.

I’d like to see it. Anyways, what was your first job?

My first job– I worked in the back of a small restaurant during the summers I had off during college. It wasn’t terribly challenging, but it introduced me to the idea of working alongside others. Seeing the money made by summer’s end wasn’t so bad, either. [winks]

And how many cups of coffee do you drink a day?

Probably too many. Habits (poor) were formed during college and they’ve followed me ever since. Sadly, I can’t imagine a day where caffeine is not in the room.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

I don’t travel the world too much. Being away from family makes me say Michigan.

Finally– what are you most excited about for the future of Campuswire?

Rolling out our upcoming premium product, Campuswire Pro. Growth in general, becoming a household name on campus–– and beyond. ●

Campuswire is a course communication system built with the specific needs of professors and students in mind. Get to know the rest of our team through our Meet the Campuswire Team series, or by sending us a message on campuswire.com.

Campuswire

We're on a mission to optimize the world’s teaching and learning.

Sanna Sharp

Written by

Campuswire

We're on a mission to optimize the world’s teaching and learning.

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