Every day Alex Morreale rises out of bed, hits the snooze button a dozen times. He grabs an iced coffee at a local shop and hops on Boston’s Red Line. Behind his workstation he types on his keyboard, writes code.
Alex Morreale, a site-reliability engineer, is one of the most recognizable faces working at ezCater. He’s got more than a few fans. One Halloween his coworkers walked into the office wearing untucked flannel shirts, dark baseball caps, and oversized glasses. They credited their aesthetic to Alex. Their “Alex costumes” were an anthem to him.
Alex started out as a fledgling college graduate who took an IT job with ezCater after learning about the position on a Facebook post. Initially, he said, he mostly fixed laptops and rummaged through stock to find the correct headsets for people. But his manager saw his potential and offered him a more senior DevOps role.
Although Alex did not have the specialized education, he committed to the challenge. He bought a stack of books the next day, a Saturday, and a subscription to Linux Academy. For six months, he went to work, completing the projects of two jobs until his IT replacement was found. Post-shift, he hit the books. Now, deep into his new role, Alex has jump-started a new career, working at ezCater as a site-reliability engineer. Alex’s dedication has helped to refine the operations at ezCater.
“To be honest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I’m so happy I took the journey. I thank ezCater every day for the opportunity,” he said.
This year, inspired again by Alex, our entire company used a non-fashion statement to show our appreciation for the man who dresses in flannel. We awarded Alex Morreale with the Rosanna Rockstar Award, which comes with $2,000 for Alex to put toward his personal or professional development. What has carried our company through is a team of daring, hardworking employees like Alex who are humble, effective, adaptable, remarkable, and eager to help the company grow. It’s people like Alex who create our amazing company culture and who make ezCater a great place to work.
Early this week, in ezCater’s sun-streaked office, we chatted with Alex Morreale about working at ezCater.
What about working at ezCater most excites you?
There are three main reasons I love my job. One, I get to constantly keep learning about new and exciting technologies. Two, I get to work with open-source tools, which is something I love a lot. And three, I get to help my friends/coworkers by making their lives easier with code.
What lessons have you learned while working at ezCater?
- Believe in yourself. You control your success, so if you want to do something, do it.
- Never stop learning. It’s easy to say that, but keep reading, keep studying, keep breaking stuff until it works.
- Surrounding yourself with the right people can make your life better: We live a lot of our lives at work and the people make my life so much better, and I truly love all my coworkers.
Working at ezCater, what perks do you enjoy?
I get to wear what I feel comfortable in. I’ve never been comfortable in a dress shirt and at ezCater I don’t have to wear one if I don’t want to. If wearing a dress shirt and tie makes you more productive, ezCater wants you to feel like you can wear that. If you want to wear a local band’s T-shirt and shorts, you can do that, too.
Another perk is the unlimited vacation time. Not because I like going on long trips, but because if you need a mental-health day or need to get your tooth drilled, you can. There’s no guilt about taking a day off if you need to, and there’s no counting [your allotted sick time] for the rest of the year.
What do you like about the ezCater team that you work with?
Engineering as a whole is just amazing, and I love working with everyone at ezCater. But engineering is divided up into squads, and I’m on the SRE squad. I think a lot of people think of engineers as [a] heads-down and quiet [tribe], but we are definitely not that; we are for sure the loudest squad in the engineering organization. We’re constantly laughing and joking around for one reason or another, but we’re all driven to make our product the best it can be.
What’s your favorite snack from the community kitchen?
Call me lame but the best snack in there is the fresh organic fruit delivered every week. There’s a reason the apples go so quickly.