It’s not every day that you find a father and his two sons working together at the same company, but especially not at a company as small as Synapse!
Greg Strange joined Synapse Product Development almost 12 years ago, when the company headquarters were in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle and the staff consisted of about 25 engineers and the three founders. Greg had worked with one of the Synapse founders at a previous company, and was excited to step into the role of the first Software Engineer at the scrappy start up.
As the years went by, Greg saw Wednesday lunch change from walking across the street to a restaurant, to today’s catered lunches serving hundreds of engineers across several time zones. He’s enjoyed watching the company grow, change, adapt, and become more professional. Throughout all these years, founder Ross Collins has kept employee's best interests at heart.
The number one thing that keeps Greg at Synapse is the variety of projects. He’s content working on something different every year and enjoys that he doesn’t have to switch companies to do something new. While larger companies have more rungs in the ladder, Greg’s priority isn’t working his way up in management, it’s working on really interesting projects.
Greg is most excited about the recent acquisition by Cambridge Consultants. Some Synapse Software Engineers have had to the chance to travel and work side by side with the CC team, and he’s excited to get a chance to do so as a well!
Greg and his wife have four kids, three boys and one girl. Ryan, the oldest of the four, was especially inclined towards math and is known for coming home from the first day of kindergarten complaining “All they do is sing!” Over time, Ryan wanted to take more math classes, which changed his career path from becoming a doctor to becoming an engineer.
Just after Greg started at Synapse, Ryan was looking for a college internship. He had heard from his dad how much fun Synapse was, and had the chance to prove himself as the summer intern. He worked part time throughout his senior year of college and after graduation, Ryan was hired on as a full time employee. Shortly after, he received an opportunity to go abroad and spent the next eight years studying solar energy in England, then working in Germany and Canada. After he and his wife had two kids, they decided to move back to Seattle and Greg pointed out that Synapse was hiring.
After spending the past several years in foreign countries, Ryan was happy to be closer to family and friends. Shortly after coming home, he got in touch with the Director of Electrical Engineering and came in for a Synapse interview. He immediately realized how happy he was to come back. Even the interview was better than other interviews... everyone was very helpful and nice. His favorite part about working at Synapse is that people are kind while being extremely competent and smart, there’s no cut-throat competition. The most important thing that Ryan has wanted to do with his career is to keep learning. His projects have stretched and forced him to learn new things.
According to Greg, “Max always had a lot of interests”, but no one in the family ever expected their youngest son to become an engineer. In college, Max found a way to major in Linguistics, French, and Psychology. He found that he was really drawn to the biology of linguistics, and started to explore the pre med track. After shadowing doctors, receiving a post-baccalaureate, and doing well on the MCAT, he found himself on the waitlist at dozens of schools.
Max suddenly found himself with a ton of extra time on his hands and decided that he would use that time to make a robot. Rather than go and buy a kit, Max ordered every book that he could get his hands on and started to teach himself about artificial intelligence. He discovered that making a robot was more than a hobby and when it came time to reapply for medical schools, he decided to pursue a graduate certificate in Software Design and Development closer to home.
Shortly after the program was over, Max started a Software Engineering Internship at Synapse and was then offered a full time position by the Director of Software Engineering. In true form, Max is still going to school, this time working towards a Masters.
Ryan and Max are currently working on a project together, but so far they’ve never worked on a project with their dad. Instead, they spend most of their time together when the family and family friends gather at the Strange house every Saturday. Greg gives his wife a lot of credit for their kids success, and they are happy that all the kids ended up becoming such wonderful people. Synapse is lucky to have the Strange family be such a big part of the Synapse family!