Inside Evernote: Dean Rzonca

Posted by Alexei Rodriguez on 26 Aug 2014

Posted by Alexei Rodriguez on 26 Aug 2014


What is your role on the Evernote Business team?

As a developer, I do everything – working with the product manager and designers to refine requirements for new features, helping QA form test plans, and of course lots of coding. I do full-stack development, everything from CSS animations to database schema changes.

Dean Rzonca

Evernote developer Dean Rzonca


Why is Evernote Business an exciting product to work on?

Evernote has been around for a while, but Business is a relatively new thing for us, so it’s exciting to be a part of something this early on. Even now, a lot of really awesome companies are using Evernote Business, so there’s a lot of impact.


Can you describe a few of the Evernote features you are working on now and/or you have helped build in the past?

When I started at Evernote there were only a handful of web developers, so I’ve done work in almost every part of the web service.

One of my first projects was to help get us ready to launch our service in China, which was a huge effort for almost everybody in the company. Later, I worked on Reminders in the web client, which was a lot of fun. We have really great designers here, and I enjoyed working with them to get the drag & drop interface just right.

I also did a lot of the initial work for Business, before we had a dedicated team for it. I worked with a couple of other developers on pages for administration and signup, and added support for viewing business notebooks side-by-side with personal notebooks in our web client.

What I’m working on right now, however, is top-secret.


What is your biggest challenge at present?

I think we have two major challenges right now.

First, our scaling model has done a great job handling millions of users who each have their own collection of notes, but there’s a lot of work to do for business users who may have access to thousands of notebooks and hundreds of thousands of notes. We need to make sure everything is fast and helps you find what you need.

Second, companies are concerned about knowing where and how information in their business can be accessed, but we also respect user’s privacy. We don’t make users keep track of two separate logins if they use Evernote at work as well as on their own, because that’s the best experience, but it’s definitely been more challenging technically. At the beginning, most Business users were already using Evernote on their own, so we tailored Business to that. But as we grow, we need to think more and more about people who are getting introduced to Evernote because they work at a company that uses it.


What is the most satisfying part of your job?

I get to work on a product that helps millions of people. All the time, when people hear that I work at Evernote they tell me how much they love our product and what a difference it’s made for them. We’re really focused on getting features done quickly, so almost every week there’s something new in production that I worked on.


What is your background?

I went to RIT and I have a degree in Software Engineering, which is basically Applied CS. We focused a lot on software architecture and process, and had some really great professors that were actively working in the industry while they were teaching. While I was there, I focused on real-time and embedded systems, but decided it wasn’t really what I wanted to be doing.

I’ve been doing full-stack web development, along with some iOS on the side.

What’s your favorite Evernote feature?

I love Skitch. It’s so much easier than trying to explain things with words. Also OCR and Document Camera. Being able to haphazardly add pictures and always find them later is sort of amazing.


How do you use Evernote?

We do all of our work in Evernote Business, so we have notebooks for planning and design handoff that are shared across teams. I also use it to keep a reading list of clipped articles, and plan trips with shared notebooks. I’ve been getting really into home brewing, so I keep a notebook with recipes for everything I’ve brewed, along with notes about how everything turns out. If the homebrew supply store writes down a recipe for me, all I need to do is take a photo of it.


If you could only use 3 adjectives to describe Evernote’s culture what would they be?

Fast, challenging, fun.


What is the best part about working for Evernote?

I’m surrounded by really smart, motivated people.


Why did you choose to work at Evernote?

I’ve been an Evernote user since it first launched, so I jumped at the chance to come work here.

View more stories in 'Profiles'