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Meet Dan Carter: The Fast Interview

Dan Carter (Engineer #3), Technical Lead Manager – Identity and Access Management at Fast

Dan Carter

Role: Technical Lead Manager – Identity and Access Management

Team: Engineering

Talk about your background leading up to Fast.

I started in General Electric's technology leadership program. I got exposure to a bunch of different fields within the technology space. Through that, I learned I really like coding and engineering. That's what I ended up doing in my first full-time role: a full stack engineer. Then, I moved into security with FireEye, and then I moved to contract for the Army. Absolutely hated it. Too slow. I moved to the Bay, and then I was at Lyft for three years.

How did you get to Fast?

After I left Lyft, I decided I wanted to do something from the ground up and be a critical piece of building the infrastructure of a company. I had almost given up interviewing, but I have a friend who is an angel investor in Fast. He said hold on. So I met with Domm (Holland, Co-Founder and CEO of Fast), and he sold me.

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a child?

I spent pretty much my entire childhood in Baltimore. I was a very quiet kid. My mom – she’s Filipino – never let me go out, so that limited my friend pool. But I'm a very introspective person, and I definitely was as a child. I liked learning. The way I learned coding was my mom and I were at Goodwill, and I wanted this HTML book and she bought it for me. I didn't have a computer, so I'd write it down on a piece of paper, and I would go to my friend's house to test it.

What was your first job ever?

My first job where I was paid was as a dishwasher at this local seafood restaurant. I was so excited. I made a cold $5.75 an hour. It was amazing. That was the minimum wage. I learned a lot about what it means to work hard.

You recently taught a virtual break dancing bootcamp at Fast. How did you get into that?

I always wanted to dance when I was younger, but, in general, like anything that I wanted to do outside of school, it would always be a really big challenge. And on top of that challenge, like convincing my mom, there was a stigma around dancers, like it's a very “feminine” thing. When I got to college, I happened to make a bunch of friends who were all hip hop dancers. That was when I started going to hip hop workshops. Dancing is a huge commitment. The demands on the body are high.

Which public figure do you admire the most and why?

Neil Patrick Harris and Donald Glover. I see them as very high-level entertainers. They’re good in a large array of disciplines, and they've managed to not only self-sustain based on their skills but also make a dent on the industries that they want.

What food do you uncontrollably eat?

I have a super weak spot for Hershey's Kisses with almonds. I'm not even a sweets person. If you put those in front of me, they will be gone.

Who is your favorite TV or film character?

Miles Morales. I identify with Spider-Man. He is focused on school, and he is trying to do the right thing. In 2011, Miles Morales was introduced to the Marvel universe. He's younger; he's from the inner city; he's half Black, half Puerto Rican, so he's mixed, like me; and he's trying to figure out a bunch of stuff. I'm ecstatic that he's become more mainstream because I want that normalized.

What personal goal would you like to achieve in the next five years?

I want to have Baby Mills, 1990s and 2000s down. They’re all breakdance moves. I want those clean, on demand, perfect. Professionally, I want to be in a role where I can play a large role in shaping and strategizing some large initiative, maybe identity.