Q people

Matt Habermehl

Matt Habermehl

Code Designer
Qmate since 2017-ish

Why Quarry for You?

I’ve recently returned to Quarry after pursuing an opportunity at a successful start-up, so I’ve thought hard about what makes Quarry such an attractive place to work. Part of the answer is maturity. Quarry has been around for decades and has proven itself across vast economic, political, technological and artistic landscapes. Quarry understands what it means to adapt, but also how not to panic: Quarry’s business practices respect the immediacy and urgency of our clients’ needs while taking a long and sustainable view toward growth. Quarry knows that the need for flexibility should be built into robust planning and that this need is not, as I’ve heard people in other organizations opine, an indication that planning is impossible.

Another part of the answer is that Quarry genuinely respects its employees. This likely comes from its hiring practices, which are very careful and more successful than any other company I’ve encountered. When you hire awesome people, mutual respect follows naturally. This respect is felt from the autonomy we are given in solving the problems that arise in our domain, that we are heard when we have ideas to solve problems in others’ domains, and that we are given the time, materials and space we need to do our jobs well without experiencing constant burnout. Respect is also felt in the company’s honesty and fair dealing, qualities that Quarry exemplifies with clients and employees alike.

What quality do you most value in your teammates?

Qmates are polymathic. We have people here from a wide variety of backgrounds and specialties, but one thing knits them all together: They are clever people whose talent in their career domain seems to have co-dependently arisen with some other interests and talents. These are people with a lot of experience to draw upon; people who have engaged in a variety of disparate career, educational and recreational activities. This makes them interesting to talk to, but it also means that their solutions to problems are often novel for the problem domain, and very effective. That’s the definition of “innovation.” How can you not love working with people like that?

Would you rather go into outer space or to the depths of the ocean? Why?

The ocean is an amazing place, filled with biodiversity and incredible adaptations to the challenges of life in what is, to us, like an alien environment. However, because I’ve been a sci-fi fan my whole life; real alien environments are more alluring. I love watching Elon Musk talk about colonizing Mars, and looking at artists’ interpretations of the exoplanets we find when they pass in front of their respective suns, modifying the wavelengths of light ever-so-slightly, but enough for us to make inferences about their constitutions and atmospheres. Might there be microorganisms (or more complex creatures) living on or in these worlds?

However, venturing into space may not be the only way to encounter aliens. I love to learn about quantum physics and the attempts to bridge the gap with general relativity in the hope that someday this knowledge will help us to answer our questions about who we are, why we are the way we are, who else might be out there in this enormous universe, and how we might speak with them. The answer to the Fermi Paradox may just be that our definition of life is too narrow: If base reality is a rippling of quantum fields, and consciousness is a particular kind of self-referential pattern that emerges at various levels of description, the universe might be teeming with kinds of intelligence we can’t see because we haven’t tilted our proverbial heads at the correct angle – and we may be similarly invisible (or uninteresting) to them.