Pearce on 15 Years at SparkFun

SparkFun is 20 this year! We're lucky to have a bunch of employees that have been around for over half of those years, and we wanted to share their reflections on their time here with you. Today you'll be hearing from Pearce Melcher, who's part of the engineering department and has been here for 15 years!

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SparkFun is 20 years old this year! We're lucky enough to have a bunch of employees that have been around for over 10 of those years, and we wanted to share their reflections on their time here with you. Today you'll be hearing from Pearce Melcher.

Watch the highlights of his interview here, and learn more about Pearce's SparkFun journey below.

Tell us about your background.

I do technical research and catalog management. I've been at SparkFun for almost 15 years now. I originally came to SparkFun after dropping out of the University of Colorado which was getting too expensive for me. My plan was to work a year at SparkFun and go back to school paying the much cheaper in-state rate. I was enjoying my time at SparkFun so much that I never went back. Probably need to do that one day...

What's your favorite project you’ve seen our customers make?

Favorite/coolest thing you’ve seen a customer make with our products? You can't really top the Mars Helicopter that uses a sensor they bought from us. It's really neat to know that something that's on Mars showed up in a SparkFun box. Now, I will say the cool projects list is endless. I will also say there is no shortage of cool projects being done with SparkFun parts, it's at least a weekly occurrence.

Pearce has been with SparkFun for 15 years!

Who is SparkFun?

The land of misfit toys.

How has SparkFun evolved during the time you’ve been here?

When I first joined SparkFun, it felt like a group of friends who just happened to work together. It was neat putting in the extra effort and working in such a collaborative environment. Unfortunately not much of that environment is left, however it's also much less stressful and organized now. When we first started, it felt like we were catering to hobbyists and some students (not mutually exclusive groups). But there wasn't a lot of insight into what people were doing with our stuff. Now we have a better idea of who our customers are and the cool stuff they do with our products.

What's your favorite spot in the building?

I could sit on the rooftop and stare at the mountains all day long.

This is what a rooftop lunch break at SparkFun HQ looks like.

What was your first day like?

I surprised everyone in Production by showing up injured. I was re-organizing my room in honor of my new employment, and it went awry after a mirror split in half while I was carrying it. So, a lot of the first day was learning how to do PCBA with a bandaged index finger. But it was fun and production shut down twice during the day: once to watch a new video game review and the second to go outside and play hackey sack on a break.

How would you describe SparkFun's culture?

It's changed heavily over the years. I feel it took a big hit during the pandemic, but it's still a culture of working with good people. My favorite part of working here is the people I work with. We could be doing other things, making stuff I don't agree with, but it will always be a hard decision to leave due to enjoying being around who I work with here.

What's your favorite memory of being a SparkFan during these past 20 years? Let us know in the comments below, or tell us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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