How Brad Daw went from House of Representative to Senior Software Engineer at Adobe
Although Brad’s degree was in Electrical Engineering he had also had some limited experience as a computer programmer. For the first two jobs he had, he was hired as a hardware engineer, but once management knew he could program, he was asked to help out with the software. Brad quickly displayed a real talent for programming. Over the years he became quite proficient in C and assembly. Eventually he refocused his career on software engineering and went to work for WordPerfect in Orem, Utah.
After several years at WordPerfect Brad returned to hardware engineering with a company called AlphaSmart. Brad designed three of the devices and wrote the majority of software for them. During this time Brad also was awarded a patent for inventing a very low-cost voltage measuring device.
During this time, Brad also turned his attention to politics and was elected to the Utah State House of Representatives where he served for 14 years. At present Brad is a senior software engineer at Adobe Systems in Lehi Utah.
At present Brad is a senior software engineer at Adobe Systems in Lehi Utah.
Brad Daw graduated from Brigham Young University with Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 1987. He married Laura Olsen in 1989, and they are the parents of 5 children and grandparents of 7.
You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.
Listen to the Podcast Here, or Find it Wherever You Get Your Podcasts:
Here are Five Things We Cover
- Transitioning Between Different Roles: Brad highlighted the importance of being adaptable and learning to work with all kinds of people. His experience in politics taught him to be more open-minded and flexible in his approach, which ultimately made it easier for him to collaborate with diverse teams in his tech career.
- Pursuing Political Passion: Brad’s interest in politics was sparked by a desire for change and the opportunity to make a difference. His involvement in local caucuses and grassroots efforts led to his successful run for the Utah House of Representatives, where he served for 14 years while juggling his tech job on a part-time basis.
- Building Support and Campaign Strategies: Brad’s campaign was backed by party leaders and colleagues who recognized his potential. He emphasized the importance of grassroots campaigning, such as door-to-door interactions with voters, distributing literature, and leveraging personal endorsements to reach target audiences effectively.
- Addressing Critical Issues: As a legislator, Brad tackled pressing issues such as the opioid crisis. By actively engaging with constituents and industry experts, he initiated a roundtable discussion to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse. This proactive approach showcased his willingness to listen, collaborate, and take action on matters impacting his community.
- Embracing an Open Dialogue: Brad emphasized the significance of communication in politics and beyond. He made it a trademark to respond to emails and messages, fostering open lines of communication with constituents and stakeholders. This approach strengthened his relationships and allowed for meaningful dialogue to drive positive change.
Here are Two Key Takeaways From This Episode
Learning to work with people:
One of the most essential lessons highlighted in this episode is the importance of learning to work with all kinds of people. Brad Daw candidly shares his own experience of being initially opinionated and uncompromising about his coding approach. However, his time in politics taught him the value of collaboration and working with diverse individuals. The lesson here is that in both tech and politics, success often hinges on embracing different perspectives, fostering effective communication, and finding common ground.
Actionable Advice: Embrace open-mindedness and actively seek opportunities to collaborate with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Polish your communication skills and learn to value different opinions and perspectives.
Making the most of the opportunities he was given:
Brad Daw’s journey from a career in hardware engineering and programming jobs to becoming a Utah House Representative exemplifies the power of seizing opportunities. As he narrates, his entry into politics began with a letter to the editor and attending a neighborhood caucus. This eventually led to running for legislative office and winning the election. Brad’s story highlights the importance of recognizing opportunities when they arise and being willing to take calculated risks.
Actionable Advice: Stay proactive and keep an eye out for potential opportunities, whether in the tech industry or beyond. Actively engage in networking events, join relevant organizations, and be open to taking on new challenges that align with your goals.