Meet the Tallizen: Matthew
Get to know the people behind the company that’s on a mission to make people less stressed and better off financially.
March 29, 2022
Matthew Boggan is an Engineering Manager at Tally based in Portland, Oregon. A long-time Tallizen, he currently oversees the Backend Engineering and Data Engineering teams, which focus on improving the operational efficiency of Tally’s products and builds the technical platform necessary to support Tally’s mission to make people less stressed and better off financially. This often invisible foundational work is crucial in powering the advanced technology at work behind the scenes of the Tally iOS and Android app, enabling money transfers, automated payments, and connections to financial institutions.
In his day-to-day work, Matthew collaborates closely with other engineering teams as well as the product and design teams to make the debt payoff process easier, more seamless and automated. He typically leads his team across multiple projects at any given time, identifying priorities for the month and scaling out the product roadmap with stakeholders across the company.
A day in the life of a Tallizen
Walk us through a day in your life. What does a typical workday look like for you?
I wake up, try to get some exercise in, walk the dog, then get to my laptop.
During the first bit of the day, I’m usually catching up on Slack and reviewing what’s on my agenda. My days are generally filled with a lot of meetings, some are 1:1s with my direct reports, some with other managers, and some with other stakeholders.
Lunch is usually a salad. After eating, I’ll spend some time tiring out my dog, Jackson. (He's a puppy so he still has lots of energy). Afterwards, I go back to my meetings. When not in meetings, my time is generally split 50/50 working on documentation and processes. I’m currently focused on streamlining the various interview processes that we have on my teams or checking in on various projects.
What has been the highlight of your time here at Tally so far?
I’ve been at Tally for almost four years, so there's been quite a few highlights. The one that stands out was our Ledgers project. This was a multi-year project to overhaul our internal accounting systems that do all the difficult calculations necessary to help our members pay off their credit card debt faster. The tools we had when Tally was an early-stage startup were no longer cutting it as we grew our memberships and capabilities. Our old ledgers were starting to cause more operational problems than it was solving.
I was very proud of how my team took a very thoughtful approach to tackling this project to make sure our new ledgers would not only meet our current needs, but could also scale as the company continued to grow. We worked closely with our business partners on the analytics, compliance, finance, and operations teams to distill our accounting logic to the most base level math required. The team also put a lot of thought into the technical design to make sure that we could comfortably operate the ledgers and that they would continue to serve Tally for years to come.
Why did you pick the career that you chose? What do you love about your chosen field?
I became a software engineer because I studied computer science in college, and when I graduated, it turned out to be a field in high demand. I actually stumbled into this field. One of my friends in college was studying it as a freshman. I took a look at his homework and thought "hmmm that looks interesting! I should give that a try" and fell in love with the problem solving involved.
I became an engineering manager because at one of my previous jobs, I had a manager who completely changed how I viewed my work and my career, and I want to have the same impact on others. Stephan, if you end up reading this, thank you!
Which of Tally's values resonates most with you and why?
“Change Shoes Often.” Empathy is critical. We need to be able to empathize amongst ourselves as a team and also with Tally’s members. With the whole world shifting to remote work, it's so, so important to remember that there's a human being on the other side of the computer screen and that they are having their own day/emotions/problems, and working at a place that recognizes you as a human being should be the norm, not the exception.
It's even more important that we remember that Tally members are people too, not just a number on a graph or a milestone to hit on another company objective and key result (OKR). Members are trusting us with their money and their livelihoods. We have to make sure we handle it with due diligence and care. I personally would not work for a company that did not take that responsibility seriously.
What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
Reading (currently reading: Lies of Locke Lamora), video games (currently playing: Disco Elysium), hiking/camping, and I've casually started trying to teach myself piano.
What’s the next item on your bucket list?
I really, really want to go on a safari.
Tell us about one of your favorite vacations
New Years 2019-2020, I went to Sayulita, Mexico with some of my closest friends. I had a great time going on a tour of all the taco trucks and hanging on the beach. I think that was the last real vacation before the pandemic :(.
What's your most prized possession and why?
I have a mechanical stopwatch that looks like the one from the show “60 Minutes” that was a gift from my grandpa. In a lot of ways he was responsible for my love of science and engineering, so it's something nice to remember him by.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My Kindle, my bathrobe, my fiancée (who happens to be an ex-Tallizen!).
What is your favorite movie?
The original three Star Wars movies. They're classics. I’ve been watching them since I was five.
Lightning round: this or that?
Marvel vs DC
Dogs or Cats
Pizza or Tacos?
iOS or Android
Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee
Can't go wrong with coffee