Introducing Jeff Brateman: Luna's New Strategic Leader in Engineering

By Luna
Introducing Jeff Brateman: Luna's New Strategic Leader in Engineering

As we continue to grow and expand access to Luna, we are also continuing to evolve our leadership and welcome new talents to the Luna team. We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Jeff Brateman, the new Head of Engineering at Luna, to discuss his expertise and experience.

Let’s get to know Jeff: dive into his background, and passion to constantly learn and improve, and see how his leadership will navigate us through an exciting phase of expansion.

Tell us about your professional background, leading up to your new role with Luna.

My background is in computer engineering, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field. I've worked primarily at larger companies throughout my career. I worked at IBM for a few years, followed by a 12-year stint at PayPal, and DailyPay most recently. My career began as a developer, where I worked on various languages before transitioning into tech leadership and management roles. Over time, I progressed from managing a small team to overseeing multiple teams and eventually leading a large organization at DailyPay.

What led you to join Luna as the Head of Engineering?

I decided to join Luna because I’m excited about the role and my ability to apply the things I’ve learned in my career; driving high-performing teams that are building cool, innovative products with a meaningful mission. My brother is also a Doctor of Physical Therapy, so it’s a great way for me to connect with what he does —because it’s wildly different than technology in general.

Can you share what motivates you and what you’re most excited about?

The engineering team itself is motivating me. They are exceptionally smart and passionate, and they inspire me to raise my skills and match their intellect. I’m hoping to do the same when it comes to some of the processes that we need to evolve and refine as a team. We now have a lot of developers — both internal and contractors — so there’s a lot that’s going on, and there are opportunities to improve and things that we can upgrade over time, so I’m excited about all of that.

How do you plan to impact the CTO’s role?

Previously, the CTO has been the only management function here for the engineering team. He is also a large contributor to writing code and debugging. Because he wears many hats, the goal here is that I will alleviate the management responsibilities, freeing up his time to solve bigger problems. That way he isn’t spread so incredibly thin that he can only focus a fraction of his time on many different, little problems.

What are your main goals at Luna?

Starting at the most basic level, my goal is to offer mentorship and growth opportunities for the team —within their role and outside of their role. Various processes are used to facilitate building software and coordinate all of the people here, so I plan to propose changes to make us more efficient and lower our bus factor, cross-training people or even teams on each other’s area of focus. It’s very common to have silos and the idea is to remove some of those, spread some knowledge, and allow new hires to fully onboard appropriately.

This also includes solving communication friction, automating functions, building critical tools, and even triaging and solving customer issues that much faster, which ultimately results in a better customer experience.

Then, I want to build an organization that I’m proud of and can scale to double and even quadruple the engineers, depending on our growth plan. All while bringing in solid leadership and growing the leaders here, so we can continue to scale the organization.

How do you hope to inspire your team and further Luna’s mission?

Bringing my own flavor of leadership; I try to be positive and energetic, connecting people in a way they wouldn’t have otherwise thought. I also like to bring in new ideas in a positive way and continue pushing the envelope. When most people see that level of energy, they try to match it, thus pushing me and creating a positive cyclical effect.

Share a personal mantra or philosophy that guides your work and keeps you motivated.

Well, one of the Luna values resonates with me: become 1% better, every day. That’s something that I always try to do, push myself to be a little bit better every day, and that includes my leadership skills. There’s a fun quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent book, [Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life] that says, “Rest is for babies and relaxation is for retired people.” So I really take that to heart to always be pushing myself and striving to be better.