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Kevin Sweeney Is Making The Internet A Cooler Place To Visit

Startup Climbing’s November speaker series features Kevin Sweeney, Director of Engineering at Vimeo.

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Kevin Sweeney’s colorful website introduces him as such: “I love robots, space, penguins, JavaScript, and generally making the Internet a cooler place to visit”. As Kevin is the current Director of Engineering at Vimeo, this is a huge relief. The quality of most easily accessible online content doesn’t need help deteriorating at an exponential rate (cough, Buzzfeed listicles, cough). Kevin renews our hope for a future of quality creative content that will engage us, challenge us to grow, and expand our horizons.

Kevin Sweeney

When did you start climbing?

I’ve only started rock climbing this past July (I’m very new!) I have a lot more experience climbing trees…

How (if it has) has climbing affected other parts of your life?

Specifics aspects, as they relate to climbing, remain to be seen due to my limited experience. Having said that, I find that any sort of workout typically lends itself to feeling better about yourself overall!

Do you have a daily routine?

I used to run more frequently, but I just can’t seem to find a time and temperature combination that works for me these days. At the very least, I’ll go on two walks with my pup Charlie

How do you manage screen balance/ work/life?

Truthfully, I’m far from a shining example of someone who has exceptional work/life balance. It’s really hard when you love the work that you do and have the ability to do it from home! To that end, I at least try not to stress when I’m in a rut during the day and need to let my mind wander on Tumblr, because I know that I can reach for my laptop and pick up where I left off when I undoubtedly get a second wind later that night.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

It often depends on the day, but the typical breakdown is an hour for email, an hour for meetings, three to four hours of physical fingers-on-the-keyboard programming, leaving the remainder for miscellaneous managerial duties (1-on-1’s, code reviews, R&D, etc.) as we continue to grow our engineering team over the next year, my hope is that I’ll be able to shift those last two items so that I can be less project-focused and more team-focused.

What else do you do for fun? OR What are you excited about?

My hobbies are usually a mile wide and an inch deep. When I have the time, I love to cook and try out new recipes; the harder and more complex, the better! If I don’t have the time to cook, then I can usually find a few minutes to try out a new cocktail from one of my many tomes on the subject. My bar has grown quite large over the years. The trouble is that so many recipes will require that one lesser-used ingredient. What am supposed to do in that situation—not buy it and substitute something else? Ha! For better or worse, I’m an engineer at heart and have to follow directions to best of my ability in order to better understand everything about everything at all times forever and ever.

Outside of the kitchen, I’ll occasionally tinker with small electronics projects and do calligraphy when I feel like creating something tangible. I’m pretty much split down the middle between my dad’s engineering mindset and my mom’s creative side.



Join Startup Climbing’s monthly speaker series! This month, Kevin Sweeney will be sharing his experiences moving up from an engineer to director, and how to keep Vimeo team ahead of the curve. RSVP today!