Roger Deetz is in Indy for the job, but also friends and food
Originally from DeKalb County in northeastern Indiana, Roger Deetz is a software architect on the Angie’s List development team revolutionizing the way people hire service providers. All that data gathered over 20 years in the business is being turned into products, and Roger’s team is building them.
After graduating from IU Bloomington, Roger moved to Chicago to work for InstallShield, an installation development solution for creating Windows applications. “When I was in college, no one came to Indianapolis,” he said.
His career in software development began well before he took the job at Angie’s List. Once back in Indy post-Chicago, Roger worked for NoInk Communications with Indy tech leaders Dustin Sapp and Bob Compton. NoInk was acquired by Everypath in 2004. Roger’s job after NoInk was with Double-Take, where he started out as a design engineer and went on to manage Double-Take’s client software teams. After Double-Take was acquired by Vision Solutions in 2010, Roger “had gotten to the point where there wasn’t a whole lot of room ahead.” So when a recruiter for Angie’s List came calling (even though he wasn’t actively looking to change jobs), he listened.
“It’s been something else. These past two years at Angie’s List have done more for my career and more for my brain than all the other years. They’ve been the fastest two years of my life.” Roger came into an Angie’s List in transition. As the company continues to develop its tech stack, technical teams have grown and pivoted rapidly. “The company growth has been crazy, the amount of leadership change has been crazy and the scope of the technical problem we’re going after is crazy.”
The role description was essential in Roger’s decision to join the Angie’s List team, but he’s found value in the company that extends far beyond the job. The number of ‘besties’ I’ve made at Angie’s List has been extraordinary. I have a handful of friends who I stay in touch with from past jobs, but at Angie’s List, there’s a group of 10 people who I just know I’ll be really good friends with for a long time.”
When he’s not on a run downtown or enjoying a baseball game at Victory Field (he says “Baseball is the best game for watching because you don’t have to pay that much attention”), Roger is likely hanging out at a local bar or restaurant. Black Market and Bluebeard are favorites, and there are some great restaurants on 38th Street he’s explored where “a tourist would never venture.”
Roger lives in the Near Northside neighborhood, an area that boasts a strong and unique personality. The neighborhood is walkable, with old houses and lots of big trees. Roger sees real appeal in Indy for people in the “babies and houses” stage of life.
But he’s not there yet and he’s had no trouble feeling the draw of Indy. “If you’re not to that phase, there is this community that’s being built. Right now, we get to be part of building it. You get to be a part of the new restaurants opening up and the startups starting to make names for themselves. There’s enough existing opportunities for it to be fun, but there’s so much more being built,” he said.
Roger and his development colleagues at Angie’s List are faced with the continuous challenge of strong talent, but they need the pragmatism of the Midwest. In fact, he says that friendly, pragmatic people are a key asset in Indy. “We’ve found that the ‘fail fast’ attitude isn’t what we want. We want sustainable, practical growth that solves the actual problem. We don’t want a solution in search of a problem.”
For Roger, Indy has been “a really easy place to dive in” and he says that there’s no great secret to learning to love Indy. “After I got acclimated to Indy and got to feel more a part of Indy’s momentum, I became really proud of my new city.”