How it all started

After working at a network security start-up company, Dan Tejada started his own engineering consulting practice at a modest Costco table (one of those plastic ones) at his home with a couple of PCs, a soldering iron, a whiteboard, and lots of crazy ideas. In the beginning Dan worked on many interesting projects and realized that being a consultant was both rewarding and complicated. For the first time in his career, his success and income was measured by his ability to engineer cool things.

As a consultant Dan enjoyed the freedom of getting paid for every hour he worked. This allowed Dan to take time off to go skiing when 6 inches of powder dropped out of the sky without asking his supervisor whether this was vacation time, LWOP, or AWOL. The idea of personal freedom would later shape the future of Cantada and become a core value of the company.

In 2003, Dan and a fellow consultant, Seth Cantrell decided to start Cantada. They wanted to create a company that had the agility of an internet startup, while emphasizing the freedoms they had as consultants. By providing a minimal corporate structure, Cantada could enable these engineering professionals to receive benefits such as a group healthcare, 401k, disability and life insurance. Cantada was born of the desire to create an engineering work environment that acted like a consulting firm with its inherent freedoms while providing a minimum amount of corporate oversight, all while offering the full-time employee benefits. Dan believed that emphasizing the mission of the customer over self-driven corporate goals would yield a satisfying and successful recipe for an engineering firm.

For more than 10 years, Cantada has grown across multiple customers. Dan and Seth still get in the trenches to develop code and scribble on their whiteboards. Today the ideas on the whiteboard are still as crazy as they were in 2003, except now anyone in Cantada is welcome to propose an idea and scribble on the whiteboard. We enjoy watching our engineers along with our company grow and thrive.