Here we go. Yeah, sure. How'd I get to where I am today? So as a software engineer, I didn't learn about programming till I was in college. So, uh, one of the freshman year, but a freshman in college, it took an introductory programming course. I was going to be like a chemical engineer that was my plan when I started out and I was like, programming so much I switched majors just almost also didn't like chemical engineering that much, I realized. So I switched major Twist into Add a chemical engineering to a different major, like Mantle Engineering for a bit. But I realized I far more enjoyed programming than anything else, so I switched into computer science major at the midway through my sophomore year of college. From there, I really worked on, like getting technical internships. I was able to get a product management internship at the end of my sophomore summer than my junior summer interned at Pandora. Like the radio, like the online radio company at a. I think that was like number twenty eighteen and now must software engineer. Full time of medium has been here about a year and a half a little more than that. That started at almost twenty seventeen. So a lot of what I think brought me here is a combination of having I think training when I was in college are taking a lot of programming course is being very proactive and interview stuff. I was definitely always on the interview grinds talking to companies like trying to make sure I got myself prepared for interviews when for my junior summer and then doing the same thing for my senior fall of college. Making sure I got a bunch of got interviews over and over again, Teo said myself to get this job and then I've been here ever since.Sure. Uh, it's getting cool.
Sure. Uh, also was working hours one that's quick. I normally get to the office around like nine o'clock nine thirty lead a six six thirty's and like that pretty chill day. As far as responsibilities and decisions I'll talk about how my times put up. I would say maybe at on a good week, I'll get like sixty percent of my time will be coding. We have a lot of projects to do for a given month, I'll try to spend a lot of times on the grind, get stuff done. Always have some meetings that we have to get in sync with other teams about maybe, like, what work we're doing that effect of a team, things like that. What was that romantic place? Are we hitting our key results for the quarter, that kind of stuff. So a lot of meetings about how we're doing as a team and how we can keep moving in the future. Then the other twenty percent is probably interviews. Take him assault percent of my time. Medium is a company right now is growing pretty quickly, So I literally just came out of an interview, actually, Ah, lot of what I have to do is like interview other people. Are they safe for our Organization are they technically capable. And I think there'll be other weeks where that changes that maybe we'll have more meetings because that's the way the week is will be suddenly trim to swap with interviews, and that will be rough. But most of I would say a lot of the time I can spend the majority might work is coding, which is good, like I enjoy coding most want to do is contribute with technical standpoint in terms of decisions. I am. So I wouldn't say I'm a super junior engineer. I'm like, kind of rush because we're not really so I do have a pretty strong voice in the technical plantation of things on what we would call if I see an individual contributor. Most decisions I make around are how we implement something, why we implement it. What Perhaps I think we should pursue. What maybe why certain things might want to prioritize talking my product manager about that. I don't make a lot like, I think there's another set of people that make more people decisions, like where we're looking to hire, what teams will get the next higher and things like that who we're trying to promote things like that, like that's a more of a commander decision. Are seven Met decision for the managers, and for me, it's more about purely technical decisions. Like what we're trying to blend in, how wishing but in the best, most efficient way
Yeah, sure. I think I love my job. Honestly, I think the cool thing about working in medium is that I am able to affect a lot of people very quickly. We have a lot of users again. You have million people coming per per day, which means that if I want to try Oh, I think this recommendation tragic's really good. Let's try it on a few users and so you can see the results happened like that. It's really cool to be working a platform to touch a lot of people's lives and be able to when you think of different strategies something that might be cool, like permission. I remember. I think back in December I wanted to try this updated ranking model algorithm, this ranking model that we had trained and it turns out it was super successful, happened really quickly and look to the few days for us against statistical significance to have haven't happened. Working at such a huge platforms is huge. Region is going to try different things really easily, and that's a lot of fun. Um, pleasant surprises definitely the scale at which you affect people was surprised I wasn't expecting was really cool. And then you'LL hear about from writers or from readers that just the feeling of someone writing, review or someone you know you'd be like. I love this platform or you call me. Get my writing out there to the world. I'm super thankful for that. Like knowing you're making a difference in people's lives or something I never appreciated. Not Still, writing coaches for school was like a personal property. Whatever. It's really it's really great to understand. Like everyday comment and build a platform is doing the right thing for people in the world, and that means a lot to me.
Yeah, sure. So just will give a little of comics around structure. I'm I'm I'm an engineer By writing code is when I'm paid to do, uh I work a lot with my product manager who is responsible for picking them. So don't say we have a bunch of project we all want to do, you know, a bunch of cool thing you could do this site a product manager is profit prioritizing them being like, Here are the mattress. You want to move for the quarter for the year. We're going to pick these ten projects for this quarter because the second most impactful in these ways, we made back and forth Malik Why thieves were press were chosen. But ultimately, the job the Crock Manders. Understand? What? What gets prioritized? Um, I also work was I have an engineering manager manager responsible, making sure that all their direct ports are happy, productive, doing well on the team. They feel they should maximize productivity. So my manager and I have a check in every week being like, How are things going? Are you happy? What could we improve like? Are you growing up fast like you want to? those kind of questions. Um, I'm on a pretty small team. So there's one other engineer and I. We communicate very closely like she and I was like, Who picks? Who gets what projects like Maybe she wants to do something that I'm not very good at, and vice versa. So day today I'm mostly working with Pete product manager PM, engineering manager, EM, fellow engineers. Sometimes I work for the editorial team. I think depending what team you work on, you may work the editorial team a lot of response for choosing the content we get. Figure out what content we're getting commission. Right. Purchase. Like what country will show to the well of showcase on the platform. That's for our purposes, like, kind of the business side of medium. But I think in my particular roles you want on the recommendations. I don't don't interfere the editorial team as much.
I can't hear you.Yeah, sure. I think my favorite challenge to face in a given time scale when you have millions of people coming to the site per day if you even are a little bit more If, like if you're five percent more inefficient with fetching data, for example, that could have very large implications on what happens across the site. Uh, one of my favorite projects around this problem. So for context on medium, we want to figure out wasted recommend the best stories and in one of our services like their Daily Digest was in our email newsletter, we were trying to figure out How do we get more old stories? Sure. First the service in a better way. And we were meant to this new recommendation strategy that it's super well, we had a B test running, and that was showing This is a great strategy, but we're running it for five percent of use only. And it very clearly would not scale to hundred percent users. So we had to basically think about how do we tear this down, start over again, input the exact same thing, but the way they will scale to you talking like six million people per day it took the whole product took, I think end, end, like a month and a half two months. It was kind of insane, but we really did crush it. It pushed metrics in a huge way. That was probably my favorite thing that I've gotten to do so far. Like leading the project, communicating which key stakeholders like understanding the results gained to touch a live from parts of what it means to lead the project. And those kind of, I think, the most impactful project I've worked on. But the problem was scale like How do we take it from five percent to one hundred percent is something we work on all the time. I am much more used to now thinking about what scale, ability looks like in production. You get usedto you mean provisioning. More instances of something than you need to make sure you don't tank your firm's in middle of the night. For example, when we train but due recognition strategies, for example, like AWS will have a model live on a certain number of servers and you make a request that, sir, but given time, you could overload that server, and then everything breaks. So how do you make sure you have enough service provision to handle your request? They think you're the kind of problems. There's something I really enjoy doing and is really big parts. We continue to grow as a platform.
Yeah so the hiring problems for us is once you get in contact with the recruiter. When someone reached out to you, you normally have, like a phone screen and then from the phone screen if you pass them on to the on site for me, that was very much it kinda phone screen on, say, then offer the questions. I think one thing is he in the industry is like people worry about you get brain to the questions, like the classic gamble, like how many windows are in Seattle or something like that. And those I don't think our helpful to the job like medium, I feel if we do the job and I'm asking questions, they're simply never parted. No things you'LL need on the job given day so immediately ask, How do you implement like this this game or something like You won't be asked any red black tree or something like esoteric, But somebody requires, you know. Okay, here's what I She was how to use a hash map here's had to use a Q or a lister show that I can use different data structures in a non insane way. That's a big part of our interview process like showing you have acknowledged, basically instructors you can use them to solve efficiently and then analyze your solution and see like, Can you come back with improve interest implementation? So it's not No one's trying to trick you is more about Can you be proactive in solving problems? How do you work through tricky challenges? Excuse me, And do you need a lot of help? Are you? Do you have, like, a lot of grit like, Will you push through hard points in your interview, those kind of things? Excuse me.
There. So for me, the big question is always Do I want to learn to manage people, like, be more of an engineering manager type, or do I want to be super efficient? Individual contributor? Uh, I'm still not sure yet. I'm going to enter in the summer and try to learn about what people managing is like. But I think those are two very general career past that would go down. In terms of skills,it's always good to brush up like I want to make sure you get more database scale ability, like ML working there, but I think their skills are always gonna m l something like people talk about a I a lot like, Yes, it's the hot new thing. I think having understanding business anyhow,and my works is going to be huge, at least for the next few years. Knowing how to just There's a huge need to understand how to communicate the stakeholders like community people, never given time. So whatever kind of roll I can take right after talking with my progress, talking like my direct reports, progress in this, make sure everything was going on something, I want to make sure I build on I wasn't going back to school by pursuing a master Ph.D or something. I don't I don't see that happening any time soon, but it's always like up in the air for me.
Um So to be frank, I'm not really at liberty to discuss medium starting salaries. Something really want talk about with candidates. From what I know, aargh depends, I think partially cities. Depending out like the South. I think the south is different. If you're in Iowa or somewhere in New York City, that was very different. Starting salaries. It's adjusted for a cost of living, uh, for software engineering from a nice standing there pretty high across the board, even if you live in small places. Probably at least like I don't know of anyone making less than sixty K. But again, like that's just my experience. Like I I have That's it basically, where I live. I don't know what it's like again around the around the country ,around the world, but I think for career passing a better understanding where I think a lot of engineers still pick various domains to specialize in like some people toe specialize in Iowa's tow mater. Android Development might be very good at that path. Uh, for someone like me, like database engineering, reputation is nearing the things I think about a lot of things I'd wanna specialize in my career, but I think one day thing is being we call t shaped like having your specialized thing like you're super great. Ios and James should be Grady to this engineer. But having a working knowledge of everything else of all other things. Like maybe I don't know everything about ML, but I know something like I'm functional in that or maybe my functional mobile, but I know a little bit about react, for example, which is, you know, wet framework. So making sure you have a special your specialization, but you can do other things decently. Well, is important for any any, uh, industry, but particularly for engineering.
Uh, yeah, I think for that position is it was more. It was kind of a small thing. End of the summer. There was like, two people. And why you starting this thing? And I joined for a bit. I think that's not like, uh, I think formalised. A lot of my mother conditions were more. You start out talking to on engineering, hiring manager, you take You do somehing like coding challenge or you have a coding interview. And to say that your technical skills and then after that maybe is one more stage and they make an offer or they just give you the offer directly. I would say, for most internships for the industry I've had is no. We've been like one call and then offer no offer. So that call would only be, like technical based. Make something that, maybe, like, show me how you coach him anything about this design problems, things like that and then moving on to the final stage where they're making offerings on the spot
for : Bachelor's Degree, Computer Science; Certificate in Classical Studies, Princeton University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Sat Mar 23 2019
Feeling because I had a really great engineering program and a really great classical program. I was only interested in Latin and Greek when I was in high school. So the fact that you get both the same university, but by both I mean engineering and classical studies was a big boon for me. It was close to home. I grew up in New York City. Princeton's maybe an hour away. You drive slowly, so being able to hop back and forth when I felt like it was tight, some just really strong academics and I thought, really fun place to be at friends have gone there and raved about it. So if we're pretty choice when it came down to it, uh, in terms of university, it's been awhile. Honestly, I was applying to college almost seven years ago. Now other school in the area, which man I don't want to talk my head with My list was like but other schools that could balance, like engineering and Laura, it's too big for me. I knew I was don't want to pursue a degree or go to a school that could both feed my engineering means and also feed my desire just three things and have a good eye kind of culture around literature. So those right big thing in your house in high school going to college?
for : Bachelor's Degree, Computer Science; Certificate in Classical Studies, Princeton University
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Sat Mar 23 2019
That's that's obviously huge for being a software engineer. The other big thing problems. The networking opportunities, like having constant career fairs every year. They're probably like two or three huge career fairs every year. Where I was able just get face time with companies and just asked like, Are you hiring? You have internships? So that was that was really key for me, like being most talked recruiters must possible and trying to figure out which companies were down to hire me. Which one were fit for a career, but I think that was pretty good. But it was more, I think, working down to how much I was willing. Just go out there and talk to people and the like, Are you hiring like Can you give me a chance? Like apply of his internship?