Samsara helps improve the safety, efficiency, and quality of business operations using sensors and software

My first month at Samsara

Hi! I’m Albert, and I’m a software engineer living and working in San Francisco. I live in the Dogpatch area, which is south of SOMA and Mission Bay, and right next to Potrero Hill. It’s relatively quiet but there are some nice restaurants and services around me —a bakery, a couple of brunch spots, a bouldering gym, some barbershops, and even a cannabis dispensary. Over the past few weeks, I’ve carved out a few running routes for my morning jog. It’s been a good time.

me and some friends @ dolores park

I moved into the area in May, and by the end of June, I started working at Samsara. Right before I started the job, I wrote a reflection on my interviewing process and job hunt, so if you’re curious you can read about that here: “I got a new job!”.

I’ve been working at this company for just over a month now, so I wanted to jot down some thoughts on some of the people I’ve met, and the things I’ve learned, and built so far.

Wait, what is Samsara?

It’s a connected sensor company. We create hardware and software platforms that help businesses operate more efficiently.

Why Samsara?

Many friends have asked me why I picked this company, and in the beginning I would’ve said something vague about growth opportunity, interesting industry, and company location. After being here for a month however, I’d like to highlight 3 specific reasons:

  1. Effective leadership and vision— Starting from the top and trickling down throughout the entire company, everyone here has a strong sense of building things that customers are asking for, and I think that’s been one of the biggest keys to our fast growth as a team. People here are also very communicative, it’s easy to voice your opinion on what you want to work on, and teams are divided up clearly so that we can easily focus on our various priorities.
  2. Full-stack engineering (hardware, firmware, AND software) — It’s very interesting to be part of such a technically diverse team, where I can chat with a different person every day about what they’re working on, and learn something new. And it’s awesome that we design our own hardware, process the data that comes out from it, and then display and control a good user experience on top of it all.
  3. Fun culture — The people here are all very hardworking, but also have fun and bond with each other in various ways. I’ve already attended a couple of happy hours and new-hire lunches, and have joined a couple of Samsara Clubs. I’m a big fan of the #pingpong club myself, although I’m not doing too hot on the leaderboard right now..
T_T

Which team did I join?

I’m currently part of the Compliance Features team, which consists of 4 full stack engineers, Zach, Arthur, Casey, and me.

We’re part of a bigger functional group referred to as Compliance that basically builds tools to help customers stay in compliance with government regulations.

zach, arthur, me, casey

What have I done in my first 30 days?

  • I learned about the history of Samsara and Meraki from our CEO, Sanjit Biswas
  • I studied a customer sales call to understand who I’m building software for
  • I used our awesome setup scripts to go from 0 to a working development environment in ~2 hours
  • I performed database migrations and created new data models in Go, then used those data models to build GraphQL queries and front-end features in React and React Native
  • I attended an internal Sales Kickoff conference that felt like a cross between Wolf of Wall Street and an Apple product launch
  • I volunteered to give a tech talk at my alma mater to assist with our University Recruiting efforts
  • I became best friends with interactive git rebasing
what it feels like to squash a commit for the first time
  • I merged 10 PRs that touch code across our Website, Mobile App, and Backend, reviewed by a total of 5 co-workers
  • I deployed a feature that‘ll allow our customers to have a choice in selecting things in our mobile app that used to be impossible to do

What am I looking forward to?

My first 30 days are over, and they went by really fast. Now, I’m looking forward to completing my first quarter with the company, and in particular:

  • sprinting on some features that will help us land new customers
  • delivering my first tech talk at UC Berkeley, with a fellow alum, Kelsey
  • learning how to create a microservice
  • giving my first technical interviews
  • building tools (in general) that can be leveraged well by other engineers
  • and finishing this onboarding check-list:
i heard the grand prize is an owl onesie

Here are some more pictures from my time here so far:

we’re serious about ping pong here
FREE FOOD EVERY DAY
End of Quarter happy hour at the nearby Anchor Brewery (this was when I started playing buffalo)

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If you’re interested in learning more about the company, or would like me to refer you for an open position on our careers page, please shoot me a message (you can also e-mail me at albert.hu @ samsara dot com)!

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