Getting from point A to point B

The Opportunity

I remember in the winter of 2011 when I had finished graduate school for computer science that my goal was to become a senior software engineer within 5 years. I felt the best place for growth was the San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley. In the fall of 2012, I was looking for a new opportunity to grow my career and find a company I could call home. I found thredUP browsing the job ads on Hacker News. I landed the job, contributed my work towards 3 different engineering teams (front-end e-commerce, back-end warehouse operations, and mobile iOS) and now I’m tackling issues to help build out our platform for 2016. What do I attribute towards that fast growth and opportunity? Being a self-starter, finding a culture that fits, and having great managers.

Be A Self-Starter

I think at any startup, a company is looking for self-starters. You save your managers time by making good decisions from your previous experiences. Having good judgment and making tradeoffs is what ultimately makes your projects succeed. Early on in my career at thredUP, I was able to contribute my knowledge of testing and software engineering practices from previous companies towards improving our development lifecycle at the time. Other contributions include bringing in Solr for indexing and giving lunch & learn talks on various engineering subjects. I’m always thinking about how we move the ball forward and that is part of how I grow as an engineer.

Find a GREAT Culture

Flexibility and company culture is what allowed me to work on interesting projects. I’ve been able to decouple our systems, work on SOA, optimizations/performance, mobile development, scaling, 3rd party integration, leadership, and more. Having the freedom to make decisions both on the architecture and technology makes engineering fun and exciting for me. What I enjoy most about working at thredUP are the people. Our engineering team is diverse, fun, smart, and funny. We all have a good sense of humor and enjoy posting funny gifs in Slack. I think because employees are happy to come into work, it doesn’t feel like work. I feel more productive because its fun and enjoyable to come in everyday. I treat the office space as kind of a second home and I made a lot of great friends here. Besides working with great engineers, we also have great designers, analytics, product, and marketing people that help make our job easier. We have passionate people that help make our company a success. That type of positive energy is what keeps the engine running.

Surround yourself with STRONG Leaders

Lastly, what I think gives an engineer the best growth is a great mentor or leader. These individuals can really make a difference on a team or organization. We have many great leaders across the organization. I’ve been on several different engineering teams each with a different manager and a different style of management. Each one has contributed towards the success of my career and helped me achieve my goals. When engineers come to interview at thredUP and ask me what is the best part of working at thredUP, I tell them…

It’s our amazing management team.

Our company really cares about employee growth and I am lucky to be an example of that.