Hello, my name is Amol and I lead the engineering team at Life360. Welcome to a series of posts that puts the spotlight on some of our engineers as they share what it is like to work at Life360.
First up, we have Michael Koch. Michael and I joined at roughly around the same time in 2015. I have seen him really grow in different roles here and push himself to get better every year. As you can see below, he adds his own unique flavor to our “awesome sauce” here at Life360.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello! I’m Michael and I did not expect to get stumped by the first question. Describing myself makes my palms sweaty.
To start, I just replaced the front brakes on my car. Subaru quoted me $1600! I don’t even drive that nice of a car (it’s a Subaru). So, on my list of interests, I’ve recently crossed off driving. Good riddance.
(Amol: This is especially ironic since he sometimes takes drives to test the driving features in the app)
I also enjoy audio equipment and music. If you held this interview at my house, I would have made you listen to my favorite pair of speakers. They’re six feet tall, one inch wide, and play sound bidirectionally. Wow! Even I don’t know how that’s possible, but you’ll have to trust me.
What do you do at Life360?
I’m part of the iOS development team, and I do many things at Life360!
I was just in a meeting discussing how we can integrate our recent machine learning hackathon project into our production app. Sounds risky, but I think we can pull it off. Apple released CoreML with iOS 11, so now’s the perfect time to ship some cool ML features to our users. What features? I can’t tell you! They’re still top secret; I can’t even tell Amol. I’m extremely excited about this project, though. I’ll definitely share more details in a subsequent post.
At any time, I might be a part of two or three interesting passion projects like this one at Life360. It’s incredibly easy to pitch an idea and find enthusiastic people to work on it with you. The culture at Life360 has instilled me with this unique sense of confidence in my own ideas. Even if my ideas don’t make it to our production app, nobody stops me from trying, and I love that.
Talk about an interesting engineering problem you had to solve here.
We’re modularizing our entire codebase! Component by component. Then, we’re taking those modules and incorporating them in a new, fresh codebase. A codebase built primarily on RxSwift and the Riblets architecture. Absolutely every part of this is interesting! I wrote some of my first reactive code the other day, and I don’t think I’ve been that excited to see my code work in a long time.
I’m definitely not solving this on my own, though. Far from it! This is a majorly collaborative effort across the entire engineering team at Life360. We’ve done a bit of restructuring to facilitate better cross-team communication, and I think it’s really paying off.
(Amol: Michael is an avid collector of a variety of different hot sauces. He frequently dares people at lunches and team outings to try some of hot sauces from his collection.)
What is your favorite hot sauce and how did you get into it?
It started with jalapeños. When I was young, my father would cut fresh jalapeños from the garden and serve them with dinner. I don’t know how I went from jalapeños to where I am now, though. I’m in deep. The sauces I eat have scary, angry names. Here are some of my tamer favorites that will change your life:
- 7O8 7 Pot Citrus: Oranges, pineapple, garlic, cinnamon, and Trinidad 7 pot peppers. This is pure flavor and humbling heat.
- Sweet Savina Sunrise Ghost Pepper Sauce: Mango, sweet onion, ghost pepper, etc. Sweet and savory. I must eat 1/2 a bottle of this per bento box. Sometimes, I order bento boxes as an excuse to eat more of this sauce.
- Lucky Dog’s Pink Label Extra Hot Lightly Smoked Pepper Sauce: Applewood smoked habanero, serrano, and ghost chile sauce sweetened with California Bartlett pears and dates from the Coachella valley. You can’t not like this sauce. It’s impossible. It comes in a giant bottle which is nice because it’ll go fast.
Any parting words of wisdom to thriving at Life360?
Participate! Life360 is amazing because of you! Make something awesome and share it over lunch during our company-wide show and tell. Moonlight as QA one day and explore the world of UI automation. Sit with one of our friendly iOS engineers the next and learn to love Xcode (the best IDE). Challenge yourself to participate and I guarantee that you will thrive at Life360.
Working with Us
Life360 is creating the largest membership service for families by developing technology that helps managing family life easier and safer. There is so much more to do as we get there and we’re looking for talented people to join the team: check out our jobs page.