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Meet Adam Kim: The Fast Interview

Adam Kim, Software Engineer, Backend at Fast

Name: Adam Kim

Role: Software Engineer, Backend

Team: Admin

What do you do at Fast?

I’m a Backend Engineer on the Admin team. We help our fellow Fast teams accelerate their velocity in servicing Fast buyers and sellers.

Describe your typical day at Fast.

My team is very engaged, so I spend most of my time with them. The Admin team supports any business needs that we have at Fast, and I make sure that we are supporting those needs, which is both challenging and rewarding. We also moderate conversation between backend and frontend engineers, which helps inform us and fosters a lot of teamwork on the Admin team.

Where were you before Fast?

I was at Contentful, in Berlin, Germany, for two years.

Why did you say yes to Fast?

Fast caught my attention because I think Fast provides a toolset to compete with bigger companies. Providing any technological improvement to strengthen the middle class is something that I believe in – and the best use case of technology. 

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?

I grew up in multiple cities like Seoul, South Korea; Kunming, China; Auckland, New Zealand; and Long Island, New York. I was outgoing as a kid because I moved around so much.

What are Fast engineers doing that stands out?

Fast engineers are very “fast” – and very smart. We are not afraid to try, even things we haven’t done before. The motivation to challenge the norm definitely stands out.

How is your desk set up?

With lots and lots of empty coffee mugs.

Proudest moment as an engineer?

The feedback from users; when people use what I implemented and come back to me with ideas to iterate and improve. That shows what I built engaged them, and now their ideation will be what helps improve the feature, not just my thoughts.

Favorite thing about being an engineer?

I get to question things, and build things that make peoples’ lives better.

Morning person or night owl?

I think I am adjusting to becoming a morning person now since moving to San Francisco three months ago. I led a night owl life in New York and Berlin.

What led you to engineering, and what career path did you almost take?

The curiosity. I spend most of my time wondering, “How does that work?” And I enjoy the process of figuring it out.

I almost became a baker/chef. I always liked the rhythm of creating things and experimenting with ingredients and different toolsets.

But I became a software engineer because of a book on SQL a friend gave me. And while I was looking for consulting and banking jobs, I found myself spending my time on the book  rather than practicing for those interviews. I came across a data analyst job and applied  to see if I could use what I learned from the book. That was the start of my career. The longer I spent being an analyst, the more I spent questioning why the data looked the way it did. I then started working with Python to start replicating and understanding why that was so. After a while, I realized software engineering, in my head, was much like cooking: That rhythm of creating.

What’s something you regularly do, but know you shouldn't?

Drink too much coffee.

Your non-negotiables for life?

Nothing is as one-sided as it seems. Look at all the angles.

One thing about you that has been and will always be true?

I am incoherent before morning coffee.

Where can we follow you?


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