Name: Cheng Tang
Role: Platform Integration Engineer
Team: Technical Customer Success
What do you do at Fast?
Which of our Fast values resonate with you the most, and why?
Build out loud. We work, share ideas, and communicate almost exclusively in Slack. So nearly everything is transparent and helps spark creativity, awareness, and most of all, learning.
What led you to engineering?
I was a project manager for order management systems and fraud at my previous job, so my daily life saw me working closely with engineers. It fascinated me and before I knew it, I had moved into coding.
Where were you before Fast?
I was at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. for about four years.
Why did you say yes to Fast?
The broken e-commerce problem we’re solving at Fast translates to almost anyone with a credit card and an internet connection. But hearing the excitement in the voices of the people I talked to who were already at Fast really made me want to be a part of this group in particular. The way we’re going about it, and the passion we have towards our buyers and sellers to solve a very painful problem for them makes me enthusiastic about contributing to the solution.
Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?
I grew up in Norwalk and Cerritos, California, where I couldn’t get into enough trouble as a kid. If there was a line, I definitely stepped on it. If I was awake, I was outside playing sports. My first love is basketball, but I’m much better at football.
What’s the last great book you read or podcast you listened to? Why?
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. He’s just a brilliant storyteller.
Proudest or most breakthrough moment as an engineer?
Really, anytime I look back, even if it’s just a month ago. Seeing solutions evolve where before there were only problems and me wondering what to do to help solve them always keeps me proud and motivated.
Favorite thing about being an engineer that isn’t problem solving?
I love gear and gadgets and nerding out on them. Who doesn’t want a fast computer that can do stuff? It’s awesome to really look at something from the perspective of what it can do and how it does the thing.
If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be?
I’ve made a ton of mistakes, so I think I’d be a good coach. I know what not to do!
What’s a habit you’d like to break?
Eating everything on my plate, even if I’m full. It’s a bad habit when you’re older and don’t have the metabolism of an eight-year-old.
What’s a habit you’d like to start?
Stretching – I’ve never been flexible. Lucky for me, we’ve got Phil McDougall, our Wellness Director, to help us with that.
The best advice you received that’s helped your career?
Paddle your own canoe. In other words, if you want something, get started on it – don’t wait around for someone else to bring it to you.
One thing about you that has been and will always be true?
I’m a big kid inside.
What do you know now that you would tell your past self if you could?
Work on you – it’s the best investment you can make.
Where can we follow you?