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Meet Darren Hakimi: The Fast Interview

Darren Hakimi, software engineer at Fast

Darren Hakimi

Role: Software Engineer

Team: Reliability, Automation, and Performance

What do you do at Fast?

I work on quality infrastructure engineering, which enables Fast engineers to exhaustively test our codebase.

My work is very broad in scope, and I test things from load to chaos and five-six categories in between. There can be entire teams for each of these categories, hence the extreme growth opportunity that I see.

Describe your typical day at Fast.

It’s pretty laid back overall. I do mostly independent work right now. Some days I have a lot of meetings, but I can usually focus on specific tasks. I really like having deep focus time and we have Deep Focus Day for that purpose.

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

Great Neck, just outside New York City. I was a troublemaker, I liked different sports, and I was moderately outgoing. I was curious about everything.

What led you to engineering?

I got my first PC when I was five, and I still have my screen name from back then. If anyone were to guess what my career would be back then, they would have guessed software engineer. When I was nine, my PC broke, so I put all the money I could save into my first Macbook Pro. My parents are from Iran and I’m first-generation American, so  they had no familiarity with computers. I spent so much time on the phone with tech support; it was the best way for me to learn everything this computer could do. 

Where were you before Fast?

Capital One for 2.5 years. It was my first job out of college. A lot of the work I did there helped me move to Fast. 

Why did you say yes to Fast?

I saw a news article about Fast getting Series B funding. Stripe is a big name and that gave me a boost of confidence in a company I hadn't heard of. I liked the mission, I liked being in fintech, which is a high-demand field right now. I saw the caliber of the hires Fast had already made, saw their backgrounds, and I landed a good opportunity to grow here given my own experience. This opportunity has been great for me.

What are Fast engineers doing that stands out?

Every day I’m shown a different thing someone’s working on, and I'm impressed by the depth of knowledge despite being at Fast a short time. I’m continually impressed how well these engineers understand their own specialties and the Fast codebase. We give very deep responses and document things well here.

Proudest moment as an engineer?

I know I’m going to reach it at Fast – our quality infrastructure team is just getting started in the work we’re doing, so the scope of my work will continue to dramatically expand. I can see myself having a big team around me one day and I'll be really proud of building that.

At another company, I worked on a security audit, and wrote a script that remedied bad permissions across tens of thousands of firewall rules that would have otherwise taken thousands of engineer hours to resolve.

Morning person or night owl?

Night owl.

Your non-negotiables for life?

I come from a Persian-Jewish community of 5,000-10,000 people who all live in my town. I really enjoy being part of that community; it’s important to me. One of the reasons I came to Fast was the ability to work from anywhere – which allows me to stay within my community.

Where can we follow you?


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