Role: Senior software engineer
What do you do at Fast?
I’m a back-end lead for the Catalog Team. I help design, code, and maintain product features.
Describe your typical day at Fast.
Focus time, meetings, and engineer interviews as we are growing at lightning speed. I strategize maintenance, operational excellence, and also code and design.
Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?
I lived mostly with my grandmother in Queens, NY, but went to school in Long Island, NY, where my mother lived. I was quiet, shy, and kind of a know-it-all. I was very curious and given a lot of freedom, so I’d take the bus at six (years old) around Queens and Long Island. I read a lot; it’s hard to make consistent friends when you live in two places.
What led you to engineering?
I became interested in computers at a very young age – I thought they were “magical boxes.” But I kept it as a hobby – I didn’t think I could ever do it professionally. One day I found myself keeping up with engineers in conversation. I knew what I was talking about. And I thought, maybe I should start taking my self-taught stuff seriously. I was afraid to start because I was afraid to fail for a long time. I started putting my work out there, incidentally got Etsy’s attention with an app I placed in their seller community, and that started my career.
Why did you say yes to Fast?
When I read about Fast’s plan to disrupt payments and identity, and realized how fast they were going, I knew I had to be here. I thought it was an interesting confluence of ideas: customers could buy seamlessly online, and businesses could greatly improve their cart abandonment rate.
And, there’s a specific energy within a startup. I was interested in building something, and working with –and learning from – really smart people. I wanted to be challenged, which meant leaving that professional “comfort zone.”
What have you found at Fast that really stands out?
A strong, remote-first culture that emphasizes communication. I appreciate that we’re self-reflective; we don’t shut down internal criticism. We communicate very well here.
What are Fast Engineers doing that catches your eye?
We’re solving a lot of complex problems: keeping identity safe across the internet and mobile applications, making platforms talk to each other and transforming that data. I highly respect the work and ideas of all our teams.
What’s your favorite thing about being an engineer?
No two days are the same. We’re solving existing problems but in novel ways. I’m also enjoying the communication aspect: talking and teaching. But I also had to learn – and I love that too. Mentoring other engineers is very rewarding.
What food or drink is always at your desk?
A spinach and pineapple shake, water, and a cup of black tea in the mornings.
What’s something you’ve found at Fast that really stands out?
What Fast accomplished in such a short time – from product, to scaling and environments – is amazing. Having worked at start ups, that was a surprise in the best way possible. Having set that groundwork from the beginning, we are now ready to execute that vision.
Also, Fast focuses on communicating and collaborating in a distributed, remote-first fashion, so our diversity provides a cornucopia of ideas from different cultures and backgrounds. We can teach and learn from each other, and that’s invaluable.
One thing about you that is forever true?
I hope I stay insatiably curious.
Your non-negotiables for life?
Learn something new, do something hard. Pivot when things grow stagnant. But not always. Sometimes it’s okay to chill and to not be hard on yourself. Focus on the satisfaction of what you do, not what you “should” be doing.
Where can we follow you?