Zoe Kay is a software engineer at New Relic. Before becoming a developer, she studied social science at Portland State, worked at Americorps and dabbled in programming before deciding it was her path. Zoe is a graduate of the inaugural class at Hackbright Academy. Here is her story.
Building software never crossed my mind – until I started dating someone who did it as a living.
I saw some of the interesting projects they were working on and how they could make real world changes (health care software, etc).
While I couldn’t understand the lingo when they were talking passionately, it seemed stimulating, challenging, and enjoyable – not at all the way I had pictured a programming job.
What’s Your Favorite Part of Being a Software Engineer?
My favorite part of being a software engineer is the satisfaction of solving a hard problem: after working for hours and tracking down all the bugs, after many hours, finally seeing end-to-end success.
It’s rewarding knowing that thousands of people will see/use what you’ve built at New Relic!
How Did You Get Your Current Job?
I was excited to work for them because developers I knew used/liked their product, they offer a real service, and I really like Portland, where most of their engineering team is. I interviewed at New Relic’s Portland office and everyone was super nice – this was before their nice San Francisco office, so it was their attitude alone that got me.
I started working as an intern in Portland, moved to the San Francisco office as a junior developer, and have moved up to developer.
What’s a Typical Day Like as a Software Engineer?
After getting in and eating breakfast, I go through the emails I’ve gotten. Then, I have standup meeting with my team.
I pick up where I left off the day before, which usually means coding Angular or Ruby on Rails. Sometimes it means:
– pairing with another developer on a hard problem we’re both encountering
– writing up test cases to pass my work on to our QA engineer
– reviewing a pull request
– going to meetings for my project or with team
As long as you keep learning, don’t worry about how everyone else is doing. It is not a requirement to be obsessed with tech to be successful in it.