Today’s post is written by Livia Halim, who is participating in RecordPoint’s Graduate Engineering Program. Read on to learn more about the program and Livia’s experience.
I’m Livia, and I’ve been a Graduate Engineer at RecordPoint for four months. I started here after finishing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at University of Washington in June 2018. I have been interested in computing since I was in junior high school, and my interest in computer science varies from machine learning, database, and user interface. After applying for several jobs, I was glad to hear that I made it through the interview round with RecordPoint.
The RecordPoint Graduate Engineering Interview
When I was first told that the Graduate Engineer interview would involve a group session with other candidates, I did not expect to end up playing with Lego. In fact, while waiting in the office with the other candidates, everyone was discussing which programing languages they are most skilled using and what projects they have been working on recently. Everyone was ready to perform their best during what we all assumed would be a peer-programming interview session.
We were astonished to find that the first section of the interview would involve us working together with Lego to build things according to requirements given by the interviewer. Looking back, I can see how important that session was, not only to assess a candidate’s problem-solving skills, but also to evaluate their teamwork and communication skills. While candidates were also expected to write code during the breakout interview sessions, it shows that RecordPoint values hiring employees who can work well with others.
The RecordPoint Graduate Engineering Program Experience
After I passed the initial interview session as well as a second interview with some of the executives, I officially joined RecordPoint as a Graduate Engineer in August 2018. I had known from the start that the nine-month graduate program would involve me doing three rotations, in which at least one rotation would be in a technical team, and at least one would be in a customer-facing team. My first rotation was in the Site Reliability Engineering Team, called the Avengers, where I worked in a team of six engineers along with one product manager. My second rotation, which I am currently in, is in a rapid fire, specialist development team code named Sue Fear that consists of four engineers and is spearheaded by the CTO. We’re currently focused on improving our product using machine learning.
The RecordPoint Graduate Engineering Program Onboarding
I have been pleased with the onboarding process I went through when first starting in these two teams. The company invests on a lot of resources to make sure that graduates understand the company’s business, products, customers, and the full software development lifecycle. The first week in any rotation always starts out with several meetings to get an in depth understanding of topics, such as the team’s processes, our software architecture, the backend code, and other technical topics that are necessary to be able to work as a fully functioning member of the team.
Besides introductions to technical topics, I also participated in several one-on-one sessions that focused on our product and our customers. These are important to ensure engineers in RecordPoint can understand our customer’s requirements, so that we can continue to develop products that are able to meet customers’ needs and solve their smallest problems. To ease my transition, I was also assigned a buddy in each team who could assist me in answering questions about the tasks I was working on and help me get familiarized with the company’s codebase by peer-programming with me.
The RecordPoint Graduate Engineering Program Experience
RecordPoint allows me to drive what I want to get out of each rotation. In my SRE rotation, I worked on creating a test suite for our environment deployments and generating reporting tools to ensure data integrity. Although each team’s backlog is maintained by a product manager, I was encouraged to help shape the backlog by expressing my own views on priorities, and how I thought both our team’s workflows, and the product itself can be improved.
It has also been wonderful to experience working with engineers in other parts of the world. At first, I was concerned about how to work effectively as a team, knowing that some teammates were literally on the other side of the world! However, I found that connecting over the internet and completing a written stand-up at the end of my day has helped to make my workflow even more effective. Knowing that someone can pick up my work when I am heading home for the day, and that there are extra minds to help me solve problems has been very appreciated.
Overall, I am glad to have joined the Graduate program because I have been able to receive a great introduction to the workplace. It has provided me with an excellent transition from being a computer science student, uncertain of which specific path of the field I should follow, to a software engineer fully contributing within a business. My rotations have allowed me to work in areas that continue my lifetime journey of learning, exposed me to roles that I would never have considered, and given me a solid understanding of what it’s like to work in a company that gives me opportunities to learn and a lot of room for personal growth.
If you are interested in joining RecordPoint’s Graduate Program, please upload your resume to recordpoint.com/graduates.