Hey Brian, care to share a little bit about yourself?
Hi, my name is Brian and I'm a Front End Engineer at Kairos HQ in NYC. When I'm not working, I love to take photos and play basketball! But more recently, I've been very interested in videography and espresso. I've also started playing a game called Among Us with my friends and that's been a blast 😂
Can you tell us what you do as a Front End Engineer at Kairos for those who are unfamiliar?
As a Front End Engineer at Kairos, my current responsibility is to develop our iOS and Android mobile applications from the ground up. I work closely with the product manager to discuss the technical feasibility of the designs while also collaborating with the backend engineering team to talk about the transfer of data between the app and the server.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career?
When I first started college, I planned on studying to become a mechanical engineer. At my school, all engineering majors were required to take a 100-level computer science course. It was in this class that I first fell in love with programming! I thought it was so cool to be able to use an everyday object like a laptop, and utilize it to create software for people to use. From there, I changed my major and graduated with a computer science engineering degree.
What made you interested in your field?
I think what's so interesting about the field of software engineering is just how vast it is and how fast it advances - there really is no shortage of things you can learn. With the acknowledgement that I'm nowhere close to the ceiling of growth in my career, I can wake up every morning excited to become a better engineer than I was yesterday.
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
Hobbies are important too! I can't count the number of times recruiters have taken the time to navigate to my photography website that I list on my online profiles. More often than not, they mention that the photography was a differentiating factor that gave me an edge over other candidates.
3 Character traits that would make someone excel in your field
Passionate, humble, meticulous
Most difficult thing about your job?
I think because the app that we're building right now is going through many different iterations before it's released, the most difficult thing is to see the work that I completed being tossed because we're going in a new design direction. It's not the worst thing in the world but in the end, it's still a product of many hours of work.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
Not related to my day-to-day work but negotiate your offer! I was so scared that an employer would rescind their offer if I countered with a different salary that I would always accept their first number. If you've gotten to the point where they are offering you the job, the employer probably isn't going to just drop the offer. At the worst, they'll counter with a different number.
Best advice you've received/heard?
Think about the problem/task as a whole before diving straight in. I consider it delayed gratification - take the time to build out a proper foundation, consider the modularity and reusability of your code and you'll thank yourself later. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions! It's always best to bounce off ideas with other people.
Any last thoughts, advice, or recommendations for someone who wants to learn about your craft?
Talk to all different types of engineers! It helps to understand how each engineer's job fits in the grand scheme of an application. There are so many moving pieces that I think that this understanding is crucial to have.
Get your hands dirty with actual personal projects. You can read documentation all you want, but you won't truly learn until you try it yourself.