Hey David, care to share a little bit about yourself?
Greetings! I'm David. I eat burgers, pizza, and burritos for a living. Playing in the NBA didn't work out so I went to UC Berkeley, where I learned how to learn, did some sales, and eventually I found my career in software engineering.
Can you tell us what you do as a Front End Engineer at Twitch for those who are unfamiliar?
As a Front End Engineer at Twitch, I build scalable, performant web applications. Currently I've been working on a few different administrative dashboards across our internal platforms that help our Twitch streamers manage their communities and build their platforms through channel analytics, stream summaries, and other administrative features. I live between design and data by bringing functionality and real data into our applications.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career?
I went to college intending on going to law school, but along the way I met pre-law students spending hours studying and finance workers clocking endless hour jobs, but my engineering friends seemed challenged at work while having free time so I thought I'd give it a shot. Googled resources online, joined subreddits about programming and kept on studying.
What made you interested in your field?
I appreciate web applications that are performant, intuitive, and easy to use. And I enjoy the challenge of replicating that with the work that I do. As a Front End Engineer I get to tackle interesting problems of scalability, functionality, usability, and design, which is consistently fun, challenging, and exciting.
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
Writing and communication is an important asset in engineering. Being concise and clear in questions and answers is invaluable. Whether it's through Slack, email, or presentations, being able to thoughtfully understand problems and convey coherent solutions provides tremendous value.
Also, if you're building your LinkedIn profile or resume, it's important to add quantitative and qualitative data to support the work that you're doing and not just listing out what occurred. It's beneficial to a hiring manager to see what specific value and benefit you can provide.
3 Character traits that would make someone excel in your field
Curious, humble, and a great communicator.
Best advice you've received/heard?
"Tackle one problem at a time." Often times we might get specs that consist of an entire application, and early on I've tried to build it all out in one go. But it's important to break down the larger problem into small, concise problems and consistently make small achievements until you ultimately reach the end goal.
Any last thoughts, advice, or recommendations for someone who wants to become a Front End Engineer?
Ask questions, answer questions, and never stop learning. Take on projects and problems and struggle through it. Make long term goals and make small tasks to incrementally bring you to achieve all your goals.