The opportunities currently available out of college are plentiful if a computer science student has the right strategy. However, making the right choice between these opportunities is difficult. In my last semester of university, I was committing the most exciting professional time of my life to a single company. I felt the pressure to make the correct decision, in order to put my career on the right trajectory. At this same time, I faced many other challenges; including the transition from school (something I have been doing for the majority of my life) and moving closer to the job. It was an unnerving, pressure-filled time at the very beginning of my career and I now know I made the correct decision. At Okera, I have found a team that not only helps me with my day to day challenges, but also gives me guidance in my career.
The first decision I needed to make was whether to join a large company or choose the startup life. Before this, I had worked for a mid-size company (~700 people) and a very large software company. My internships at both of these companies were invaluable. They taught me different subjects about software engineering and the proper principles to follow for writing scalable and well designed code. Due to these past experiences, I recognized that I wanted a job that let me take more control of my career and be more customer-focused. I wanted a job that encourages to maintain a work-life balance and keep up to date with my technology stack. One of my previous managers showed me the importance of proper design planning, with consistent reading of programming language updates being a key contributor. I started interviewing at different startups that I found on AngelList and learned about impressive business ideas in industries ranging from healthcare to mobile applications. Then I started talking to Amandeep (CEO of Okera) who suggested I talk to one of the engineers at Okera.
Right off the bat, Okera seemed to check all the boxes. Most company contacts would start the discussion talking about themselves and the company. Okera began with asking about me and what I wanted to achieve in my career. I explained that I was looking for an opportunity to work with Java, while getting to learn about other languages/frameworks, and I wanted to speak more with customers and get feedback about the engineering choices the company makes. For the first time in my life, the interview seemed more like a discussion with the authorities in charge of my hiring decision, rather than a scary event coming up in my life. I looked forward to speaking with the next interviewer and learning more about the market Okera was in and the challenges they solved in the market.
After receiving an offer, I decided to work in the Seattle office because of my previous experience living there in my internship (and my bias towards the hikes in the pacific northwest). Nong (CTO of Okera) gave me the opportunity of working from the San Francisco office for the first week so I could meet and speak with the team there. That first week, everybody was welcoming and open to helping me with any questions I had. Here are a few screenshots from that week:
I have been here for half a year now and the enthusiasm is the same as my first week. The company shows that they stand behind the values by following them whenever put in the situation. The level of drive and willingness to be open-minded to change in the company goes beyond what I would have imagined was possible at a fast-paced startup. I am proud to be apart of this team and joining Okera immediately following graduation was a great decision.
If you are ever interested in this market and/or the problems Okera solves, reach out to any of us. We are happy to discuss! We are actively looking for engineers that are ready to solve challenges with the other industry-leading engineers at Okera.