Better Companies

Inside Amazon, As Told By Top Women Developers

When PowerToFly's Seattle community spent the evening at Amazon's Seattle campus.


Most of us spend time on Amazon.com each week, ordering household goods or watching streaming shows (I highly recommend Catastrophe btw). We all know the experience is seamless, especially if you have an Echo. I mean, you don't even need to lift your hands to to make orders. Yeah, it's all pretty magical and futuristic - a future that is happening now thanks to a few of the brilliant female and male engineers who talked to the PowerToFly community at an event we held with Amazon on June 28th on their Seattle campus.

With the goal of introducing women in tech to the female and male developers in the room who are running engineering teams for Amazon Restaurants, Machine Learning for Ads, and the Amazon Tickets platform, the PowerToFly community in Seattle was able to ask about what it's like to work at Amazon as they got an inside look into what the company is building.

In that spirit, Rachel Valdez, PowerToFly's Chief Dream Maverick and the MC for the event, started us off with a behind the scenes demo from Uma Boddeti, the Software Development Manager for Amazon Restaurants. Uma explained the challenges of building applications for on-demand food delivery - from coordinating the in-restaurant ordering process to ensuring that the drivers who make the deliveries go to the right house. After Uma's presentation, the audience asked her questions about the product, but they also took the opportunity to understand how Uma balances being a tech leader while raising two children. Her answer: I ask for flexibility when I need it and I get my work done. She used an example from that day to illustrate her experiences. Uma said she was planned on leaving the office early to take her son to the dentist. It wasn't a problem because her team knew she was would make up for any lost time and productivity. Uma made it clear that family matters came first on her team, as long as goals are being met.


Uma Boddeti, the Software Development Manager for Amazon Restaurants answers questions about work-life integration and the products she's building.

To cap off the event we held a similar discussion with Alice Zheng, who is a Senior Software Development Manager for Advertising platforms at Amazon. Alice is also the author of "Mastering Feature Engineering" and "Evaluating Machine Learning Models". The PowerToFly members in the audience particularly wanted to know how Alice manages her time, especially if she's feeling overwhelmed. Alice advised the women in the room to sit down with their managers and go over their task lists to prioritize when things are due. She reiterated advice she received early on from a woman executive at Amazon: focus on "running a marathon" and not a sprint. At PowerToFly we give that same advice to our team members - it's all about training and preparing for a long steady pace. Too many sprints knock people out of the game and are unsustainable, especially at high-growth companies like Amazon.

After discussing how we can better manage ourselves and talk to our managers, Alice briefly discussed what she found different and useful about the hiring process at Amazon. She touched on the set of values Amazon asks candidates to match their experiences to in the interview process. In Alice's opinion, these core values allow candidates to measure themselves against a universal company framework. If you do end up joining Amazon then you know exactly what the company expects from you and your colleagues on day one.


Alice Zheng and Katharine Zaleski, PowerToFly's Co-Founder and President take questions from the audience.

Want to come to events like these? Sign up for PowerToFly.com and we'll send you exclusive invitations for events where we connect you to executives and hiring managers at companies that care about creating gender diverse and inclusive environments. And if you're interested in working at Amazon, check out their page on PowerToFly.com.

PwC

What makes us, us

Life at PwC

This video illustrates how the people of PwC engage the more than 220,000 people across 157 countries in the PwC network on delivering our shared purpose (to build trust in society and solve important problems). It's why they do what they do. And how they do it is by living the same core values (they act with integrity, make a difference, care, work together and reimagine the possible) - they make us #teampwc.

Click here to see all available opportunities at PwC, and don't forget to press follow!

Remote Hiring

Everything You Need to Know About How to Get a Remote Job

Partner Content

A version of this article previously appeared on Skillcrush, an online education program for creatives, thinkers, and makers that gives total tech newbies the tools to make major career changes.

Cameron Chapman, Skillcrush

A decade ago, I had a traditional office job working for a magazine publisher. It was a great job, no doubt. But it also came with a long—and in the winter sometimes treacherous—commute every day. My 8+ hour workday quickly turned to 10+ hours when you tacked on the hour drive on either end.

Let's just say that when the opportunity came along to cut the commute (and work in my pajamas when I felt like it), I jumped at it.

But I was lucky. I sort of fell into remote working, through freelancing as a copy editor, blogger, and designer, before coming on board here at Skillcrush as a more "typical" remote worker.

Not everyone gets to have the same kind of natural transition into remote working, though. If you're reading this, you're probably wondering how you can purposely start working remotely.

Everything you need to know about how to get started working remotely is included in the completely updated Ultimate Guide to Getting a Remote Job You Love.

If you're not sure if working remotely is right for you, check out these amazing reasons:

Work From Anywhere

Home office, front porch, kitchen table, coffee shop, coworking space, RV traveling across America, an exotic beach somewhere, camping in the woods (thank you, 4G hotspot!), or pretty much anywhere else you can connect to the Internet.

Set Your Own Schedule

Not every remote job allows for this, but a lot of them offer at least some flexibility around when you work. That means if you find you're most productive from 5am to 9am (or midnight to 4am, or in the middle of the afternoon), you can roll with it. It also means you can live in another timezone without working in the middle of the night! Unless you want to of course.

Save Money

You won't need an entire work wardrobe if you're working from home every day (at most you might need a few nice shirts for video meetings). And you'll save a lot by not commuting every day (plus that's good for the environment). You can also avoid the costs of the big city and choose to settle where the cost of living is lower, and your paycheck goes further.

Make More Money

If you live somewhere with a low cost of living and median income, but work for a company based in an area with high wages, you may get paid based on where the company is, not where you are. That means you can live in the middle of nowhere but make the kind of salary you'd make in NYC. (Some companies scale salary based on where you live, so keep that in mind!)

Psst! Want to know all the ways you can make more money with tech skills? Check out the free Ultimate Guide to Making More Money in Tech for details.

Be More Efficient

This one might come as a surprise, but meetings done via Google Hangouts or Skype always seem to stay on task and operate more efficiently than those that happen in person. Plus—here's a dirty little remote work secret—you can multitask during a lot of meetings (especially if you're only needed for one small part).

Earning more, spending less, flexibility…That all sounds pretty awesome, right?

Spoiler alert: The #1 best way to get the freedom that comes along with working remotely is to learn tech skills.

The best paying remote jobs are almost all at least somewhat related to tech, whether it's content marketing (design and basic HTML & CSS skills come in super handy there) or web development (which requires, you know, coding skills), tech knowledge makes you way more hireable as a remote worker.

Get the free guide now to find out all the other things you need to know to land that amazing remote job.

Slack

Why taking time out for team offsites is worth it

Slack teams share their most memorable, momentum-building events

Below is an article originally written by Lima Al-Azzeh of PowerToFly Partner Slack, and published via Medium on August 31, 2017. Go to Slack's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

It's important for a team's happiness and performance to take some focused time to align on goals, check in on morale, and celebrate a job well done. It's also important to have a little fun — whether that means escaping from your usual surroundings or rallying everyone around a creative challenge.

But try not to think of fun as frivolous, advises Dawn Sharifan, who leads People Operations at Slack. The right atmosphere makes important information more memorable, inspires team members to be more intrepid in exploring new ideas and solutions, and helps teams develop a shared vocabulary that heightens their understanding of one another and how each person works best.

From talent shows to volunteer work and more, several Slack teams have gotten creative with their offsites and seen great results. Here are a few ideas for activities (both fun and productive) for your next gathering.

READ MORE Show less
Audible

Employee Culture at Audible

They want you on their team!

Audible employees love what they do - and more importantly, love where they work. Hear from some of the employees who are changing the way we listen, and why they love working for the Amazon company, Audible.

Do you want to join their team? Click here to follow Audible on PowerToFly, and receive job alerts, exclusive event invites, and more!

GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY

FREE EGUIDE

FOLLOW POWERTOFLY

© Rebelmouse 2018