×
Become a PowerToFly VIP
For less than one coffee a week, receive exclusive content, access to live chats with female thought leaders, and more when you sign up to become a VIP!
Rover

A Day In The Life Of A Rover Engineer: Allison Northrop, Software Engineer

Below is an article originally written by Brianne Killinger at PowerToFly Partner Rover, and published on October 5, 2018. Go to Rover's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

This is the fourth post in a series of interviews with our team of engineers at Rover. We'll introduce you to one of our Rover engineers, share their daily work and give you a peek into what it's like to work for Rover. If you're interested in an engineering career at Rover, check out our PowerToFly page.

As a full-stack engineer on the Rover engineering team, Allison Northrop creates operations efficiencies by working with internal groups at Rover that often work directly with customers.

What do you do as a Rover engineer?

Northrop: I work with internal teams at Rover such as customer experience and our booking assurance team. Our goal is to create tools to fix things on the site so that they can do their job faster and for Rover to scale efficiently. For example, if our customer experience team receives a flurry of calls about one particular problem or there's a lack of functionality, we work to find them a solution to ensure they're not getting bombarded. We work closely with our product manager to prioritize their needs and analyze what's the most plausible to address now versus later.

How long have you been at Rover?

Northrop: I've been with Rover for a little over a year. I started as an intern through Ada Developers Academy, a program funded by technology companies with a goal to encourage women and non-binary people to start careers in software development. Rover has been a sponsor of Ada and we have quite a few Ada grads working here currently.

What's an example of how you help these teams?

Northrop: Previously, once a stay was booked, you couldn't personally edit the stay. If your flight was delayed or you had to come back early, you would have to call customer experience to get it changed. It wasn't addressed for a while because it was very complicated to fix on the backend. Addressing this issue required five engineers, including me, over the course of three to four months.

What's your favorite thing about working at Rover?

Northrop: There's so many things that I love! Apart from loving to work with dogs, I love the product. I love that my role as a software engineer here actually makes a difference in people's (and pet's) lives. A friend of mine recently posted on social media that she started sitting with Rover and I know she's a parent and she wanted a more flexible schedule. It's great that I work on a product that helps people and helps dogs. I love the people who I work with and the mentorship I've received in my career.

How do you feel you make an impact in your role? What excites you?

Northrop: Even though everyone on my team has more years of experience in software development, my tenure at Rover is the longest. It's been rewarding to be able to answer questions and contribute a lot. I did a lot of ZenDesk integration work early on in my time at Rover and now I can help people with code related to that. I've also done a lot of customization and performance work in our admin tool, which is Django's built-in admin, so I help bring people up to speed on tickets related to that.

In terms of what excites me, I really love working for teams within Rover, while also impacting our customer base. I think it's satisfying to make people's jobs less of a hassle through the things that we roll out.

What's it like working across teams at Rover?

Northrop: Our product managers are incredible because they make working across teams really seamless. I think that it's important to have engineers interface with people that they're making solutions for and Rover's done a great job ensuring that happens. For example, when I was an intern, I had the opportunity to work with the quality assurance team who vet and approve our sitter profiles. I was able to sit with them, learn about the tasks they handle on a daily basis and listen to their suggestions on how their tools could be better. I was partnering with a product manager and she worked closely with me to prioritize solutions for them.

Tell me about a recent project you worked on that impacted Rover's customers or your team?

Northrop: When we were about to start the project to enable sitters to edit a booked stay, my mom called me and told me one of her friends needed a cat sitter and they did it through Rover. They booked it and plans changed. Her friend was really frustrated that she couldn't change the booked stay on her own and I thought 'if one of my mom's friends is having this issue, it's clearly widespread.' Working on that project goes back to the commitment that Rover has to make it easier to own a pet. Now that we've enabled the option to edit a booked stay, we've seen a dramatic 30% decrease in tickets related to that issue.

What's a technology you are especially excited about and why?

Northrop: Not sure if this counts, but since I use it every day I'm going to give a shout out to my IDE. I love PyCharm because it makes it so much easier to navigate through a large code base and helps me keep up good code quality. Some people use Atom, Visual Studio, or something else. There are so many options and here you don't have to use one in particular. Rover is really flexible in what IDE you choose.

What's your favorite meeting at Rover?

Northrop: I really love Tech & Treats! It's a meeting we have once a week where people across the tech org present on things they've worked on, how to fix performance issues, how to use tools we have, etc. You get to see so many things that people are working on or little tricks that people have learned. It's expensive to have all engineers in a meeting for an hour and it's nice that Rover is willing to invest that time. It's a great place for knowledge sharing.

Favorite spot in the office?

Northrop: Wherever Fondue or Freya can be found! I'm a big Bernese fan. I also am a big fan of my office space buddy Willie, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Are you a mentor or mentee?

Northrop: I just love how much mentorship happens on the tech team. I have been mentored by tons of people not just on my team but across the organization. One example that comes to mind is a ticket that was much more search-related, but it touched one thing on my team and we ended up getting the ticket. Search is not what I've worked on so I messaged someone on the team asking them questions. They came over and paired with me for 15 minutes and explained how it works and reviewed my code once I submitted. It probably would have been faster if someone on the search team took that ticket but they were willing to invest time to teach me about it. And now I can talk a little bit about our search filters!

Something also unique at Rover is that we also have "office hours" that different platform teams hold on a regular basis. I also took advantage of a weekly introductory React class that Rover hosted over four weeks. It was great that they created this curriculum – not every company will do that.

What are some of your passions outside of the office?

Northrop: I love to climb. There's actually a Rover climbing community on Slack. I'm not nearly as intense as most people and I just go to Vertical World. Whenever I go there, I always run into someone from Rover! I also like going to tech meet-ups like PyLadies and PuPPY and I'm still fairly involved with Ada through tutoring folks currently going through the program. I also have a orange tabby cat named Vincent. I'm happy that Rover is giving cats their rightful space in the codebase and that "cat" soon will not be listed as a type of dog breed.

Dell EMC

A Career In Presales At Dell EMC

At Dell EMC, the Presales team plays a pivotal role in bridging solutions to their customers' needs.

By watching the video above, you can meet Dell EMC Presales Sr. Executives and see what it's like to work within their sector plus why it's exciting to be on this team.

Are you interested in working as a member of the Dell EMC team?

If yes, then click here to see all available opportunities at Dell EMC, and don't forget to press 'Follow' to receive custom job matches, event invitations and more!

Morgan Stanley

Finding Opportunity In Any Language

Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner Morgan Stanley, and published on October 4, 2018. Go to Morgan Stanley's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Drawing from her Latina heritage, Claudia Marmolejo has successfully navigated and excelled across both corporate and international cultures, while opening paths for others.

It was the quintessential New York story: In 1994, Claudia Marmolejo arrived from Argentina to study law at Columbia with only $700 and one credit card. With a week before classes started to find a place to live, she rented a shared room in a convent run by nuns on 54th Street and 10th Avenue. It was a bit of a commute to Columbia's upper-Manhattan campus, but "the convent was affordable and safe—complete with an 11 pm curfew," Marmolejo recalls with a laugh.

Yet years later, her career path would bring her back to the same neighborhood and to Morgan Stanley's headquarters, where Marmolejo is now an Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Wealth Management Client Development Group.

"I couldn't anticipate my journey, but in retrospect, I would say that where I am today and the experiences and opportunities I've had are precisely what I had in mind when I decided to come to the U.S. all those years ago."

A Glimpse of a Different Life

As with so many stories, Marmolejo's starts with her family: In 1988, she visited her older sister Andrea who had received a scholarship to study at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She stayed for a month auditing classes, going to events and meeting students. "It was so different from Argentina, where women were expected to conform to more traditional female roles, like teachers and nurses and eventually housewives and mothers," Marmolejo said of her time in Cambridge, Mass.

"I loved that the female students were fully partaking in the intellectual life on campus, speaking out in classes and leading organizations. That was what I was looking for, the kind of life that I wanted to lead."

One of her favorite expressions is: "If you can see it, you can be it." During that month at Harvard, she saw the life she wanted. "I was determined to return to the U.S.," she says.

Over the next few years, Marmolejo moved with single-minded resolve. She studied law at the University of Buenos Aires, completing her degree in three and a half years, ahead of the typical five. She was then accepted at Columbia's master's program in law. "I loved Columbia. The advanced study, immersion in U.S. jurisprudence and collaboration with so many smart people sharpened my legal skills and prepared me for practicing law in the U.S."

Unfortunately, it didn't prepare her for the tight job market after graduation. Nonetheless, Marmolejo managed to negotiate a six-month contract with a corporate law firm, which led to a full-time associate position. She then grasped that business in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, was taking off. "I realized the value of being fluent in Portuguese and hired an after-hours tutor," she added.

Her multicultural background was attractive to other law firms and investment banks, including Morgan Stanley. Twelve years later, she still feels taking a position with the firm was the best decision she made. "I loved that Morgan Stanley recognized and rewarded talent with greater responsibility," Marmolejo explains, who spent nine years in Wealth Management Legal, before moving into her current role as COO of the Client Development Group.

Sharing a Personal Journey

"Throughout my career, I've moved through various firms and international cultures, and have been able to absorb them quickly," Marmolejo says. "I've learned the value of relationships, of making and deepening connections, and making clients and colleagues feel welcome. I know what it's like to come from the outside, from another industry, and certainly from another culture."

Marmolejo's drive is stronger than ever. She is the Co-Chair of Morgan Stanley's Latino Employee Networking Group (LENG), and was recently named a member of the MAKERS Class of 2018. "When I was asked to co-chair LENG, I felt honored. Being Hispanic is my heritage and a fundamental part of who I am. I jumped at the chance to help inspire fellow Latinos and Latinas with LENG's programming and resources. I am proud to be in a position to advocate for more Hispanic representation at Morgan Stanley," Marmolejo says. Meanwhile, on the MAKERS storytelling platform, "I can share my own journey as a professional and as a Latina."

Marmolejo's contributions to the Hispanic community extend beyond the firm. Since 2015, she has been a trustee of Museo del Barrio in New York City and is a board member of LatinoJustice PRLDEF (formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund), a national civil rights organization that fights discrimination against Latinos through advocacy, litigation and education. She is also a trustee of Xavier University of Louisiana and a member of the board of the nonprofit Turn Around for Children.

"If people can learn from my story, struggles and triumphs, then I feel I've done my job in showing other Latinas, and people overall, that moving up the ladder through hard work and doing your personal best is possible, no matter where you start."

SeatGeek

SeatGeek Employee Spotlight: Jamie Hooker, Director of Talent

Below is an article originally written by Nate Rattner at PowerToFly Partner SeatGeek. Go to SeatGeek's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Welcome to SeatGeek Employee Spotlights - an opportunity to meet the fantastic folks on our world-class team.

By day, we're a group of talented developers, designers, marketers, and businessfolk working together to build something new and different. We represent live event junkies of every kind: diehard sports fans, passionate concert-goers, sophisticated theater enthusiasts, and more. From our lives outside the office and before SeatGeek, we all have interesting stories to tell.

Up next: Jamie Hooker, our Director of Talent.

Name: Jamie Hooker

Role: Director of Talent

Where were you born?
I was born in Georgia - outside of Atlanta.

Have you always lived in NYC?
No — I've lived in close to 10 places, but have been in New York for almost three years. I came to New York from Wisconsin, and was in Tennessee before that, and Colorado before that — Colorado will always be home, though.

Where did you go to school?
I went to Vanderbilt — go 'Dores! I'm one of a few Vanderbilt folks here, and actually wasn't the first Vandy hire — Ben Clark holds that title. There are four total now, and hopefully we can add more to that count!

Where is the weirdest place you've ever lived?
I don't think I've lived anywhere very weird, but when I was little, we lived in France and Belgium, which is unique I suppose. I was there for a couple years when I was a toddler so my memories are pretty limited — we moved back to the states when I was about 5 years old.

Any funny roommate or apartment stories in NYC?
When I first moved to New York, we decided to turn our living room into an additional bedroom, as many people do, to make our apartment more affordable. I was lucky enough to be able to live in the extra room — my "lean-to." I had to get a wall built, and for some reason there was a really big disconnect between my landlord and the wall company, and I ended up living without a wall for my first two months here. Basically, you'd walk into the apartment and be in the living room, the kitchen, and my bedroom at the same time. The wall is still there, and I'm still in the same apartment, but I've since upgraded rooms.

What's the best project you've worked on at SeatGeek?
Being involved with hiring so many people in one year was really exciting — we hired around 50 people, more than doubling the size of SeatGeek. Of course, there were a lot of people who were a part of that, but being able to be involved was really exciting. Seeing that SeatGeek had gotten to a point that we were really taking off was so cool.

What are three "fun facts" about yourself that people would be surprised to know?
1. I have not always been a Broncos fan — shocking, I know. I did not become a Broncos fan until I moved to Colorado in the fifth grade — prior to that, I have a vivid memory of the Broncos and Falcons playing in the Super Bowl and rooting for the Falcons. I try not to remember my pre-Broncos era — I think I've seen the light since then.
2. I really, really love the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July — it's one of my favorite American pastimes. I went to the event the first 4th of July I spent in New York, and Joey Chestnut won that year, but he didn't break the record. It was the first time they split the contests into Men's and Women's competitions, and Sonya "The Black Widow" was the female champ.
3. I lived in Europe as a child, but I guess you knew that already.

Any favorite place(s) to hang out in NYC?
I like to watch sports at my favorite sports bar, Triona's — any time there's a major game going on or if it's an NFL Sunday, you can find me there. It's become a really fun gathering place for me and my friends. Other than that, I'm probably eating out. I do that a lot, and keep a running list of places so that I can get to as many different restaurants as possible. I'm also really lucky that my building has a nice courtyard, so I spend a lot of time eating dinner outdoors or drinking a glass of wine out there.

What's the best vacation you've ever taken?
Last fall I went to Thailand and we split up time between several different cities — they were all pretty amazing and wonderful in their own right. But the bulk of the trip was spent on an island for some beach time — it was really nice to be literally on the other side of the world. And I got to play with elephants, which was a big highlight.

Do you have a favorite SeatGeek snack?
I have two favorite snacks — one is Babybel cheese and the other is chocolate, which we always have a really nice selection of. They serve very different snack purposes in my life, but they're equally important.

Why do you love SeatGeek?
I love SeatGeek because of the people who work here. Everyone really believes in SeatGeek as a product, and you can tell that people here are really passionate about what we do. People are really driven and work really hard, and it's very easy to believe in the mission and what our product stands for. People are also really great from a social aspect as well — they hang out with each other, get along well, and I enjoy spending time with my coworkers. It's exciting that we can all work together on something that's so cool.

What is your favorite part of the new office?
I still need to do some more exploring — I like so much of it — but I think the stadium seating is really cool. Not only is it great because it gives everyone in the company a really nice spot to congregate, but I think it will be really great for hosting events. It's perfect for hosting meetups or recruiting events.

GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
COMPANIES THAT CARE
FOLLOW POWERTOFLY