This week I sat down with Class of 2020 Software Engineers, Christie Frush and Veronica Ripper to learn more about a day in their life, what they like to do outside of the office, and some sage advice for the class of 2021 as they enter the job market.
1. What's your current role?
2. Why did you join Cogo?
"I knew I wanted to work on the east coast and when I got here I dove deeper into the explanation of Cogo and what we do, and that alongside lots of new technology was really exciting. Also the relevant engineering stack and a culture where everyone seemed really happy here and excited." -Christie
"I really wanted to stay in the Boston area after school. I also felt like from what I learned about Cogo there’d be a lot of interesting things to learn and the culture was something I was looking forward to experiencing." -Veronica
3. Where did you go to school, and what was your major?
"UC Davis, I was a Computer Science major and a math minor." -Christie
"MIT, I was a Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science major." -Veronica
4. What's a current day in the life look like for you?
"I start off catching up on any unread slack messages or emails and continue working on anything from the previous day. I have a 10am standup with my team, then the rest of the day depends on what tasks I’ve been assigned. I usually spend my afternoon working on those tasks or maybe have a few 1 on 1 Zoom call meetings." -Veronica
"I usually start my day with a a 9am standup meeting to dive into details of projects, tasks, or anything that’s new or we haven’t seen yet. Then after that I’ll do my update for the day, then I’ll have a few meetings, but mostly working throughout the day. Normally there will sometimes be company-wide meetings, but most meetings are talking about what I’m working on." -Christie
5. What are your hobbies/interests outside of the office?
"I’m getting back into art. I want to do a Bob Ross everyday. I also go running and exercise frequently, and spend a lot of my time cooking too." -Christie
:I run along the Charles a lot, or in the summer I'll go to the beach on the weekends. Now that it’s colder I’m finding more indoor hobbies like painting, and I like to ski." -Veronica
Let’s talk about tech.
6. What's the best Cogo tech speck?
"Definitely Kafka and Kubernetes are super cool to know. Also “Go” is really fun to work with and it sparks joy for me." -Christie
"I’ve also enjoyed learning “Go” and Kubernetes and Docker are super interesting. There’s a lot to learn but the engineering training at Cogo has helped me with that a lot." -Veronica
7. What do you like about working at a tech company?
I like how people have motivation and appreciation for their job. People in Tech seem happy in life, even when they don’t like the project they’re currently working on. People even in high stress jobs in this space just seem to have motivation. They also just love teaching others, even if it’s something that you might never fully understand." -Christie
"Everyone seems super motivated and to really care about the work they are doing. I also like how people in tech are always willing to help others learn." -Veronica
8. What's been the biggest challenge so far?
"In general, the amount of languages I’ve had to learn in a short period of time. Every project I’ve worked on has never had the exact same tech stack." -Christie
"Similar to Christie - lots of tech that Cogo uses I’ve had to learn. The engineering training program was helpful with this and helped me feel more prepared when placed on my first project team. It has been interesting learning so many new things." -Veronica
9. What do you like about a small tech environment?
"It's really fun and you get to move around a lot. At my previous internship it was harder to move and was the company was more stagnant. There was no real push to become something else here. In a smaller company like Cogo, you get to wear more hats and you get to do more and try a lot of new stuff." -Christie
"I realized that although I like being in a smaller company, I wanted one bigger than the internship I was at. Cogo is still a smaller company and I really enjoy that you get the opportunity to learn a lot of different things." -Veronica
10. What's your favorite part of being remote?
"It’s vert customizable. I was really excited to have an office, but as I’ve dived into the idea I can make my desk whatever I want, I have a whole setup and I can get coffee and tea whenever I want. I think it is what you make it." -Christie
"It makes it easier to work around your schedule and be able to work from any location as long as you have a good work setup. I like that this allows me to spend more time visiting my family in Michigan." -Veronica
11. Favorite day of the week?
"I’ve always liked Wednesdays and Sundays - Sunday is like a rest day." -Christie
"Either Thursdays or Fridays." -Veronica
12. Favorite source of caffeine?
"I usually drink black tea – hot or iced depends on the season." -Veronica
"Definitely drip coffee – but I consume every kind of caffeine. I love yerba mate, and tea, I drink most of them everyday." -Christie
13. Favorite lunch right now?
"I’d kill for a California burrito at this time. I eat all stuff all the time. No favorites." -Christie
"I’ve been making a lot of salads – Greek salad is probably my favorite right now." -Veronica
14. Favorite App?
"The New York Times Cooking App." -Christie
"Lately I’ve been using Pinterest a lot, to find hobbies or things to cook when I’m bored." -Veronica
15. Favorite Cogo Benefit?
"Blue Bikes, absolutely." -Christie
"Blue Bikes." -Veronica
16. Favorite productivity tip?
"I invested in a balance board so when I get antsy I just stand on a balance board to focus. It looks weird on Zoom though." -Christie
"Having a to do list or using "Range" to list out what I’m planning on getting done." -Veronica
Raise A Class - Advice for the Class of 2021
17. Advice for landing a role after school?
"You can still make progress while failing in your mind. I think of interviewing as a skill, you can prep for it really well. Everything helps. Also write down the name of everyone that you interview with every time." -Christie
"With a lot of interviews in the same timeline during the Fall of your senior year, just keep motivating yourself. It helps to make sure you're staying organized and having a list of notes on different interview processes and interviews falling in that same timeline." -Veronica
18. Interview tips for Cogo & beyond?
For online interviews; say “I’ll be writing things down. So if there are awkward pauses you can chalk it up to writing things down." -Christie
"Make sure to keep note of people you talk to and things you talked about. I found it helpful being able to look back at these notes as a refresher before another interview." -Veronica
19. Advice for life after school?
"The stress you get from not doing homework assignments on time will carry over from thinking you need to be ding something when you actually don’t. I’m done with assignments now!" -Christie
"Enjoy not having to stress about homework all the time and make the most of your free time after work." -Veronica
20. Any general post-college advice?
If it makes you happy it’s worth investing. Everything in school is very directional. After graduation, no one really knows the answer, so if it sparks joy just do it. Also don’t sit all day." -Christie
"A lot of my college friends have moved away, so I’ve found finding new hobbies helps. Painting, getting out for a run, etc. are all great ways to spend my free time." -Veronica
Interested in joining the team with Christie and Veronica? Click the link to view our Class of 2021 Software Engineer application!