Categories
Technology WordPress

What it’s Like to be an Engineer at 10up

Frequently when interviewing candidates, I’m asked what it’s like to be an engineer at 10up and what aspects of the job I’ve liked best over the past 6+ years and I usually go into the story of my own experience. Since I seem to repeat this story so frequently, I thought I’d document my experiences for others who may be curious or thinking about 10up as their possible next career step.

Background

Prior to working at 10up, I was a full-stack web developer, working as Web Manager/Senior Web Developer at beautiful Colby College, where I was able to gain a lot of experience building complex web projects and even some iPhone apps for the college. I was managing a small web development team that supported the entire college’s websites, and am proud of the work that we accomplished, especially considering how many websites we supported (over 100).

One of the major projects we took on was choosing a new college-wide web CMS, and after many user groups and a lot of research, we chose WordPress – the most popular CMS in the world, running over 40% of all websites in existence. As such, I gained a lot of experience with WordPress and contributing to the open source community, which I became extremely excited about. Little did I know, this open source project would be a segue into my current role.

Though we were building award-winning projects at Colby, I felt we simply had too much work to do and not enough people to help — often we were sacrificing doing things the “right way” for getting things done. As such, I made it a personal goal to join a company where I could get more hands-on development experience collaborating with a larger team. That’s where 10up came in.

Brush Away Any Imposter Syndrome

I learned of 10up through their excellent Engineering Best Practices and their contributions to the open source community, so I was aware that they valued quality work and innovative solutions. I was hired at 10up as a Senior Web Developer and initially had a bit of imposter’s syndrome which made me question whether I was ‘good enough’ to work with such a smart and talented team of engineers.

After joining, I was immediately comforted by the fact that they have close-knit “pods” of people that you work very closely with on projects. Though it’s a large company (we currently have over 300 employees), you are assigned to a few projects that you work on with other members from your pod. They gave me the support I needed to understand how I could contribute effectively. 10up has a stellar onboarding process so I quickly felt comfortable with the company’s processes. I quickly learned that I actually fit in quite well with the 10up crew and any imposter syndrome quickly subsided.

Better Living Through Code Reviews

One of the things I was really looking forward to at 10up was collaborating with multiple engineers – something I wasn’t able to experience previously. All code that 10up engineers produce are reviewed by a peer before they are merged to trunk and deployed to production. Code reviews are an excellent way to learn new or more efficient ways to write code, and was key to making me feel comfortable on projects. There was always somebody looking over my code before it went to production to ensure I wasn’t doing something inadvertently incorrect, which took away a lot of stress.

Working With Major Brands

I’ve enjoyed being able to work with some of the world’s largest brands for clients and have learned a lot about how software development and project management at other companies works (often we’ll use the workflows and tools used at these other companies if they request us to do so).

The work that we produce at 10up is seen daily by millions of people worldwide and we create many web projects that you might be surprised we created. To name a few, I’ve been fortunate to work on projects for Google, Salesforce, Meta (Facebook), TripAdvisor, MotorTrend and many other prominent brands (see 10up.com for more clients).

Career Advancement Opportunities

10up has continually provided me opportunities to challenge myself and advance my career. I’d always been interested in eventually getting back into management after leaving Colby, but I was very happy with being a full-time developer (Senior and then Lead Web Engineer) for my first few years at 10up. There have always been new technologies or projects to challenge me and push me in new directions.

10up has a generous Professional Development stipend it provides all engineers at $3000/year that was has been able to better-educate me how to be a more effective engineering leader for my team. When the opportunity came for me to be promoted to Director of Engineering, I jumped on that chance and felt well-supported in the process of becoming an engineering leader vs producer.

Travel Opportunities

I love to travel and have always dreamed about a job that allowed me to travel more for work. Little did I realize before I joined, 10up has many opportunities for engineers to travel (during non-pandemic times) to attend client onsites, company summits and other professional development opportunities. Here are some of the places I’ve traveled to thus far for work:

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Jackson, Wyoming
  • Austin, Texas
  • Rochester, New York
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • Portland, Maine (not far from me, but it counts!)
  • New York, New York (4x)
  • Washington, DC (2x)
  • Orlando, Florida
  • San Francisco, California
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Belgrade, Serbia
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Awesome, Smart People

The single-biggest reason I enjoy working at 10up is the people. I’ve never worked with a team so smart and who actually have fun. Though we all work remotely, whenever we get together I’m reminded of how special of a group of people this is that I work with. Genuinely kind, good people who you’d actually want to hang out with outside of work.

My team is located across the globe. I get to work with people from India, Europe, South Africa, South America and many, many other places and have been fortunate to learn about their cultures and lifestyles.

Interested in working remotely at 10up? We’re always hiring for a number of exciting roles. Be sure to check out 10up’s careers page.