These 6 Engineers Recently Found Their Dream Jobs

Austin offers a wealth of engineering jobs that give people the chance to do work that matters, is challenging or simply fun. You just have to know where to look.
Written by Michael Hines
November 22, 2021Updated: November 22, 2021

One of the main ideas from the 2006 self-help book The Secret is the concept of manifestation, or getting what you want out of life by thinking about your goals and putting those thoughts “out into the universe.” When it comes to the job search, things don’t exactly work that way. You can’t manifest a job where you get to do work that matters, is challenging or that you simply find fun.

The good news is that these jobs certainly exist, especially in Austin, which offers no shortage of opportunities for engineers. Finding them requires a little bit of research, but the reward for taking the time to learn more about the company behind the open role can be great. Research takes time, though, and with 2,178 open roles for developers, data and analytics professionals currently posted to Built In Austin, that’s asking a lot.

To simplify things, we’ve gone straight to the source and spoken with six recently-hired engineers about what attracted them to their roles and company. In addition to learning why they ended up where they did, we also asked them what gave them an edge during the application and interview process. If you’re on the job hunt and are concerned with more than what perks and pay your next position will offer, continue reading.

 

Firasath Mahboob
DevOps Manager

What attracted you to apply for a role at SparkCognition in the first place?

For years, I have wanted to be in the space of automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. This year, I wanted to further hone my skills in AI and ML, and that left me with two options: join a large company and be a technical manager within a large bureaucracy, or join a smaller, fast-paced company that allows me to stand out and make a major impact. I am driven by a passion for impact and growth, so I chose the latter. I felt I would have the opportunity to be a key player in the continued growth of the organization. 

SparkCognition offered a combination of both my priorities: It allowed me to continue working in the field of AI and satisfied my desire to see the impact of my work on the company’s growth. I had been following SparkCognition for about two years, and with its recent acquisitions, I could see the company heading toward great success. Additionally, I identified greatly with its mission to tackle the most critical challenges to create a smarter, safer and more sustainable future. The work we do is making a positive impact on our world. I felt it was the right time to join, and the rest is history.
 

I am encouraged to present new ideas and challenge existing ones, and I enjoy the ability to influence the culture of the DevOps team.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

For my job description, SparkCognition was looking for an experienced technologist with a proven track record working in a fast-paced environment. I bring about two decades of experience within the field of technology, including enterprise resource plannings, application servers, content management systems, platform infrastructure, multi-cloud and more. I’ve also worn many different hats across multiple industries and projects throughout my career, demonstrating adaptability that I believe SparkCognition values.

Over the past decade, I have been specifically focused on managing technology platforms and leading efforts for providing on-premise and cloud infrastructure solutions to customers. In these roles, my strengths of multi-tasking and staying ahead of constantly changing business needs were critical. It was also incredibly important for me, as a leader to be able to inspire and drive a team to achieve short- and long-term goals. I believe these strengths helped distinguish me and ultimately led to me getting the job.

 

What do you enjoy most about developing SparkCognition’s technology, and what do you find most exciting or challenging?

SparkCognition has grown so much but there is still more to come — so there is no shortage of opportunities to enhance existing processes and implement new ones. I am encouraged to present new ideas and challenge existing ones, and I enjoy the ability to influence the culture of the DevOps team. DevOps is horizontal across all services, so in my role, I need to be well-versed in all of our solutions. This has allowed me to meet diverse groups of individuals across the organization. Some days, I evaluate and improve current processes, and some days I am on a whiteboard problem solving.

This is all exciting and challenging, and as we are in a high-growth stage there is still much to be done. We are continually improving our AI-powered offerings to further allow organizations to predict future outcomes, optimize processes and prevent cyber attacks. A primary goal is to grow our team with people passionate about our mission, the solutions we build, and developing their own technical skills, ultimately playing a key role in achieving our vision of being the most-trusted AI provider to industries worldwide.

 

 

Reina Tomlinson
Software Engineer II

What attracted you to apply for a role at Favor in the first place?

First and foremost, the culture. I heard many good things about the refreshingly healthy and genuine company culture from a couple of friends who had recently joined Favor. I had also been feeling a strong need to feel that the work I was doing had some kind of positive impact outside of simply providing a service or participating in the economy. Grocery chain H-E-B has always been such a great presence in Texas. And especially coming out of the snowpocalypse, where I had seen H-E-B stepping in to help people in need, I was very excited about the opportunity to give back to my community by being a part of Favor.
 

The variety of my past experience was a good sign that I would be able to adapt to the tech stack here.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

Self-evaluation is always tricky, but I would say probably a general attitude of flexibility and eagerness for communication and effective collaboration. Working on a good team is always fun and a conscious effort to avoid ego in the workplace. I feel very aligned with all of my colleagues and the company as a whole. We are all here to build good software and construct something cool and meaningful as a group. We are also committed to making sure the company’s values have a positive influence on team members by putting a genuine emphasis on healthy work-life balance, and on everyone else the company affects, including runners (Favor’s delivery workers), customers and even people whose only tie to H-E-B is shopping there. 

The culture here resonated very deeply with me, and I think that became clear during the interview process. From a more specific, technical point of view, the variety of my past experience was a good sign that I would be able to adapt to the tech stack here, which is a pretty standard expectation for software engineers.

 

What do you enjoy most about developing Favor’s technology, and what do you find most exciting or challenging?

Working on a new service from scratch isn’t something I have done before, or when I did, it was limited much more by existing systems and I wasn’t contributing as much then as I am now. I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to learn so much with a terrific team and engineering department to turn to for guidance as needed. I also enjoy working through the challenges and anxieties of doing something for the first time.

 

 

Andrew Clements
Senior Software Engineer

What attracted you to apply for a role at Sysco LABS in the first place?

The ability to work with a bunch of modern technologies in iOS, including the possibilities of making new widgets and updating the app to take advantage of the latest iOS features. Mobile development is a fast-paced environment since there’s a new operating system every year. It was very impressive to see a team that managed to keep up with the changes coming and proactively address them. Having that forward-thinking helps us prevent bugs from being introduced and lets us focus on making better features since we always keep an eye on what’s coming.
 

I worked at a startup for the past two years where I was the sole developer for a while, so I think that helped distinguish me.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

I have a lot of experience working in fast-paced mobile environments. I worked at a startup for the past two years where I was the sole developer for a while, so I think that helped distinguish me. Being the only person on an application that’s used by thousands of people a month means that you must be able to make bug fixes as well as add new functionality and do it all with a quick turnaround. 

By the end of my time at my last company, I had a wide variety of experiences with different things in iOS, including Core Data, notifications, UIKit, and MVVM design patterns, among others. I was really looking forward to joining a team with a lot of additional support from developers with various skill sets, which is exactly what I found with Sysco LABS.

 

What do you enjoy most about developing Sysco LABS’ technology, and what do you find most exciting or challenging?

We get to make other people’s jobs easier. One of the recent features we added to the Shop app was the ability for users to add promo codes on orders so that they can apply discounts while checking out. The most exciting and challenging thing has been finding ways to improve the app and codebase to make the customer experience even better while still ensuring we develop clean and testable code. 

It does become a bit of a challenge when there are changes in iOS that might cause us to have to rethink how we do something or how we want to implement a feature. But we have enough great minds on the team that we can quickly produce alternative solutions in a short timeframe.

 

 

Megan Weijiang
Software Engineer

What attracted you to apply for a role at Realtor.com in the first place?

I’ve always been interested in the home buying process, especially since I purchased my first home last year. The chance to work on improving the home buying experience for others really excites me. The tech behind connecting a buyer to an agent who is perfect for them was especially fascinating and much more complex than one would think. I wanted to be a part of solving the hard problems in this industry and making it better for all parties involved.
 

I have really enjoyed the variety of work and amount of ownership I have.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

The team I’m currently working on is facing challenges with scaling our product due to being in a monolithic system. At my previous job, I had a lot of exposure to breaking up a monolith into different services and led many of the efforts around that. Having experienced many of the difficulties of such a transition and knowing some of the things to look out for helped me stand out.

 

What do you enjoy most about developing Realtor.com’s technology, and what do you find most exciting or challenging?

I have really enjoyed the variety of work and amount of ownership I have. Every day feels exciting and different. One day I can be working on upgrading our React front end and the next I am working on one of our Python back ends. It’s been challenging but fun learning all of the business rules and understanding how the different flows within the system interact with each other.

 

 

Laura Ballantyne
Software Engineer

What attracted you to apply for a role at FloSports in the first place?

I was initially attracted to apply at FloSports because they listed a software engineer job that aligned with what I was looking to do, specifically web development. I researched them to learn more about their company and work culture. I found from their core values that the company fostered a very inclusive, team and goal-oriented, driven and supportive community. Having a sports background, I knew FloSports would be a perfect fit as I could combine my passion for web development and love for sports.
 

I am challenged to think creatively and given the opportunity to grow and create new features.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

My experience in web development helped distinguish me during my job search. Before applying for jobs, I was interested in expanding my skills in software development and wanted to push myself to learn how to create a web application. By learning and completing the whole process, I gained valuable skills that helped me stand out.

 

What do you enjoy most about developing FloSport’s technology, and what do you find most exciting or challenging?

I enjoy developing technology that is focused on providing a great customer culture. FloSports is a platform where passionate people have a place to enjoy niche sports, and it’s exciting to be a part of creating technology that connects with a broad audience. I am challenged to think creatively and given the opportunity to grow and create new features I know will have a positive impact on the user experience.

 

 

Andrii Tytarchuk
Software Engineer

What attracted you to apply for a role at Liquibase in the first place?

The people were the most important factor. I can tell you now from an insider’s perspective that Liquibase has some of the most amazing people and engineers I have worked with so far in my career. I have also coincidentally worked with Liquibase’s products in almost all of my previous companies and had always wanted to see how things worked internally. Now I have that opportunity.
 

Liquibase has some of the most amazing people and engineers I have worked with so far in my career.


Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

I am a big fan of security — encryption, hashing, OAuth 2.0, OIDC, etc. — which I have found is not usually a very popular subject. I think that it helped to distinguish me from the rest.

 

What do you enjoy most about developing Liquibase’s technology, and what do you find most exciting or challenging?

The thing I like the most just so happens to be the most challenging. I used to work mainly with web applications, whereas now, with Liquibase, the team and project that I am a part of is connected with a command line interface (CLI) app and it is new to me. This makes it super interesting and challenging for me as I have to navigate through new platforms and different types of applications.

 

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