Top 10 Career Advice From Delphix Engineers

What does it take to engineer a successful career? Our engineering staff shares their tips on how to do just that.

If you’ve recently graduated, it can be a daunting process to search for the right opportunity and make the most of it. Our staff of engineers with varying amounts of experience and backgrounds share their tips on how to build a successful career in engineering. 

Know who you’re building for

You are always building software for someone to use. Whether that is a customer or another developer, their experience should always be in the forefront of your mind. Take every opportunity you have to talk with them and understand their needs, use cases and expectations better.
-Grant Magdanz, Senior Member of Technical Staff II, San Francisco

Write code for people to read

Designing good software requires holistic knowledge of the whole system. Take time to investigate and understand the code surrounding the piece you’re working on. Remember that reading and understanding code is more valuable than writing it because you’ll spend more time reading than writing. Be kind to your future self (and your colleagues) by writing code that is easy to understand with comments that explain why the code needs to work the way it does.
-Matt Ahrens, Principal Engineer, San Francisco

Always ask questions 

Seek out and surround yourself with people who are excited to answer your questions! One of the most important aspects of my education and career thus far has been the support of folks who want me to succeed and to help me grow. That means understanding your personal goals and values helps when deciding where to focus your efforts and finding a team and company that acknowledges many different types of excellence is important. Lastly, saying things out loud helps me clarify and strengthen my own understanding, and oftentimes seemingly simple questions helps uncover aspects to an issue that haven’t been thought through yet.
-Sara Hartse, Senior Member of Technical Staff I, San Francisco

Working remote is not easy 

If you’re going to be working remotely for the first time, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s not for everyone; it helps to have a few years of experience in the office before considering that route. You need to be an autonomous and efficient self-learner to be successful. Also consider putting in some extra hours in the first few weeks or months - that’ll allow you to ramp up faster and build up your confidence, so you don’t go unnoticed by your manager.
-Pavel Zakharov, Staff Engineer, Canada

Find a job you love

Find a company where you like the people, product and process, and then work on something that matters to you and the company. Being able to say that you made a significant contribution to a project that significantly impacted the bottom line, not only helps the company towards its goals but also gives you experience that will allow you to grow into another role that exists at your current company or the next!
-Ben Page, Senior Member of Technical Staff I, Boston

Learn from others

You have your whole career in front of you to learn any type of programming language, tool, or platform, so focus on learning from your coworkers no matter how senior or junior. Learning from others is not just about getting your questions answered. Most of it comes from observing how others approach problems, like when root causing an issue in production or designing a new feature from the ground up and getting it out the door to the customer.
-Serapheim Dimitropoulos, Senior Member of Technical Staff I, San Francisco

Pick up a new skill and run with it

The greatest skill an engineer can have is the ability to pick up a new skill, language or tool and run with it. Part of this means knowing when to ask questions and not trying to solve everything yourself; some days you’ll be helping others, and other days you’ll be the one asking for help. Keep an open mind to tools that others have worked on to leverage in your own projects. It’s hardly ever a good idea to reinvent the wheel. 
-Kevin Greene, Senior Member of Technical Staff II, Redwood City

Be curious

Software engineering is an extremely fast growing field. Any skill will eventually hit the peak and the demand will slowly decay. Go to meetups and talk to people outside of your company about what's the new in the the industry. There may be hypes, but it's always interesting to see what problems others are solving and how they solve them. You can also read books or take online classes. I recommend  "The Clean Code" by Steven McConnell and "Effective Java" by Joshua Bloch.
-Harry Cho, Software Engineer, Redwood City

Entertain change

With technology changing so rapidly, you should always be embracing change. You might have a specific goal in mind, but by being a little flexible, you can surprise yourself with what you’re able to learn. For example, debugging code might not always sound interesting, but it could be the best way to understand your code base, especially when you are new to it. It only helps us to write better code.
-Sravya Meda, Senior Member of Technical Staff I, Atlanta

Get involved 

Don’t be shy to take on opportunities that fall outside of your typical job description. If you see initiatives to work on things that impact office culture, improve existing processes or come up with new ones, these can be great opportunities to have a very deep impact on your team, department or even company. This practice will allow you to step outside your comfort zone and grow, work with some folks you may not typically work with as well as do something a little bit different.
-Abdullah Mourad, Senior Member of Technical Staff II, Sacramento

Our global engineering team is committed to bringing the Delphix Engine to life and delivering a modern and secure platform to our customers. Interested in jumpstarting your career with Delphix? Apply today