Category Archives: Tech Jobs

2941Career Growth

From Nigeria to Texas: How I Became A… Product Scientist at Indeed

In this 'How I Became A....', Adesewa Adegoke details her journey from University to Integration Engineer and what led her on the path to being a Product Scientist at Indeed.

Adesewa Adegoke is a Product Scientist at Indeed Austin. She uses numbers to help deliver products, and ensures that they launch and run smoothly. She’s a twin, and loves listening to music and imagining doing really cool dance moves, but says she’s not a good dancer.

In our next installment of ‘How I Became A….’, she walks us through her incredible journey of becoming a Product Scientist and how her hard work and preparation met opportunity to bring her to Indeed.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Adesewa was never particularly drawn to computers as a kid. The little interaction she had with computers was in high school for an arts class where she got to do simple designs using Corel Draw, but to her this was more work than fun.

“It was my Dad who encouraged me to major in Computer Science, because he said it was the future. I just knew I had to do it well,” she explains.

Even though Adesewa was a bit unsure, she knew she had to give it her best effort. She went on to study Computer Science as an undergraduate at Covenant University in Ota, Nigeria, and later began to actually fall in love with her programming classes. She was fascinated by the concept of writing code, and the fact that you can watch the code do what you’ve laid out for it.

After graduating, she worked as an Integration Engineer for the next 4.5 years. It was during that time she started hearing more and more folks talk about opportunities in “big data.” She was curious, and after doing her research, soon realized it was something she wanted to pursue.

Adesewa decided to take a big leap towards her dream and moved across the world to attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There she received her Masters in Information Systems Management, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. 

“I loved certain aspects of business intelligence and data analytics, but knew that I didn’t want to just solely focus on the numbers,” she recalls. “I wanted to use those numbers towards delivering tech products.” 

While in grad school she spent a lot of time on Indeed.com searching for internships. In fact, she visited the site so often she was inspired to develop an Indeed mobile app as a way to practice her skills, not knowing an opportunity was approaching around the corner.

Her university soon hosted a career fair for students where Indeed recruiters would be in attendance. She had the opportunity to bring up the backstory of how she developed the app in her spare time as a personal project. 

At the KDD conference in Alaska

“It was definitely the best conversation I’ve ever had with a recruiter. They were actually interested in what I had to say,” she says.

Her proactiveness paid off. It was at the same career fair where she also got the chance to meet some of the Indeed Business Intelligence team, and it wasn’t long before she received an opportunity to join the team as a Business Intelligence Analyst. After just a few months of showcasing her skills, she was able to move into her role now as Product Scientist.

“A lot of Product Scientists are proactive people, they’re not people who lay back and watch things happen, but rather stand up and look for that opportunity and go for it,” Adesewa explains in a video about her team and what makes them successful.

As a Product Scientist at Indeed, her role supports product owners and product managers from ideation, product strategy, execution, as well as experimentation, to the actual launch of products. To sum it up, she ensures that Indeed products will launch and run smoothly. She focuses on statistics and machine learning.

Learn more from Adesewa and other Product Scientists at Indeed about building the team and what makes them successful in the video below.

But even though she’s found success and solid footing at Indeed, it wasn’t always easy. Early on, she struggled with an internal battle she now identifies as imposter syndrome.

“You’re surrounded by so many smart people, and sometimes you forget that you’re smart, you’re there, because you’re smart. Imposter syndrome is a real thing,” she says.

Bike riding with a part of the Product and Data Science team in 2019

“There have been times when things were not so great and I just told myself, I’m at that low point. But just give it some time, a month from now, a few weeks from now, things will definitely not be the same.” she recalls telling herself.

In spite of the need for some internal pep talks every now and then, she loves that her role is not monotonous and that she gets the opportunity to work on many different projects using different tools, solving different problems.

She looks back on her journey so far and feels proud that she worked on so many different projects that she’s always wanted to do, while staying on her toes and continuing to learn and grow. 

She’s also come full circle as she’s currently mentoring a PhD graduate student on a similar path she was on years ago. It’s super meaningful to her because she can now share knowledge and help others walk the path that she helped blaze at Indeed. 

“Providing the help you wish you had, makes someone else’s journey a whole lot better. You’re equipping them for a better journey to make the right decisions,” she says.

“If I could do something differently, it would probably be to doubt myself a lot less.”

 

Some advice she has for others is to be open to information and stay curious about what’s happening in your industry. She believes information is power. Use your research to guide your job search, to identify what job titles/roles to go after and what companies align with your ambitions. 

Fun times bonding with the Product Science team (pre-covid)

“Remember that life is indeed about ups and downs, but if you try not to be short sighted and know how to look toward the future, things will work out!”

 

For more stories on #insideindeed, follow us on our Instagram and Facebook pages and read more on our culture blog. To learn more about the perks & benefits Indeed has to offer, click here.

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2168Engineering

Code first: How Indeed onboards new Engineering Managers

Many software engineers who take on management roles struggle with the idea of giving up writing code. But in a leadership position, what matters more is...

Why new Engineering Managers at Indeed start as developers.

I joined Indeed in March 2016 as an “industry hire” manager for software engineers. At Indeed, engineering managers act as individual contributors (ICs) before taking on more responsibilities. Working with my team as an IC prepared me to be a more effective manager.

Before my first day, I talked with a few engineering managers about what to expect. They advised that I would spend about 3–6 months contributing as an individual developer. I would write unit tests and code, commit changes, do code reviews, fix bugs, write documentation, and more.

I was excited to hear about this approach, because in my recent years as an engineering manager, I had grudgingly stopped contributing at the code level. Instead, I lived vicariously through others by doing code reviews, participating in technical design reviews, and creating utilities and tools that boosted team productivity.

Onboarding as an individual contributor

My manager helped to onboard me and directed me to self-guided coursework. I was impressed by the amount of content provided to familiarize new hires with the tools and technologies we use at Indeed. In my experience, most companies don’t invest enough in creating and maintaining useful documentation. Equally as valuable, fellow Indeedians gladly answered my questions and helped me to get unblocked when I encountered technical hurdles. I really appreciated that support as a new employee.

During my time as an IC, I had no management responsibilities. That was a change for me….and it was wonderful! I focused on code. I built technical competence and knocked the rust off mental processes that I hadn’t needed to use for awhile. I observed practices and processes used by the team to learn how I could become equally productive. I had a chance to dive deeper into Git usage. I wrote unit and DAO tests to increase code coverage. I learned how to deploy code into the production environment. For the first time in a long while, I wrote production code for new features in a product.

To accelerate my exposure to the 20 different projects owned by my team, I asked to be included on every code review. I knew I wouldn’t be able to contribute to all of the projects, but I wanted to be exposed to as many as possible. Prior to my request, the developer typically selected a few people to do a code review and nominated one to be the “primary” reviewer. Because I was included in every review, I saw code changes and the comments left by team members on how to improve the code. I won’t claim I understood everything I read in every code review, but I did gain an appreciation for the types of changes. I recommend this approach to every new member of a team, not just managers.

Other activities helped me integrate with people outside of my team. For example, I scheduled lunch meetings with everyone who had interviewed me. This was mostly other engineering managers, but I also met with folks in program management and technical writing. Everyone I contacted was open to meeting me. These lunch meetings allowed me to get a feel for different roles; how they planned and prioritized work; their thoughts on going from IC to manager; and challenges that they had faced during their tenure at Indeed. On-site lunches (with great food, by the way) allowed me to meet both engineering veterans as well as people in other departments.

Transitioning into a managerial role

By the time I was close to the end of my first full quarter, I had contributed to several projects. I had been exposed to some of the important systems owned by my team. Around this time, my manager and I discussed my transition into a managerial role. We agreed that I had established enough of a foundation to build on. I took over 1-on-1 meetings, quarterly reviews, team meetings, and career growth discussions.

Maintaining a technical focus

Many software engineers who take on management roles struggle with the idea of giving up writing code. But in a leadership position, what matters more is engaging the team on a technical level. This engagement can take a variety of forms. Engineering managers at Indeed coach their teams on abstract skills and technical decisions. When managers have a deeper understanding of the technology, they can be more effective in their role.

I am glad that I had a chance to start as an IC so that I could earn my team’s trust and respect. A special shout out to the members of the Money team: Akbar, Ben, Cheng, Erica, Kevin, Li, and Richard.

About the author:

Paresh Suthar is an Engineering lead for the Money Team at Indeed, based out of Austin, TX.

Learn more about Engineering at Indeed by checking out our Engineering blog.

Interested in joining one of our global Engineering teams? Check out our open roles.

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2165Inclusion

A veteran inspires Indeed’s UX team to think differently

Looking for work is not for the faint of heart. Bill is a man I’d be happy to have on my side in almost any dangerous situation. Seeing his vulnerability and fear in the face of...

How Indeed’s users inspire our fight to make it easier to find a job.

I got a call a few months back from a distant relative. I’ll call him Bill.

Bill and I had only ever met in person once, and when he called I almost didn’t pick up the phone since I didn’t recognize the number. Once he established how we were related, he got to the point: he had heard I was in the business of helping people get jobs, and he was looking for some advice.

I work for Indeed as a UX research manager. When people hear that, they often start telling me about how they found their most recent job or how they have struggled to find work in the past.

But the call I got from Bill was different.

Bill was looking for advice because he was a career Green Beret in the U.S. Army and was approaching retirement. He’d served many tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, training soldiers to perform military operations in war zones. He joked with me that he was completely comfortable jumping out of a helicopter with explosives strapped to his body, but was terrified of looking for work in the civilian world.

Looking for work is hard. For many people, it can feel like fighting a battle. It requires courage, strength, focus, and resilience. The stakes are high. The emotions are real.

When talking to Bill, I was reminded how daunting it can be to make yourself vulnerable. Applying for jobs means asking outright for other people to judge you. And they do it based on criteria you can’t see. The process can be confusing and lonely and full of uncertainty.

Bill was accustomed to planning for all possible contingencies. In the Army, his life depended on careful preparation, checking and double-checking that all rules are followed and uncertainties eliminated. Starting a new job search meant giving up that level of control and entering the unknown. It was a scary proposition.

He was completely comfortable jumping out of a helicopter with explosives strapped to his body, but was terrified of looking for work in the civilian world.

I chatted with Bill a few times over the following weeks. He looked at positions that were obvious (police SWAT instructor) and some that were a little less obvious (construction safety manager). He found direction and gained confidence. In the end, he landed a job as a handler for explosive-sniffing dogs. Mission accomplished.

Looking for work is not for the faint of heart. Bill is a man I’d be happy to have on my side in almost any dangerous situation. Seeing his vulnerability and fear in the face of a career change reinforced something I strongly believe: finding a new job is a critical moment in a person’s life, and there’s a lot that could be done to make the process better.

At Indeed we do help people get jobs. And the UX research team I lead helps Indeed’s employees develop the empathy to understand what people go through as they look for work. Last year, we ran over 200 studies, surveys, and site visits with users in eight countries to learn about their needs, wants, and problems. The insights we gathered have helped us improve our products in ways big and small. Most of all, they continue to remind us that finding a job can be one of the most stressful things people face in their lives.

So I ask myself and my coworkers every day: How can we reduce the fear, anxiety, and exhaustion that come with facing an uncertain future? And how do we help users reach past them? First to the resolve, determination, and hope that bud when their perseverance pays off and they get that interview. And then, at last, to the relief, excitement, and optimism that arrive when they land that new job.

About the author:

Dave Yeats is a UX Research Director at Indeed.

Learn more about Design at Indeed.

Check out our open UX roles here.

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2162Tech Jobs

What Is a Design Technologist?

There are people who design things, and people who build them — at least that’s the way it’s traditionally done. First, designers decide...

This hybrid role is finally getting the recognition it deserves

There are people who design things, and people who build them — at least that’s the way it’s traditionally done. First, designers decide exactly how everything should look and flow. Then they hand the work over to engineers, who figure out how to make it happen. That two-step process sometimes forces companies to choose between quality on the one hand or speed and complexity on the other. This can be challenging since users today expect both at the same time. They want easy-to-use digital experiences that perform complex tasks at scale.

At Indeed, we bridge this divide between engineers and designers in a new way — with the design technologist.

In simplest terms, design technologists are designers who see beauty in code and engineers who appreciate impeccable UX. This special combination of skills lets my team, Design Engineering, deliver sophisticated prototypes of interactive experiences much earlier in the design process than in the past. We build and test quickly to find solutions that work now and the next time and the time after that.

It’s an approach that works, and over the last two years, our Design Engineering team has grown rapidly. Here’s a deeper look at the skills we use and the work we do.

In a sentence, design technologists are designers with front-end development skills. They tackle front-end programming, design, and UX all at the same time. They care about the integrity of a product’s code and the quality of its look and feel. Through testing and research, they make sure everything works together.

A design technologist’s tool kit includes accessibility standards, responsive web design, site performance best practices, internationalization and localization techniques, native app development, core UI development, and modern front-end frameworks. A sensibility for the user journey and interaction design rounds things out. They can jump in at any design phase: wireframes, click-throughs, mocks, and prototypes at all levels of fidelity.

Design technologists embed or consult with product teams to implement ideas large and small. They build prototypes and run experiments. And they’re happy to offer design expertise to help fine-tune the appearance and UX of a product.

Once our design technologists validate a user experience solution, they hand it over to our UX developers for delivery. This part of the Design Engineering team handles fit and finish. They work with our partner teams to make sure everything we build gets put into production smoothly.

When we take on a project, we don’t look to fit into a fixed place in a product’s system. Instead, we think of a goal and work through all the stages of development to achieve it. We’re comfortable starting with ambiguity and then solving specific problems quickly. When we’re finished, we turn to the next project.

We like to stay flexible with time and resources. That way, if an engineering team we partner with hits limits like a backlog or ongoing maintenance we can easily change direction. Specifically, we focus on:

Prototypes for experiments
We build things to see if they’re viable and learn by trying. The ideas we test come from many people: developers, designers, product managers, researchers, content strategists. Sometimes we create something new. Other times, we experiment on a product or feature to support user research and testing. We can explore without constraints because the business benefit of what we do is clear.

Supporting design systems
At Indeed we’ve been implementing our first comprehensive design system. It’s a set of reusable components that work for all our products. It unifies the user experience while also saving time for individual product teams. Design technologists help create this library of ready-to-use elements. When new components are ready, we embed with development teams to see how they work, and then fix the parts that don’t.

Building tools
We help automate processes that teams use to build, design, analyze, and make decisions. For example, we make dashboards to track new metrics. We’ve also created sophisticated tools our partners use to map user journeys and see the big picture in new ways.

All of this technical collaboration makes us what we are — creative partners who raise the bar for Indeed’s design and for our users.

About the author:

Eddie Lou is a Design Engineering Director at Indeed. “I code web. I design web. Most importantly, I understand web.”

Want to learn more about UX at Indeed? Check out our design blog.

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2159Engineering

Growing with Indeed: From Engineer to Leader

How do engineering leaders bootstrap themselves in their first leadership role? How do they grow their skills and develop a style over time? Most don’t do it all on their own. They take advantage of...
Senior Engineering leaders share their best career advice.

Last May, Indeed Engineering VP Jack Humphrey spoke about his approach to developing a leadership style.

“There are many ways to lead, and your leadership journey is your own,” he says.

In this talk, Jack provides insight into his own guiding principles for being a useful leader.

He also shares the techniques he has used to understand himself as a leader and chart his own path.

Following Jack’s talk, senior leaders at Indeed joined him for a panel discussion. They talked about how they got to where they are in their career, what challenges they’ve encountered, and how they’ve developed their own leadership styles.​

Learn more about Indeed’s technology and Engineering culture at the Indeed Engineering blog.

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