Tech Career

Lessons From My Time At Zip Co

After 2.5 years full of learning, growth, and challenge, my journey with Zip Co has now come to an end.

I’m extremely grateful for being given the opportunity to work with such collaborative and supportive co-workers, empowering me to push past my comfort zone and do my best work every day.

Joining as an associate software engineer during my third year of university, I’d never imagined I’d be leaving as a senior engineer in a few short years. I attest all my learning growth to the amazing organization Larry Diamond and Peter Gray have built and the fearless culture they’ve cultivated in all of us over the years.

As I reflect on my time at Zip Co, here are the 5 key lessons I learnt from Zipsters present and past, which I’ll carry forth in all my future endeavours πŸ‘‡

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Build to maintain – Shuvayu Dhar

As software engineers, we love to build. But while we build, it can be easy to forget that while software is only built once, it must be maintained FOREVER! Isn’t it wiser to optimize for maintainability then? This is exactly the mindset Shuv instilled in me. At first, It was painful resolving all the comments he threw on my PRs, but the benefits were very apparent as soon as our code was shipped and new requirements came our way. Make your life easier – build to maintain.

🎯 Scope is everything – Philip Laureano

When faced with an important project we were tasked with delivering, my manager Philip shared with me the secret to delivering quality software on a reasonable timeline and cost – managing scope. Time, cost and scope are the main constraints in project management, and often times adjusting time and cost is not an option.

Managing scope intelligently thus becomes the fastest way to produce results, with minimal (if any) sacrifices and using this learning, we were able to do just that consistently.

πŸ”₯ Say yes, then figure it out – Van Vu

Given how complex software is, it’s impossible to know everything. What’s more important is knowing that most problems can be solved with enough persistence and confidence in your abilities. This is exactly the kind of attitude Van consistently demonstrated. During my time at Zip, I saw Van take countless tough challenges, challenges he admitted he was not certain how to overcome, and saw him prevail using any means necessary. If you have what it takes, say yes and then figure it out. The self-belief and drive this generates will do the rest.

πŸ’ͺ Extreme Ownership – Naveen Dungurothu

Although Naveen was officially a senior quality engineer, I routinely saw him eliciting business requirements and even helping others solve hard CI/CD issues. When I asked him why he did this, he’d say, β€œIf I can help, why shouldn’t I? We’ll all benefit from it.”. Hearing this from him made me realize what made him so effective – he went beyond his job description and took ownership of all the tasks that made our team successful. He inspired me to adopt his mindset, and the results have been tremendous.

βš” Lead from the front – Arash Zargar

During my time working under Arash, I saw him lead our team through extremely demanding projects – all the while helping the team architect solutions, take charge of incident resolution, plan and scope cross-team initiatives, and even code after all when he caught a break! He showed me the value of being a diligent and dependable leader, exactly the kind I hope to become.

If you’re considering moving to a company that challenges you to grow your skills and abilities and helps you build relationships and memories with some of the most capable and hardworking people I’ve met along the way, look no further than Zip Co.

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