“What is my job about”- Junior Software Engineer

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By Jessica McDonald

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got interested in the tech field?

I’ve worked in a few different areas and had one of those ‘curvy’ career paths on my way into tech. I’ve previously been a forecaster and a fashion buyer, but I’ve always been interested in how tech impacts our lives.

Earlier on in my career I saw huge changes happening and usually those changes were driven by tech, eventually I realized I wanted to be building these changes myself. So, a couple of years ago I took the leap and learned to code, and I never looked back!

What is your role at Spark and how have you developed over the years?

I started at Spark in May 2020 as a Junior Developer on the Zoosk platform. At that time the team was just starting out so there were plenty of challenges! But it was an amazing opportunity for me to learn while working on many different areas in the world of Zoosk.

Now I’m a Developer working mainly on Zoosk’s front-end, but I have the chance to work on our back-end too. Our team looks after a variety of topics, recently we’ve been working on a full UI redesign and integrating a new video chat feature into our native mobile apps.

What daily challenges do you face?

Zoosk is a big project with a fair amount of complexity so while we were still building up our team and our knowledge this was one of the main challenges.

Since our team works on new features but also takes care of topics with marketing, advertising, and our customer care teams, it can be challenging to cover so many different areas simultaneously. But I think the key is communication and I’m lucky to be on a great team, we’re good at collaborating and sharing our knowledge.

What inspires you?

To me tech is only valuable if we are using it to solve real life problems and to help real people, so the fact that here at Spark I get to work on something that ultimately helps people connect with each other is super inspirational! In my real life I feel most inspired in nature, ideally somewhere in the mountains!

What are your tips for being successful in what you do?

Ask a lot of questions and stay curious. This is especially true when starting out as a developer, it really is a job where the learning never stops. I also think a big part of being a good developer is always keeping in mind the person at the end who will be using the technology you are building. It’s easy to get lost in the code but I think the best decisions are made when we keep our user as the focus.