PassFort Engineering stories - meet Andreea

She’s the author of our most recent blog ‘How I learned to work backwards from the customer’, where she breaks down some life lessons she’s taken from Amazon around a customer centric approach, and how we apply the same principles to ensure a great customer experience at PassFort.Here you can get some more insight into her background, role, and what she gets up to!

Tell us a bit about your background

I’ve always been the type of person who wants to know how things work and why. Becoming a Software Engineer was kind of the obvious outcome for me. I did an internship at Google, where I got a good foundation in C++, then worked at Amazon for 3.5 years, where I had the opportunity to experience working with different teams and products and deliver for customers!

I decided to move to a startup because I wanted to make a difference and I believed this to be the kind of environment that great ideas can come to life. So far it’s been worth it!

What’s your role?

Full stack Software Engineer.

As a PassFort engineer, I get to be involved in a project from the very beginning, take part in scoping the tasks and refining requirements, all the way to final deployment and monitoring.

As a full stack engineer, I may need to work on different stack levels. In one day I could code in Python, Rust and even JavaScript. However, I do try to keep context switching to a minimum - just enough to make it exciting!

What’s been your favourite project so far and why?

It’s hard to pick - but creating a Webhook delivery microservice in Rust is the winner.

One of my career goals is to continuously grow and challenge myself. Learning a new language from scratch is just the kind of thing that engages my mind and makes work fun.

And that was just one part of it. Building a new service can be quite creative - how do I organize my code, what does an elegant solution look like? The answer to these questions is not always straightforward and it is highly rewarding to see how the code evolves after a few iterations. A bit like writing a story and doing your best to convey a message to the future readers.

Why does a typical day look like?

This story is best told by my coffee choices. They always reflect how my schedule looks like for the next few hours.

Do I need a quick pick me up for something more demanding of my attention, for example, when I’m interviewing or implementing a large feature. Then I’m looking for a strong latte or espresso.

Or am I being more creative, for example, some research coupled with programming, or participating in a team discussion. Then I take the time to enjoy a tea or a medium latte.

I almost never have 2 strong coffees a day - it’s all about balance.

How would you describe our Engineering culture?

I would say it’s all about teamwork. The culture we are trying to build revolves not around competing for the spotlight, but working together to deliver a great product. We know our own weaknesses and strengths and try to build on that as a team. At the end of the day, we’re still figuring it out, but we are aware of that and continuously iterating on product and processes.

What do our values mean to you day to day?

I can take a leap of faith, express my opinions and have my voice heard. I can trust that my colleagues will give me their honest opinions back and not hold against me the times when I get it wrong - we all do it.

This really takes the pressure off from having to prove yourself and lets me/us focus on the task at hand.

Tell us something about you outside of work

When I came to London, I decided to start a new chapter and get involved in the local community. Fast forward 3 years, I became a trustee of my church in central London. These were 3 years of discovering new skills (e.g: cooking delicious veggie food) and putting them to use in social gatherings and other projects such as the Camden winter night shelter. I got to meet people with new perspectives on life that were different for mine, and I’ve seen there can be harmony in diversity. Becoming a trustee was just another way to give back to the community.

What would you tell someone wanting to apply?

Go for it! It’s as a chance for you to get to know more about us and vice versa.

We’re growing, and on the lookout for some great engineering talent - you can see more detail on our live vacancies, and insight into our team culture here.