How I'm Growing as a Software Engineer

How I'm Growing as a Software Engineer

I first started at Cockroach Labs as an intern during my senior year. Coming in, I was still pretty inexperienced as an engineer, especially with regards to databases. However Cockroach Labs has facilitated my growth and learning in more ways than one. In addition to learning through mentorship from amazing engineers, I’ve also had the chance to also learn through more academic routes thanks to Flex Fridays and our Learning is Good program.

Flex Fridays

Let’s start with Flex Fridays - they’re a huge perk of working at Cockroach Labs. Flex Fridays on our engineering team are days where you self manage and work on what’s important to you, whether that be learning, reading papers, or just taking a day to relax if you need it. I interned at Cockroach for eight months from January to August of 2020. For the latter four months, I also took what is considered a full time course load at my alma mater, the University of Waterloo, so I would be able to graduate early.  Many University of Waterloo students find themselves needing to take courses during a co-op (internship) term despite the challenges juggling work and school present. In the past, I’ve done both and it was difficult. However thanks to Flex Fridays, juggling schooling and my internship was much more manageable. Having a Friday to focus on coursework and projects was super beneficial.

The Learning is Good Budget

The second resource that I’ve greatly benefited from is the Cockroach Labs Learning is Good budget. Every year, Cockroach Labs’ employees can use $2500 to spend towards learning. So far, I’ve spent that budget on an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) membership and on several field-relevant books. My favourite so far has been Designing Data-Intensive Applications by Martin Kleppmann. 

Starting in 2022, I’m planning on using the Learning is Good budget to pursue an Online Masters of Computer Science at Georgia Tech. Since I was in a rush to graduate early from the University of Waterloo, there are a couple of computer science courses that I regret not taking. Notably courses like distributed systems, advanced operating systems, and compilers. Thanks to Learning is Good and Flex Fridays, I have the opportunity to obtain a masters while taking these courses.

Cockroach Labs is an excellent company to work at if you enjoy continuously learning! Check out our open roles to learn more (pun intended).

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