If you’re an engineer considering your next career move, you’re likely to have quite a few opportunities to consider.
Perks, compensation, and continued professional development are all important factors to consider in your search. But while you can usually find out about the first two via a company’s website and their Glassdoor profile, it can be much harder to understand their stance on the third.
Here are six components that contribute to the career development of engineers here at Quantcast:
1. Interesting Problems
Scale matters. Solving brand new problems – challenges that exist at the edge of one’s comfort zone – is one of the fastest and most effective ways to improve as an engineer. Not every company has the sorts of engineering problems that come with operating at world-class scale. Fortunately for us, Quantcast does!
These interesting problems are a pleasant consequence of processing more than 40PB of data a day as we do here at Quantcast.
2. Active Management
We center our management approach around one question; “How can you become a better engineer by the end of the year?”
Engineers here (with the help of their managers) set personal work goals designed to stretch and ultimately make them better than before.
As part of this approach we believe in delegating responsibility with a bucket rather than a thimble. This means you’ll be expected to own whole problems. Managers help engineers understand what success and failure looks like and provide the necessary support along the way, while ownership stays with the engineer.
3. Career Pathing
Career paths for engineers at Quantcast are adaptable and varied. We feel it’s important to give engineers an opportunity to progress that’s not necessarily tied to a management track. We provide this through internal mobility. Engineers here can move between teams, or between management and individual contributor paths, to find what will be the best fit for them in the long-term.
Our philosophy about stretching people to the edge of their comfort zones to promote growth extends beyond our full-time employees to our internship program. We believe the best thing we can do for our interns is to set them on a great growth trajectory that (hopefully) continues for the rest of their careers, and that means a fast start!
The benefits of our internship program are felt by more than just our interns. While we aim to have interns contribute production-ready code, we also use the mentorship of interns to develop the leadership skills of our full-time engineers. Managing interns is an early leadership opportunity that helps our growing engineers test, shape and better understand their own career path.
Quantcast has a few different flavors of hackathon – we have hackathons that exist within the engineering organization and a month-long, all-company hackathon called Quantathon.
Quantathon projects are judged by the executive leadership team and winners receive cash prizes and equity. People across Quantcast – not only engineers- use these opportunities to experiment outside of their scope and as a proving ground for an entrepreneurial mindset.
What’s more, Quantathon and hackathons have a real, quantifiable impact on our business. Our Search Powered Audiences (SPA) product began as a Quantathon project and is now an important revenue driver. Quantcast hackathons are a unique opportunity to build something functional with the potential for long-term impact.
6. It’s About More Than Just Your Work
Opportunities to bring your personal interests into the workplace are really important to Quantcast. From our annual Homebrew beer competition to Toastmasters – a weekly seminar on public speaking – we believe that becoming a great engineer isn’t just the code you write. Everyone at Quantcast should expand their personal interests and feel empowered to influence the culture of our organization.