A career in software engineering can open a lot of exciting doors, allowing you to support key business initiatives, create new software features and functionalities, and help to keep everything running effectively, from a technical perspective. And for many software engineers, there's baked-in variety to their days, with the work they're carrying out changing from week-to-week (or even day-to-day), based on their team or company.
To shed light on what this role looks like at Braze, we sat down with Software Engineer Maya Hernandez. She shares her biggest learnings on the job thus far, her best productivity tips, and what life is like for her at Braze. We’ll hand the mic off to her.
Braze: Can you tell us about your role?
Maya: I’ve been a software engineer at Braze for the last three and a half years. A typical day always includes a team stand-up where we share updates on our progress or any roadblocks. Then, the majority of my day is spent coding for the sprint stories I’m working on, reviewing others’ code, or QA-ing new code...with some meetings sprinkled here and there. Every two weeks my team will meet to plan our next sprint. Some days, I interview software engineering candidates, or there are one-off tech meetings like lunch-and-learns and trainings. Despite being remote right now, there are still fun things to do like team events (last time we had a cheese tasting!), tea time to casually chat with others in product, and happy hours.
Braze: What has been your biggest learning on the job thus far? What has been your favorite part of your role? What do you like most about working at Braze? How has Braze supported you during this work-from-home period?
Maya: It’s hard to pinpoint what has been my biggest learning on the job thus far, but if I could describe it succinctly, it would just be learning to be a better software engineer overall. I’m still constantly learning new technologies, better practices, and how to be a good teammate. My favorite part of my role is how dynamic it is. I’m frequently faced with new problems, so my day-to-day work doesn’t feel so monotonous. What I like the most about Braze is going to sound cliche but it’s the people. Not only are they very smart and friendly, but some have become my closest friends and we hang out together outside of work hours (even on company holidays!) as well. Ever since going remote, I’ve really missed seeing them every day and catching up over lunch. But Braze has made an effort to support us during this work-from-home period by continuing that social connection remotely with more virtual events and also encouraging us to prioritize our mental health above all, which I really appreciate.
Braze: What is your biggest productivity hack and how has it helped you? What do you do to take a break during the day? Are you team music? No music? Podcast? Do you participate in any clubs or ERGs at Braze?
Maya: My biggest productivity hack is just taking a break. Working from home means our homes become our office and the lines of distinction are blurred. When I’m stuck on something, I’ve found that sometimes the best thing to do is just to stop working or thinking about it. I find sometimes that when I return to the problem the solution comes more easily to me. Taking a break for me means purposefully stepping away from my work computer and maybe mindlessly browsing the Internet for a bit or washing the dishes. I’m definitely team music and listened to 103K minutes of music on Spotify last year. I’m also part of the Braze book club, beer brewing club, and our Women@Braze ERG.
Software engineers play an essential role in making the Braze product what it is today. If you’re interested in joining our team, then check out open roles on our website.
Erin is the Communications Coordinator on the Comms team based out of Braze HQ in New York. When she's not working, you can find her studying to become a certified personal trainer or listening to true crime podcasts.