We’re hiring a software engineer: here's what it's like to be a developer at Applied

Cameo Choquer

12

August

2020

|

4

min read

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For the last 10 years Jackie has worked in various neuroscience research fields, including spinal cord injury, neuroimaging and addiction psychiatry.

She has an MSc in neuroscience from University College London and Yale University.

She is now a software developer at Applied who loves to incorporate psychology into every client experience that she designs.

When she's not building and designing for Applied, her time usually consists of video games, bouldering, spicy food or a healthy combination of them.

As alluded to above, you have a reputation for being quite good (scarily good some would say) at games. Which one could you play over and over again?

Majora's Mask. It's a Zelda game where the hero has to save a world that's doomed to be destroyed by the moon in 3 days. It's very Groundhog Day-esque, since you have to keep going back in time over the same 3 day period and speak to different people and complete different quests to figure out what works. It's a very dark and creepy game but focuses a lot on different kinds of relationships and the different kinds of attention they need to stay healthy.

What did you do before Applied?

Prior to Applied, I was a researcher in the department of Addiction Psychiatry at King's College London. My background was in neuroscience, so I did a lot of work with neuroimaging data and data analysis. I then decided to pursue programming as a career, because I found I preferred working on technical problems rather than the entire process of academic research.

What was your application/interview like?

The application process was very unique. No CV, just answering questions surrounding scenarios I'd encounter on the job, like how I would prioritize multiple tasks, fixing a function in a pull request, and handling falling behind in my work.

My interview was a lot of fun. We started by discussing a feature that the team implemented a few weeks ago and asking what my approach would be. The format was a roundtable discussion, involving everyone, so it felt like I was just part of a meeting which definitely made me relax.

It was really reassuring to be told I could google things, discuss it with the team and ask questions (like any regular developer would be privy to), rather than just knowing the answer straight away.

We also did some pair programming where we similarly implemented another feature the team actually did weeks ago. I had never used Vue before, but it felt like a team effort in solving a novel problem.

Overall, I remember feeling very comfortable in the interview like I was seen as a whole person instead of just a someone with a 'woman' and 'junior' flag on them.

What's been your favourite project to work on at Applied?

Definitely Marmot, our component library. I'm very interested in design systems and crafting the best user experiences. It's also taught me many valuable lessons about design planning and how to ensure all your components are as abstracted and as re-usable as possible.

We talk about bias quite a lot at Applied, what bias do you succumb to most often?

Probably investment bias. If I've spent days on something, trying to no avail, I'll get quite stubborn and into the mindset that what I'm working is incredibly important. I think I need to get better at re-evaluating why I'm working on something that's taking so long earlier, so I can actually assess if it's worth it, or requires other input.

Applied is on a new trajectory with product-led growth - what are you most excited about building?

I'm pretty excited to work on refreshing the UI across all areas of the app. Applied has always had a quirky voice and I'm curious to see what direction the team takes to give users little moments of joy when they use the platform.

And lastly, you've lived in a few different cities, which has been your favourite?

London or Vancouver definitely. I moved back to London after coming here for my masters, because I couldn't stop thinking about how exciting and varied the city is. Each borough is like a different city in itself, and always something to do. Vancouver is also a beautiful city, with such amazing nature nearby.

Join Jackie in the fight against bias and apply to join our engineering team here. No CVs, no cover letters and definitely no bias. We don't care where you went to university or which part of town you come from, we assess purely based on your ability to do the job.