This is a repost from a blog post I wrote for Qualtrics’ Blog
Why Qualtrics—Ryan West, Software Engineer
I joined Qualtrics about 4 months ago after working at a blockchain startup and a finance company. I'll have a degree in Computer Engineering in a few months and write a software enginering blog. I'm currently part of the Data Platform Orchestration team at our HQ in Provo, Utah.
What is your ‘why’? Why do you do what you do… (career, volunteer, role in a family, etc.)
I'm obsessed with learning new things, especially learning about computers. Ever since I was little, I wanted to know what they were, exactly how they worked, and what I could do with them. Through college and past jobs, I now understand how powerful they can be to improve the world. But I also recognize their shortcomings. My passion is to learn, and my drive is to make the world a better place. Combine these to get the type of person I want to be: A software engineer who designs things for a good cause.
How does Qualtrics connect with your ‘why’?
Qualtrics builds products for a good cause. It helps companies discover how they can improve with the XM suite of tools and facilitates high-quality academic research studies through its survey platform. These tools and platforms require thousands of computers running in parallel, performing tasks such as data ingestion and processing, statistical analysis, NLP, load balancing and more. Truth to be told, there are a lot of hard problems to be solved. I like being challenged, and Qualtrics challenges me to learn new things every day.
Any tips for someone who is considering an opportunity at Qualtrics?
To thrive here, you need to enjoy being pushed. Qualtrics is very fast-moving, and as an engineer, it is your responsibility to make sure the technical side of things can keep up with our awesome sales team and new product releases. For example, as part of Data Engineering, I've had to learn whole new technology stack in the last 4 months, including Golang, Jenkins, Nomad, MongoDB, Grafana, Consul, and much more.
That said, the culture is awesome. The other engineers are incredibly friendly and there are tons of free activities we can take advantage of like skiing and concerts. As part of #OneTeam, people don't point fingers if someone makes a mistake—instead, we all learn from the mistake and keep pushing forward.
What surprised you most about working at Qualtrics?
I didn't expect the level of autonomy that Qualtrics trusts me with. Engineers can choose to spend 10% of their work time learning new things that would contribute to their work, such as enrolling in a computer science course or practicing a new programming language. I love how they value learning as much as I do, and it's allowed me to become a better engineer faster.
What is your top #LifeHack?
Do what you love to do at work. If you love design and coding, then choosing a software engineering career might be the right step (and Qualtrics would be a great place to jumpstart your career!). If not, it might be worth investing more time and figuring out what it is that drives you.
Bonus: Describe Qualtrics to a candidate in 3 words!
Learning, Building, Succeeding