A New Engineer at Yieldstreet

By Talia Fayaz, Software Engineer

When I started working at Yieldstreet, I didn’t just start a new job, I started an entirely new career. I graduated from The Grace Hopper Academy, an immersive software engineering bootcamp for women+, where I learned full stack development. Though it’s been just nine months since I started working as a mobile developer at Yieldstreet, I’ve already absorbed so much about what it means to be an engineer here. I’ve learned how different departments interact cross-functionally to deliver a product on a deadline. I now understand that the role of an engineer extends past just receiving tickets and pushing out code, and I’m slowly learning to balance mentorship and self-learning.

During my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to reimagine our email verification feature with design, help revamp our UI kit with the mobile team, strategize how to send better data to the marketing team, and discuss API endpoints with backend engineers. All these opportunities to collaborate have given me a holistic view of what I’m building and how my work affects various departments. As an engineer, I realize I’m a part of a larger system that relies on my work and contribution just as much as I rely on the ideas and output of others.

Our pod structure places us on teams with a product manager, designer, frontend, backend, test and data engineers. This cross-functionality allows us to hone in on the various microservices within our app without stepping on each other’s toes. During sprint planning and daily standups, we’re encouraged to discuss any blockers we’re facing and our engineering leads help mentor and support the engineers on our pods. Though Yieldstreet didn’t initially start out with this system, I see the value in working this way - especially in agile development.

I expected to code and push my work to Github but what I didn’t expect was how much I’d be encouraged to speak up and voice my ideas about higher-level architecture. The flatter organizational structure of the company allows for even newer employees like myself to “own and execute,” which is a phrase we hear often during company-wide meetings. We’re encouraged to write proposals for any new technology we want to bring forth into our code base and submit them to our senior architects and frontend council for consideration. Just today I got to sit down in a meeting with my product manager and engineering lead to discuss how Segment Analytics can play a larger role in our mobile data.

It’s been exciting to be on this journey as an engineer. I get to put on different hats and learn something new every day. It’s been really challenging, too because newsflash: coding is hard. There’s a balance between agonizing over a ticket and asking for help from a more senior software engineer. I’m starting to find that balance but I’m definitely not there yet. Luckily, I have some great mentors here at Yieldstreet that constantly push me to take on more and more difficult tasks while still offering the support that something like that requires from more seasoned engineers.