In this edition of All Things Upside, Senior Software Engineer Patti Carter gives us a look inside the path that led her to join Upside, her experience working with our Engineering team, and shares some advice for future Upside employees.
Upside: How long have you been at Upside, and can you tell us more about your current role?
Patti: I've been at Upside for three years now, and I work as an Engineer on our Consumer Growth team, which nowadays is just as much a partner integrations team. My team works to ensure that all of our partners, such as Uber and Lyft, have the software and products they need to be successful. It is really interesting to work with Engineering teams at other companies. My role has a nice mix of building new, high-quality software and also ensuring we meet our partners’ needs.
Upside: Have you always worked on the same team during your tenure at Upside?
Patti: No, I've been on this team for about two years now. Before joining the Consumer Growth team, I worked on our Merchant Experience team, enhancing the dashboard product that our merchants utilize. I’ve also gotten the chance to work on various projects at Upside, such as some consumer-facing APIs, supporting the mobile app, and also our convenience store product. The variety in my work has really helped me build new skills.
Upside: Can you share with us your career journey before Upside?
Patti: I actually come from a humanities background. I have a Bachelor’s in History and Studio Art from the University of Rochester, and I worked a wide variety of jobs before Upside. I worked in retail for a while, and for a little bit I taught ESOL. I had a lot of friends who worked in tech and it seemed really appealing to me, so I enrolled in the Flatiron School, which is a six-month coding boot camp. After working at a different startup for about six months, I found Upside and applied.
Upside: What was it about Upside that made you want to join?
Patti: Honestly? It was the people. It’s just a really fun environment. Upside also has a really diverse engineering team, which I really appreciate, and I feel like I've had a chance to grow in my career during my time here. I was super junior when I started, but I am now the tech lead on my team. I owe that to the strong mentorship I’ve received from leadership and the great relationships I’ve built with the different managers that I’ve had at Upside.
Upside: What are some of the skills that you’ve learned during your time at Upside?
Patti: I've learned a lot more about serverless development since I started working here. My team works a lot in the cloud, and that has become a core part of my skill set. Upside is really advanced in how we use that technology. Since joining Upside, cloud architecture has become one of my main areas of technical interest, and I would love to keep building on those skills.
Upside: In five years, where do you see yourself professionally?
Patti: I love being a programmer, so it is hard to imagine myself in a different role. In programming, you kind of have two paths. One is in management, and the other is in architecture. My personal goal is to keep getting more technical, learning new skills, and being able to design and build bigger and better systems.
Upside: Last question – What advice would you give to someone just starting out at Upside?
Patti: I would say definitely feel free to be bold. Take the initiative, and do things that are out-of-the-box. Upside really appreciates when people are self starters and are willing to bring ideas to the table. We're still a pretty small company, which means there is a ton of room for people to contribute in really creative ways. You never have to assume that you're boxed in by an existing process or way of thinking.
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