4 NYC techies on what inspired their careers, and what they love most about their jobs

by Liz Warren
June 6, 2019
engineers
image via shutterstock

Many factors can influence where you end up in your career. For some, the direction was clear at a young age — and for others, it involved a few pivots. The following NYC tech professionals shared their unique experiences that brought them to their current roles as engineers and data scientists, and what they love most about their jobs.

 

Suzanne Jacobson
Software Engineer

Before becoming an engineer, Suzanne Jacobson worked in customer service. She explained how she was able to make the switch that ultimately brought her to digital media company theSkimm.

 

What got you interested in a career in engineering?

I was working in the customer service department of an e-commerce company, and I became curious about how the website and backend order system worked. While I was reporting bugs or problems customers were having, I found that I really wanted to learn how to fix them instead. After 6 months of learning to code during my nights and weekends, I was given the opportunity to transition to an engineering team and I've been coding ever since!

I also like solving problems that make our products, like theSkimm's website, more performant...”

What are some of your favorite day-to-day aspects of your position?

I really enjoy collaborating with other engineers and our product team. I also like solving problems that make our products, like theSkimm's website, more performant and the best experience for our users. Additionally, one of my favorite aspects of theSkimm is our bipartisan campaign, “No Excuses,” which we relaunch every major election. For the past midterm election, we got 200,000 people to vote!

 

Joseph Shin
Principal Engineer

As Principal Engineer Joseph Shin celebrates four years at Paperless Post, he reflects on the moment he first realized his passion for engineering — and how it happened before he even knew what engineering was.

 

What got you interested in a career in engineering?

When I was 10 years old, I had a computer and the only games on it were “Nibbles” and “Gorillas.” I stumbled upon the source code (Qbasic) and quickly discovered I could add my own text and change the colors and physics of the game. From that point on, I was hooked. Being able to create something that's not tangible, but at the same time functional and kind of mechanical fascinates me.

I enjoy getting in the zone and writing code for hours uninterrupted...”

What are some of your favorite day-to-day aspects of your position?

I enjoy collaborating with teammates on the long-term vision of our ecosystem. As a principal engineer, I like mentoring other engineers and helping them solve problems. Most of all, I enjoy getting in the zone and writing code for hours uninterrupted, which is fostered by the environment at Paperless Post.

 

Luke Schiefelbein
Data Scientist

Luke Schiefelbein, a data scientist at marketing tech company Custora, was always interested in learning how things work. He explained how that led him to his current role.

 

What got you interested in a career in data science?

I’ve always been interested in predictive modeling because what’s not cool about predicting the future? Additionally, I enjoy having and debating opinions on everything from politics to movies, and it’s fun to validate those opinions with explanatory statistics. I’ve also always had a strong curiosity about how things work, which naturally led to an interest in math and computers. Given all of that, it was pretty natural to find myself in the field of data science.

It’s fun to get to learn about these less commonly used models that have more statistical flavor.”

What are some of your favorite day-to-day aspects of your position?

There’s been a lot of interesting data science work happening in the marketing world. It’s fun to get to learn about these less commonly used models that have more statistical flavor. Also the people at Custora are great. Everyone is helpful, smart, and nice (without being sugar coated). I think people take our core values seriously, like “default to action” and “have strong opinions weakly held,” and that leads to a culture of trust, lending a hand, and respectful debate.

 

Milan Shah
Senior Technical Consultant

Before Milan Shah became a senior technical consultant at technology firm Solstice, he was fascinated with building applications that could help the public. He walked us through his passion for engineering.

 

What got you interested in a career in engineering?

I was always a curious student in class, and my curiosity about how computers worked got me into the engineering field. I always paid a little more attention in my math and physics classes. After the first iPhone came out in 2007, I really got fascinated with an idea for implementing a small piece of software that could potentially be used by millions of people in the world. That's what the smartphone era brought — you could build a small application now and have it in the hands of millions of people. I still remember my first application: a  to-do list that I created for myself to keep track of my tasks throughout the day. It helped me be more efficient and productive than ever before.

To me, engineering is about learning new things every day and helping others become the best versions of themselves.”

What are some of your favorite day-to-day aspects of your position?

At Solstice, my day-to-day activities include working with the engineering team finishing the tasks we work out throughout our three-week sprint. We divide big features into their own small components, and I work with the other engineers to build these components. To me, engineering is about learning new things every day and helping others become the best versions of themselves.

 

 

Jobs from companies in this blog24 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
Marketing
Operations
Product
Project Mgmt
Sales
Content
Content
new
theSkimm
New York
Operations
new
theSkimm
New York
Project Mgmt
new
Solstice
New York
Content
new
theSkimm
New York
Marketing
new
Paperless Post
New York
Design + UX
new
Paperless Post
New York
Design + UX
new
Solstice
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Custora
New York
Content
new
theSkimm
New York
Finance
new
theSkimm
New York
Design + UX
new
Solstice
New York
Developer
new
Paperless Post
New York
Data + Analytics
new
Paperless Post
New York
Data + Analytics
new
theSkimm
New York
Product
new
theSkimm
New York
Developer
new
Paperless Post
New York
Sales
new
theSkimm
New York
Developer
new
Paperless Post
New York
Developer
new
Paperless Post
New York
Product
new
Solstice
New York
Project Mgmt
new
Solstice
New York
Design + UX
new
theSkimm
New York
Developer
new
Custora
New York

NYC startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Benefits at NYC Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Data Analyst & Data Science Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Design Jobs in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Marketing Jobs in NYC
Developer Jobs
View 853 jobs
Design + UX Jobs
View 217 jobs
Marketing Jobs
View 326 jobs
Product Jobs
View 221 jobs
Sales Jobs
View 555 jobs
Data Jobs
View 310 jobs