Interview with Kelly Jung, a developer who started in 2018:
What were you doing before LACRM?
Before LACRM I had just graduated from WashU with a Bachelor's in Psychology. I had participated in the coding fellowship
the summer before my senior year. I'd taken computer science classes for fun, but never really thought I would consider it as a career!
You started as a coding fellow -- what was the fellowship like for you?
Hands down one of the best choices I've made! I thought that having already taken some computer science classes would make the fellowship a breeze and just allow myself to really hone those skills, but I quickly realized that I had so much to learn and bad coding habits to fix. Putting CS knowledge to practical use and seeing a project of my own come to fruition was rewarding, and coding through the fellowship has made me realize that coding is something that I could actually do as a career. Plus, that was the summer I truly learned to love and appreciate St. Louis as a city.
What was it like to then transition to a full-time employee?
Definitely a little weird, since as a coding fellow, I wasn't working for LACRM but was still a part of it. During the fellowship, I knew nothing about our product or really knew how it worked, thus never felt any sort of "responsibility" for LACRM. But having already been exposed to the company philosophy, culture, etc. made transitioning easy and quick. I already knew most of the people at LACRM and was super excited to be going back to join them and actually be working alongside them!
What have you learned so far in your career here?
I don't even know where to start with how much I have learned! I've learned a new coding language, framework, better practices, UI/UX stuff, code architecture, and other technical things I only would have been able to learn through working experience. And that's just the coding stuff. Being at a smaller company like LACRM has also allowed me to learn more about running a business in a bigger picture sense, since I feel like I have easy access to others' knowledge/expertise at the company and am included and able to ask questions when decisions are being made and things are being executed.
What’s your day-to-day life like working as a developer at LACRM?
My day-to-day doesn't vary that much since I'm just coding, but it's never monotonous. We have an Agile-like system of project management, so I always have a project (or a smaller part of a bigger project) to work on, which is then broken down into various milestones. Each member of the development team has the responsibility of being on bug-fix duty/development support for a few weeks at a time, so when it's my turn for that, I'm normally not working on my project and focusing on diagnosing and fixing bugs.
What types of projects do you get to work on in your role?
One of the first few times that I sat down with Tyler (our CEO) to plan out a future project, he asked me what motivates me in general and what motivates me to code. That's stuck with me for a bit, and I'm still figuring it out, but at the moment, I really like seeing physical changes being made to our product. So I've been working on a lot of UI things for an upcoming redesign. I like the flexibility in choosing what we work on. More recently, I took up a project that was a bit unlike what I have done before, and it ended up requiring me to do a bit of research, but I wanted to take on the project so that I could learn something new.
How do you like living in St. Louis?
Really enjoy it! St. Louis, I feel like, is that perfect size, so there are so many cool things going on and activities to participate in, but it's still small enough to feel a sense of closeness to the other residents. I run into people I know pretty often around St. Louis and have multiple "small world" moments, which I enjoy. Nothing ever seems that far away in St. Louis, which makes getting around not difficult. Also the cost of living is 👌👌, which has been able to help me fund and cultivate new hobbies.
What are a few of your favorite things about working for LACRM?
I think I've developed a La Croix addiction because of the La Croix fridge. But besides that, I really love the people here! We're a small company, so I feel like we all know each other pretty well. During my time here, I've been able to learn a lot from everyone about things outside of work. Everyone genuinely wants to help one another, so I never feel at a loss because I know someone will help me when I'm struggling, just as I would help them.
What do you think separates LACRM from other companies?
I genuinely think that LACRM cares a whole lot more for its own people, as well as the customers. I always feel comfortable, taken care of, and encouraged to grow both career-wise and personally. The amount of care and responsibility LACRM takes towards our customers I think definitely goes above and beyond, and I think because everyone is always quick to offer help that there is such a genuine feeling of doing good work around here.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to someone considering applying for a role at Less Annoying?
Just apply! You miss 100% of the shots -- something blah blah something. A lot of thought has been put into the interview process to make both parties as informed as possible. Through the interviews, you'll get to meet many of us and get what I think is a good sense of LACRM, its people, and how it all goes down. For myself, I never thought I would be a software engineer when I was thinking about careers during my college days, and even when I just started as a CRM Coach, I thought that I would be bad at it. But in each role, I've learned and grew so much and am now really proud of what I do.