I am on the Monitoring, Insights, and Alerting team at Workday. We ensure that appropriate real time monitoring is in place for Workday services and we provide the underlying platform that the monitoring runs on. I work with many technologies and languages on a daily basis. We use Sensu and Prometheus to enable teams to monitor their services. We support Wavefront, a third-party website where teams can see their metrics and alerts. Workday’s architecture is constantly improving and evolving - teams are often deployed on several different platforms (bare metal, virtual machines, and public cloud). It is our job to ensure that no matter what platform you are deployed on, you are able to easily monitor your service using our pipeline. This means that I get exposure to many areas of the business and there is always a new and exciting challenge to tackle.
I am also the scrum master for the team, this role involves me running daily stand ups, bi-weekly planning and retrospective meetings. I also work closely with our product manager to ensure that our team working on projects based on priority.
What skills/technologies have you learned since you came to Workday?
I joined Workday as a graduate of the Tech Rotation programme, where I worked with three teams for three months each prior to choosing which team I would like to join permanently. I enjoyed working in three different areas of the business, which gave me exposure to many new technologies.
On my first team, I gained experience with Workday’s proprietary language, Xpresso. On my second team, I learned Scala and improved my Java skills from college. I also worked with Akka HTTP and Spring. On my third team, the team I chose to stay on, I improved my Ruby skills, but I also picked up Python and Go. On a daily basis, I work with technologies such as Kubernetes, Docker, and Chef.
As part of the programme, I also had the opportunity to improve my professional skills, such as time management and my communication skills. I am currently a scrum master within my team, which has helped me to enhance my leadership and presentation skills.
Tell us about the culture in Workday?
I love the culture at Workday. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. When I first joined, I was just out of college and I rotated on three teams in my first year. I sometimes felt like the ‘newbie’ and worried about my lack of experience, but I was constantly reassured. At Workday, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been here a week or ten years, everyone is encouraged to speak and everyone’s opinion is valued. Workday’s culture empowers every employee to fulfil their full potential.
I am never afraid to ask questions at Workday. At first, I didn’t want to bother my team with questions but then I realised that everyone has questions, even the most experienced people don’t know it all. We are an extremely collaborative team, constantly talking to each other, helping each other, asking each other questions, and working together to get to the best solution. I could probably fill another page talking about the great social events we have at Workday for summer and Christmas such as team outings, company parties.
What's been the biggest challenge to date?
The biggest challenge to date is remembering how everything works. Working with different languages, different technologies on different platforms (bare metal, virtual machines, and public cloud), it can be challenging to remember how to do a certain thing in a certain language or how a feature differs depending on the platform. Switching contexts often can be challenging and sometimes it feels like you are a jack of all trades but master of none. Over time, it gets easier though.
What type of support do you receive for your career development?
When you join Workday as a graduate, you are enrolled in the Generation Workday programme. This is a 12 month long programme to help you develop your professional skills. Every month, you join other graduates in your cohort to take part in a two hour workshop. Each workshop is different, and you learn things like presentation skills and collaboration skills.
Apart from that, Workday runs many in-house trainings that employees can sign up for, such as scrum master training and leadership training. I did the two day scrum master training to help me as a scrum master for my team. At Workday, we are offered licenses to Plural Sight and Linux Academy where we can take online courses. Before joining my third team, I had a 2-week period where I could take courses on these sites to help me get familiar with technologies I would be using on my team. I also did a 5-week training course in the USA on Workday’s proprietary language before joining my first team.
Twice a year we have career check-ins with our managers where we create career goals for the next 6-9 months and they aid us in accomplishing them throughout the year.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
First off, I want to still be at Workday. Secondly, I want to progress through the levels of being a Software Development Engineer. I’d ideally like to progress to a senior/leadership position within my team.
What advice would you give to graduates looking for a job at Workday?
Apply early for any jobs you are interested in. Workday gets lots of applicants for graduate positions, so it helps to get your application in early. Don’t worry if you don’t have experience in the right languages or technologies - apply anyway. Nobody expects you to know everything, as long as you are willing to learn and try your best, you’ll be fine.
From your own experience, do you have any tips about the interview process?
Relax and be yourself. Workday has a great culture because they hire great people, friendly people. The people interviewing you want you to succeed. Take a breath and let your best self shine through. With my interview, I first did a phone interview with a manager. I then did my second and last interview with other team members.
My advice is to practice whiteboarding a few basic algorithms and talking through them with a friend. Don’t stress if you make a mistake, it’s not about knowing the right answer, it is about the thought process to the answer.