My role: (Tell us about your current job and what it involves?)
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 to provide the underlying platform that 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 architecture is constantly changing and evolving, teams are often deployed on several different platforms (bare metal, virtual machines, public cloud), it is our job to ensure that no matter what platform you are deployed on, you are easily able to 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.
We are constantly improving our monitoring platform, providing new features to ensure teams can monitor their service in the best possible way. Part of my job is also to ensure the monitoring platform keeps performing. This involves working with service teams to troubleshoot issues with the pipeline or issues with setting monitoring up for the first time. 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 the Product Manager for the team to ensure that the team are working on the projects that are of the most priority.
What skills/technologies have you learned since you came to Workday?
I joined workday as a graduate on the tech rotation programme. This meant that I worked with 3 teams for 3 months each before I chose what team I would like to join permanently. This meant I got to work on 3 different areas of the business and use a bunch of new technologies.
On my first team I got experience with workday’s proprietary language Xpresso. On my second team I got to learn scala and improve the java I had learned at college, I also got to work with AkkaHTTP and Spring. On my third team, the team I chose to stay on, I got to improve the ruby skills I had learned in college, I also got to learn python and go. On a daily basis, I work with technologies such as kubernetes, docker and chef. Also, as part of the graduate curriculum I had the opportunity to improve my professional skills, such as time management and 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? (people, social etc.)
I love the culture at Workday. Everybody is so friendly and helpful. When I joined Workday I was just out of college and I rotated on 3 teams in my first year meaning I sometimes felt like the ‘newbie’ and worried about my lack of experience, but I was constantly reassured. ‘I was asked for my input just like everybody else and my opinion was valued just as much. In Workday it doesn’t matter if you have been here a week or 10 years, everybody is encouraged to speak and everybody’s opinion is valued’.
Workday’s culture empowers every employee to fulfil their full potential. I am also never afraid to ask questions in Workday. At first I didn’t want to bother my team with questions but then I realised that everyone has to ask questions, not just me, even the most experienced guys 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 the best solution. I could probably fill another page talking about the great social events we have at Workday for summer and Christmas, team outings, company parties and much more.
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, 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 what platform it is deployed. Switching context often can be challenging and sometimes it feels like you are the jack of all trades and master of none. Over time it easier to manage moving from one to the other.
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 develop your professional skills. Every month you join with the other graduates you started with and take part in a 2 hour workshop. Each workshop is different and you learn things like presentation skills and team-work skills.
Apart from that, Workday runs many in house training days that employees can sign up to, for example: scrum master training and leadership training. I did the 2 day scrum master training to help me in my position scrum master for the team. In Workday we are offered licences 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 a number of courses on these websites to help to get familiar with one of the 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 from the next 6-9 months and our managers aid us in accomplishing those goals throughout the year.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
First off I still want to 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 get a lot of applicants for graduate positions so it helps to get your application in early. And don’t worry if you don’t have experience in the right languages or technologies, apply anyway. I felt like I knew nothing coming out of college, that by the time I had started work that I had forgotten everything I had learned in 4 years. But 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 have a great culture because they hire great people, friendly people. The people interviewing you want you to succeed. Take a breath and let your great-self shine through. With my own interview I firstly 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, and 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.