February 27, 2019
STORD’s engineering team is the backbone of our software. Autumn, Senior Front-End Engineer, designs a user experience (UX) that channels the power of our platform into a simple and intuitive interface.
Read our Q&A with Autumn to learn why she joined STORD, how developing software for logistics is challenging and rewarding, and what it’s like to be part of our engineering team.
What drew you to STORD?
The people here and what we’re building. We’re using technology to create solutions that people want and making a real difference in logistics.
The founders really care about the employees and creating an environment where people can innovate and grow. We work in a shared space right now, so the sense of camaraderie and community is really strong.
The leadership is really invested in the people who work here. They really care about making sure that this continues to be a great place to work as we grow.
What do you do at STORD?
I’m a front-end software engineer. My job is to discern the problems that our users have and build viable solutions as fast as possible. Then, we iterate.
I like to focus on the user experience (UX). UX and logistics have something in common: they both boil down to building relationships based on trust. In UX design, building trust with users requires more than just a pretty interface. You need an application that has intuitive calls to action; provides useful, actionable feedback; and never makes the user think.
My role also involves all the hallmarks of working with a growing engineering department: like feeling out process improvements, adding test coverage (and weeding out or fixing unreliable tests), and establishing code quality standards by committing new patterns to the codebase and tweaking automated tooling.
What is a typical day like?
Every day is a Campaign of Fearlessness: learn something new, fail faster, simplify a complex concept.
Most days, my time is split between building new features and enhancing current ones. Our application is in a high-growth state, so the work is a lot of greenfield. Even when we’re enhancing current features, the scope can be pretty sweeping.
We’re a small team, so everyone participates in code review. The key is to make sure that the code is not just functional, but also conceptually sound and clearly abstracted so that we can build future iterations more quickly.
What excites you the most about your current projects at STORD?
I like that our software has to work in real time. We coordinate information between warehouses and shippers, so our application has to handle information quickly and accurately.
The spatial aspect of our platform is really interesting too. Since we’re working with shipments and pallets, we’re translating physical items and locations into code. That creates lots of interesting technical challenges and allows us to solve unique problems.
Our software has to meet goals from warehouses, our operations team, and the engineering side. We get to build a software platform that meets lots of shared goals, which is a challenging experience.
What do you like most about your job?
I like building things that people want. I like doing things that matter.
I also like that there is a lot of autonomy in our engineering department. If you need something, you build it. If you want a different tool, pitch it to the team, then use it.
What would you say to someone considering an engineering career at STORD?
We’re building tools that matter for people who want them.
I like the Sheryl Sandberg quote, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocketship, get on, don't ask what seat,” to describe our team. If you’re the kind of person who is hungry to build, obsessed with quality, and excited about rapid change (and all the hurdles that come with that environment), we’ll find you a seat. When you think about the crew of a rocketship, there is no one there who doesn’t want to be there. There’s no one there who would refuse to do a job that needs to be done.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I love to travel and enjoy good food. Internationally, I’ve been to Singapore, Brazil, and a few other places. I love to enjoy the food from these places, especially when it’s really spicy.
I also like to foster Dobermans. We usually have two dogs (ours and one foster dog) at any one time.