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Working at Tandem: Caleb, Software Engineer

Caleb Jackson Engineering


What makes someone successful on your team?

I think what makes someone successful on a Tandem team is their willingness to collaborate, their willingness to communicate, and eagerness to pair program — or just pairing in general. Whether that’s with a designer and a dev[eveloper], or two devs, or two project managers.

I think being willing and able to pair is huge because so much of our work is done collaboratively, because we tend to think that working as a group is better than just one mind working alone and then doing PR reviews.

So yeah, I think to be successful at Tandem you have to know how to communicate, you have to know how to collaborate, and not only know how to, but be willing to do that.

How has your career grown since starting at Tandem?

I started at Tandem as a Software Engineering Apprentice and as an apprentice, I had all these aspirations and very vague goals in mind.

But I think as I progressed, not only did I “graduate” and get promoted from Software Engineering Apprentice to Software Engineer I, but I also specified my interests. I’ve always been interested in science and tech and the ways in which software can support scientific research. But I didn’t know specifically who were the people talking about these sorts of things, what were the types of projects that people in that area worked on.

Through Tandem’s mentorship program, [and] through Tandem’s professional development days, you can take eight hours each month — it’s more if you’re an apprentice — to just work on whatever your career interests are. And so during those times, I would make a plan to work on the specific interests and look for open source projects, look for groups that were doing that sort of work.

I think my career has grown not only literally from being promoted, but also having a more specific or directed focus on what I want to do: next steps. That’s my answer!

What projects are you most excited about?

One of the Tandem projects that we’ve been working on for a few years now is SDG&E, which stands for San Diego Gas and Electric.

Without going into too much detail, that project is pretty cool because I think of it as us being kind of like tech superheroes.

We are responsible for the code that sends alerts to vulnerable communities in San Diego or in California, [where] there’s forest fires. And before there is a forest fire, usually the area will de-energize the electricity poles and stuff.

The app that we’re working on lets vulnerable communities like schools or nursing homes or hospitals know that, “Hey, you’re gonna lose power soon.”

And so again, what we’re working on is the alert system to those folks. So that’s pretty cool because we’re literally a part of the emergency notification team.

It’s nice to know that even if it’s just writing tests or just changing one method or two, the work that we’re doing is helping those [people] prepare for emergencies.

Want to work with Caleb and the rest of the Tandem team? Visit our Careers page and apply for an open role!

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