From Google to Roblox, How One Younger Tech Worker Is Making Her Dream Job

At 26, Andrea Fletcher has currently worked for

Google,

Apple

and

Roblox.

She states her vocation in application engineering genuinely began with a childhood love of logic puzzles that involve math and styles. Then, as a senior in significant faculty, thanks to a mild nudge from her father, she opted to just take a computer system-science elective around art.

Ms. Fletcher loved coding and issue fixing. Today, as a full-stack software program engineer at Roblox, the on the web system where by 43 million men and women build and perform games every working day, she will get to do equally.

The Wall Avenue Journal just lately spoke with Ms. Fletcher from her parents’ home in Atlanta, wherever she’s been performing remotely for the past year. Here’s her story, edited and condensed for clarity.

Ms. Fletcher, 26, built a vocation go to Roblox immediately after performing at Apple.



Photograph:

Winni Wintermeyer for The Wall Road Journal

What drew you to software program engineering?

My father is the one particular I can thank for getting me into computer system engineering. Senior 12 months of high school, I desired to get an AP course, and I was heading to do AP artwork. He was like, “Try laptop science.”

I had by no means touched laptop or computer programming in advance of, and I fell in adore with it. It is extremely enjoyable. You make a transform, you see the output. Simply because of my constructive knowledge in that course, I resolved to important in it.

Most of the builders that I know commenced programming when they had been like 10 or 12. I glimpse back at tiny Andrea, and I’m like, ‘Oh guy, I desire you had Roblox!’ Think about what I would have made! I’m acquiring to working experience that as an adult now—the childlike pleasure of making some thing new and sharing it with your buddies.

Alternatively than relying on Hollywood-like budgets to deliver game titles, videogame firm Roblox outsources the advancement to its largely youthful players. WSJ meets a gamer producing dollars from his creations and aiding the publicly traded organization attract new gamers. Photograph: Roblox

You majored in computer science at Ga Tech and then decamped to the San Francisco Bay Place, the place you parlayed two summertime internships with Google into a full-time engineering role at Apple. How’d you choose to move on to Roblox?

I had remaining my career [with Apple], and I was unemployed for a couple of months and wanting. A recruiter arrived at out to me. I looked at Roblox, and I was seriously intrigued. Hardly ever rule out cold e-mails from recruiters, in particular if it is an intriguing business. It worked out completely.

Why depart Apple? That appears to be like a area in which most new grads could only aspiration of landing.

It was a wonderful job, at a terrific business, with terrific persons, but the position alone wasn’t a good in good shape. At the end of the day, I just wasn’t actually enthusiastic to go to work.

What is your assistance for another person who realizes their initial career isn’t the right career for them?

A ton of people today are pressured by cash or stock-vesting cliffs to stay at a corporation for X range of decades, but my development improved as soon as I was in a function that I appreciated and was better at. It’s Alright for a thing to be a bad in shape. Not everything’s heading to be the best match. It is not just, “Is it fantastic or bad?” It’s, “Is it proper for you?”

What is the very best section of doing work at Roblox?

Undoubtedly interacting with our developers, since I’m a people today-inspired person. I appreciate specialized problems. When I wake up, I’m thrilled to do the job with good persons. Every time I get to see a match that an individual in our developer group made—or a thing that they worked on—it can make me far more enthusiastic.

Motion figures from the earth of Roblox.



Photo:

Winni Wintermeyer for The Wall Road Journal

What is your typical day like?

Most of my working day is used coding, possibly like two-thirds of it. The for a longer time you are an engineer, you end up shelling out much more time on opinions [of other people’s code] and functioning with other individuals, which is something that I actually like—bouncing strategies back again and forth.

What is the most hard aspect of your occupation?

Constructing things that are future-evidence. As Roblox scales, it’s seriously essential, much too. To be a excellent engineer and an engineer who contributes to a large amount of jobs, you need to have to consider, “How can I build this so that everybody can advantage from it?”

Do you basically use what you uncovered in school?

The initially two yrs of my school working experience were particularly applicable, and then the past two yrs, most of the lessons were incredibly theoretical. But the most valuable detail that I got from my personal computer-science instruction was learning how to master.

1 issue a lot of individuals fixate on is, “I require to know this [programming] language.” No, you really do not. A good deal of businesses have their very own coding languages. If you know the rules, and you can decide on up new languages, that’s what’s truly vital. And I never took a course for that. It is like just about every course was form of for that.

What about your internships through higher education?

I had three: 1 was at a network protection firm and then the following two at Google.

At the very first, I obtained hired on as a promoting intern. They preferred me to blend a bunch of Excel data files. Anyone spotted me making use of programming and they ended up like, “What are you carrying out, you are a marketing intern!” I kind of received adopted by a person of the individuals there and given a data established like, “You want to check out out some things with it?” It was genuinely enjoyment and absolutely free type.

I received my to start with Google internship through Grace Hopper, [an annual conference for women in computing]. The job reasonable there is remarkable, it genuinely aided me experience more self-assured in interviews. I was on the device-finding out and artificial-intelligence workforce. It was very overwhelming. I figured out a ton, and then I went back again the second summer season on the accessibility staff.

Had been internships essential to your career hunt?

Mine undoubtedly were. I cannot say that I had a great deal of output in my initial Google internship, but I figured out a ton and got to see how a massive corporation operated. My encounter certainly helped me determine out what I wanted in a position.

What suggestions do you have for college or university grads just beginning out?

Retain in mind that an job interview is a two-way street. You want to make confident that the occupation is a fantastic in shape for you. It is easy to see a very good occupation at a great business and say, “That’s for me.” It may possibly not be for you, and that is ok.

If you can test out the company’s goods, try out the products. It provides you thoughts for points you could ask about in the job interview and things that excite you.

What is your most effective advice for anyone who desires a work like you have?

In nearly just about every interview I’ve experienced just after university, it’s been like, “Tell me about a project that you genuinely liked”—a school venture, or an internship job, or a previous position task. If you ended up definitely passionate about people, that is great. But if you haven’t been fired up about those, consider to have a facet challenge that you can go into an job interview and talk about endlessly.

It’ll make you extra memorable. It is actually very clear when someone’s passionate about what they’ve labored on.

Andrea Fletcher

Age: 26

The place: Working remotely from Atlanta Roblox HQ in San Mateo, Calif.

Title: Total-stack software program engineer

Business: Roblox

Time in job: 3 a long time

Education: B.S. in computer science, Georgia Institute of Technology

Vital techniques: HTML, CSS, React, C#, TypeScript

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Generate to Kathryn Dill at Kathryn.Dill@wsj.com

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