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A day-in-the-life of a new engineer at Ibotta

Local technology firm provides collaborative team environment and challenging work

Jesse Spevack //July 5, 2017//

A day-in-the-life of a new engineer at Ibotta

Local technology firm provides collaborative team environment and challenging work

Jesse Spevack //July 5, 2017//

The story of how I entered tech is growing more familiar.

I completed a Denver-based software education program, the Turing School of Software & Design after deciding I didn’t see a future in the 10-plus year career in public education. After graduating, I landed an engineering position at Ibotta, providing me the opportunity to engage with highly fulfilling technical work.

On my first day at Ibotta – a mobile technology company that enables users with to earn cash back on in-store and mobile purchases with receipt and purchase verification – I was met with intentionality, reminiscent of a dynastic sports franchise or well-designed video game. Ibotta didn’t just hire me and then let me amble through the company’s complex platform. Instead I was hired with two other engineers and we were able to pool our collective experience and multiply our impact.

Together, and with the guidance of some of our more experienced colleagues, we worked to reimagine the code that turns receipt images into data that our system can use to pay cash rewards to our customers. Since this is a core element of the application, there was already infrastructure in place that made it easy to get up and running.

The project was also rewarding because we could see the quantifiable advances to the receipt processing system. Our work was accelerated by collaboration; we could check each other’s code and improve quickly based on our growing collective experience. ideas

I was paired with Alex Furmonov, a wily 20-year veteran of software engineering originally from St. Petersburg, Russia. Side by side, we maintained the code that manages Ibotta’s billing infrastructure.

As a new member of the team, I could not ask for more opportunities to learn and contribute. I work on problems that are intricate and the solutions I implement must work at the scale of millions of users.

While that opportunity would be enough of a reason to feel bullish about engineering opportunities at Ibotta, there is so much more.

At Ibotta, there is considerable public recognition in company-wide stand-ups and town halls, where senior leadership celebrate team wins and eagerly shout out names and distribute credit.

For example, after less than three months, CEO, Bryan Leach, recognized my team’s work on receipt processing in front of the entire company.

Knowing the company values my contributions goes far beyond pats on the back. Every week, my manager makes time for one-on-one during which he asks how I am doing and what he can help with. Our check-ins always end with him telling me how great I’m doing and leave me feeling truly appreciated.

Of course there are signs of high regard that any engineer would expect at a top tier technology company. We get bagels every Friday and plenty of snacks throughout the rest of the week. It seems like almost every week is a company happy hour or outing. There are weekly lunch and learns on new technologies and engineering best practices. I have a top of the line computer, a comfortable desk, the freedom to set up my development environment and autonomy to work on the projects I am most interested in. The tangible benefits list goes on.

Ibotta is at an exciting moment in our history. Version 5.0 of our application has just been released and it represents a tremendous leap forward for the company. The challenges we are trying to solve are not trivial and will shape the shopping and advertising worlds for years to come. Most importantly the recognition that we get as engineers is palpable and the learning never ends. In the words of Rick Wager, ‘Full speed ahead.’