A Software Engineer’s Advice for Advancing Your Career While Staying at One Company

Sponsored by Braze

Chava Friedler

Photo courtesy of Braze.

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May 18, 2024 at 6:21PM UTC

“I began my career at Braze almost six years ago, straight out of college,” shares Chava Friedler, a software engineer II. “I started off as an iOS engineer and, about one year ago, I transitioned onto the Android team. Our team has grown significantly since my first day at Braze, which has been amazing.”

Friedler tells Fairygodboss that she has been able to grow into this role and become intimately familiar with the codebase by being very hands-on, accepting new challenges and having the support of her manager. 

“My transition from iOS to Android was a big change, but something I am very proud of,” she adds. “Accepting the challenge of learning a new platform I didn’t know well was scary, but it forced me to push myself to keep learning and work toward being successful in the new role. A year into that new role, I am so glad that I made the transition.”

Here, we caught up with Chava about how she’s developed her career throughout her time at Braze, as well as the support she’s had from her company along the way. 

A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently. What has enabled you to develop and advance your career at Braze?

Braze has provided me with great opportunities to advance my career. Keeping up to date with the latest technologies, learning about and integrating new technologies into our processes, owning different parts of our codebase and, most recently, transitioning to a new team have all helped me advance my career, all while staying at the same company. I have gained inspiration and knowledge from others — both inside and outside Braze — and that has helped me learn new parts of the codebase and become a more versatile engineer. 

Early in my career at Braze, I was surprised by how much trust the team at Braze had in me to just jump in. Within my first two months, I had an opportunity to work on a large geofences project and deliver meaningful impact to our business. Whether you’re tenured or just getting started, Braze enables you to get your hands dirty, fail fast, learn faster and immerse yourself in the code

Can you identify anything you said or did that earmarked you as someone ready for advancement?

I think showing growth and consistency are really important. Consistently putting out good work, communicating well, being a team player, coming up with new ideas and pushing myself to learn new things have all helped me take that next step at Braze. 

Being proactive and having a growth mindset are also highly valued. Our SDK is quite advanced, so being able to navigate it and provide support to our customers across a variety of topics and challenges is vital and also ever-changing. I am focused on continuing to deliver work efficiently, enhance our product and help our customers.

What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?

Trust is what comes to mind. This presents itself in different facets — good managers build team culture anchored by trust and respect, and they themselves are also trustworthy. You can confide in a good manager knowing that they will maintain confidentiality. And good managers also have your back when things go wrong.

Being transparent is also very important, and leadership at Braze walks the walk. In one-on-one meetings with my manager, or in All-Hands meetings with other senior leaders, I truly feel “in the know.” I have an understanding of what is happening at a team, department and company level, and that transparency also helps create trust.

What’s been your most valuable career mistake?

Introducing bugs into the code. While this is not something we want to be doing, it is inevitable and is always a big teaching moment. I try to think about how the bug got through my QA process and what could be done in the future to avoid similar situations.

What I love about Braze is that the company is not focused on who caused the bug or mistake. The process is collaborative and the focus is always solution-oriented. Our team has a blameless post-mortem process that is meant to evaluate what happened, implement new QA along the way and introduce automation where appropriate. This process helps create a comfortable environment to work in amid those occasional stressful moments.

What’s something at work that you’re especially good at?

I’m pretty flexible. I am able to work on different projects and tasks at the same time and context switch between them easily. 

What about outside of work?

As a mom of two with a full-time job, I have a lot on my plate. I think I’m good at being organized so I can stay on top of everything. I’m also a pretty good baker!

What are you trying to improve on?

I am trying to be more vocal by speaking up more at meetings and allowing my ideas to be heard. As a quieter person on a team of mostly male colleagues, this can be hard for me. But I’m always trying to get better at it. I am lucky that Braze provides an environment that values my opinions and to have a manager that supports me.

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