A glimpse into the life of a Software Engineer at Kogan.com

A career in software engineering can open a lot of exciting doors, allowing you to support key business initiatives, create new software features and functionalities, and help to keep everything running effectively. For many software engineers, there’s so much variety to their days, with the work they’re carrying out changing from day-to-day (or even hour-to-hour). […]

A career in software engineering can open a lot of exciting doors, allowing you to support key business initiatives, create new software features and functionalities, and help to keep everything running effectively. For many software engineers, there’s so much variety to their days, with the work they’re carrying out changing from day-to-day (or even hour-to-hour).

We took a glimpse on what life as an engineer looks like at Kogan.com. Anita our Talent Acquisition Lead sat down with Software Engineer Michael to explore this. He shares his biggest learnings on the job so far, his career journey, and what life is like for him at Kogan.com. We’ll hand the mic off to him.

Can you tell us about your role?

My role is as a Software Engineer. At Kogan.com, our Software Engineers build, test, and maintain our main e-commerce system as well as other customer facing and MarTech platforms we build.  We are a full stack, cross functional team which means I am exposed to front end & back end development as well as infrastructure.

A typical day always includes a team stand-up where we share updates on our progress or any roadblocks. Then, the majority of my day is spent coding for the stories I’m working on, reviewing others’ code, or QA-ing new code…with some meetings sprinkled here and there. Some days, I interview software engineering candidates, or there are one-off tech meetings like lunch-and-learns and on the job training. 

Despite our team working in a hybrid model right now, there are still fun things to do like team events (we had a paint and wine session this week!), team lunches, virtual games and many others.

We also have a culture where sharing and collaborating is encouraged so you will find us discussing new technologies or interesting projects we’ve worked on in our slack channel.

Michael & Anita at our Paint and Wine event.

Michael & Anita at our Paint and Wine event.

What is an example of a problem you’re solving currently?

One of the interesting problems I’m dealing with is to figure out an efficient way to update a large volume of data in our database while making sure to find solutions that will not impact our customer experience. I’ve enjoyed this process, especially with the way we get to problem solve with other stakeholders across the business, as well as our team.  

In our day-to-day we also get to see the impact of our work and improvements to our code right away as we ship our code to production daily. This is so empowering for me as we see the fruits of our hard work so quickly.

What has been your biggest learning on the job thus far?

I’ve learned a variety of technologies such as Python, Django, ElasticSearch, React, and Redux. I’ve also learned other 3rd party integrations such as Google Retail API, Amazon Recommendations, as well as building chatbots using Amazon Lex and Google’s DialogFlow. 

What has been your favourite part of your role?

Each day gives me a challenge to learn new things. I joined Kogan.com with an adequate understanding of Python and limited experience with React, and yet I still find new things to learn both in React or Python/Django. I’m also given the freedom on how to solve a problem, and support is available from the whole team, even the CTO.

What do you like most about working at Kogan.com?

There are a lot of interesting projects that challenge not just your problem solving skills but also how you want to approach the project itself. There’s no one best way to do things, so I have an opportunity to make improvements or find better ways to do it.

I also love the people I get to work with. Not only are they very smart and friendly, but some have become my closest friends and we love hanging out together! Ever since COVID-19 hit and the lockdowns we’ve experienced – we’ve started to work remotely. I’ve really missed meeting my colleagues and catching up with them. Kogan.com has made an effort to support this work from home period by continuing social connection remotely, with more virtual events and also encouraging us to come into the office (where safe) to meet face to face.

The team at a recent ‘virtual ice breaker’.

The team at a recent ‘virtual ice breaker’.

How has Kogan.com supported your career journey?

The sky is your limit, they say at Kogan.com! The opportunities here are limitless and you really have the opportunity to create impact. We have a flat structure and that means there is no hierarchy where you get to say and define how you want to take your career forward.

Kogan.com has also given me more responsibilities as I’ve gained more tenure here – which means I’m not only gaining new experience but I also get the opportunity to stretch myself. We have great leaders in the team who are always willing to teach. They are kind with their time and have always been available to provide me with career advice. 

What would you say to a network who is looking for a role at Kogan.com?

Kogan.com is a fun and challenging work environment, where there are many opportunities to make a contribution for the customer, as well as our internal team. There are always a lot of things to learn, to solve, to improve, and especially for developers, to build! The variety of work that we have and the various challenges we face makes working here a lot more exciting. Not forgetting all the great perks we have working here – from free lunches, staff discounts, company wide events and learning opportunities.

Source: Kogan.com