fbpx

EXPLORE OUR

Taking note: Meet Bella, Software Engineer at GoodNotes

Bella from Goodnotes

ARTICLE SUMMARY

SheCanCode recently caught up with Bella, a software engineer, at GoodNotes. Here, she shares her career journey so far and what it is like to work at the note-taking app.

My name is Bella and I’m a Software Engineer at GoodNotes. I’m part of the team currently working on bringing GoodNotes to cross-platform.

After our huge success on iOS, we are finally bringing our product to Android, Web & Windows platforms. I joined GoodNotes as a fresh grad after finishing my master’s degree. While studying I did an internship at JP Morgan and co-founded a data cleaning and pre-processing services company. 

HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR CURRENT ROLE? WAS IT PLANNED?

During the final semester of my master’s degree, I was contacted by a recruiter at GoodNotes. It wasn’t planned, but it almost felt like it was meant to be. I had been using GoodNotes for five years, throughout my studies, and was looking to work as a software engineer in a tech company. I got really excited when GoodNotes offered me a role.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER, SO FAR?

Since this is my first job ever, I guess I’m really proud of the fact that I’m working in a well-known product company that is building many new, exciting features and is fast-growing.

WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE WORKDAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

I wake up at 7:45 am, make coffee and peanut butter and jam toast for breakfast, then start working from home at 8 am. Usually, most of my meetings are in the morning, and they finish before 11 am.

Because we are such an international team, I have a lot of meetings in the morning to connect with my co-workers in Asia, the UK and Spain. We have daily stand-ups to coordinate between designers, front-end engineers, back-end engineers, and QAs to review any blockers. Since I’m a new joiner, sometimes I have pair programming sessions with other senior engineers, or code walk-through sessions to help me get familiar with the codebase.

So far at GoodNotes, I’ve been working on a few different features, such as page editing, basic editing, and library view. Every other Friday we have a brown bag session for the engineers to share a certain area of expertise they are working on. Anyone in GoodNotes is welcome to join this session, not just engineers. I commute to the office after the morning calls. I get off work from 4 pm to 5 pm depending on the number of tasks I have and commute back home.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC SKILLS OR TRAITS THAT YOU NOTICE COMPANIES LOOK FOR WHEN YOU’RE SEARCHING FOR ROLES IN YOUR FIELD?

Communication skills. For technical roles, intuitively technical skills are important. However, soft skills like communication skills are equally important. As a software engineer, a lot of my daily work involves interacting with our designers and QAs.

WHICH QUALIFICATIONS HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE MOST BENEFICIAL FOR SECURING JOBS IN ENGINEERING?

Problem-solving skills, communication skills. There are so many different tech stacks within the engineering topic. It is impossible to grasp every single skill.

HOW DO YOU THINK DIVERSITY CAN IMPACT PRODUCT DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT?

People from different demographic backgrounds (ethnic, gender, social, etc) can bring different understandings and solutions to the same problem. These different perspectives can bring a huge advantage to the outcome of the product design.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS OUR COMMUNITY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WHAT IT’S LIKE TO WORK AT GOODNOTES?

As a junior engineer joining GoodNotes recently, I have received a lot of guidance from day one from the senior engineers on the team. GoodNotes has a generous education budget to support the professional growth and development of employees.

One of my favourite things about GoodNotes is how much they care about the work-life balance of the employees. I was encouraged by my manager to review my working hours and to keep a good work-life balance.

WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU THINK TECH WOMEN SHOULD BE ASKING AT INTERVIEWS REGARDING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION?

If possible, can I talk to a woman who’s in the same position I am interviewing for? How many women are there on the Engineering team? How many women are there in leadership positions? If women are still a minority in terms of these positions, what caused the situation and what are they doing to correct the situation? Are there any programs to support women in tech and women in leadership positions in the company? What is the company culture regarding DEI?

HAS ANYONE EVER TRIED TO STOP YOU FROM LEARNING AND DEVELOPING IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE, OR HAVE YOU FOUND THE TECH SECTOR SUPPORTIVE?

I personally have always found the tech sector supportive. According to my experience, the tech sector is a place that accumulates open-minded people. As a new joiner of GoodNotes and as a newbie in the workforce, everyone especially my teammates from GoodNotes has been providing me with support for me to grow professionally. My teammates have been encouraging me to pick up different tech stacks

ENTERING THE WORLD OF WORK CAN BE DAUNTING. DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR ANYONE FEELING OVERWHELMED?

My advice is to be prepared, see it as an opportunity, and also find a good balance. Since I was enrolled in a Master’s program that I later realised isn’t my favourite topic, I have been looking forward to starting working. I felt overwhelmed at the beginning of this job, by all the new things I’m trying to understand and grasp. But this overwhelming feeling was somehow expected and welcomed because that also means room for growth.

My advice would be to get a good understanding of what support you will have when joining a new company. When I interviewed with GoodNotes, I expressed my concern about being a junior and the head of engineering assured me that I would have the full support of the team, which has proven to be true.

CAREER BUILDING RESOURCES
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL
RELATED CONTENT
RELATED CATEGORIES
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY

RELATED ARTICLES

In an era of rapid technological advancement, the tech industry leads in innovation and growth. Here, Sheila Flavell CBE, COO of FDM Group, discusses the...
Join us for a captivating discussion as we delve into the world of tech at Dunelm with two remarkable women from the company's tech department....
Discover how Capco's #BYAW movement is revolutionizing workplace culture, empowering individuals to embrace authenticity and driving innovation through diversity and inclusion.
Meet Isabelle Tucker, Founder and Creative Director of Klioh Studio. Isabelle is advocate for empowerment in the workplace and a modern work culture. She is...