Name: Maisie Bruno-Tyne
Position: Software Engineer
Location: Guerneville, CA
Tell me about your role and team at Fieldguide.
I’m a software engineer, so day to day I’m writing and reviewing code. We keep meetings pretty light. If we’re in a meeting it’s because we’re either learning from the past or planning for the future. I also interview people, all of our engineers do, and I think that’s really valuable. We’re still a fairly small company, so every hire we make really matters.
I’m on the core experience team, so our main focus is on improving the parts of the product that users are in every day. We’ve been investing a lot of effort recently into some key performance improvements. And it’s challenging; taking an existing system and refining it is a different process than you’d use for writing something brand new. But it’s been an awesome challenge, and we’ve been able to deliver some really impactful improvements which is rewarding to see.
What’s your favorite aspect of working at Fieldguide?
The culture. It’s amazing to work with people who actually like their job, and really care about what they’re working on. We've built a culture where everyone can be effective in the long term. We don’t want people working twelve hours a day for six months, we want people working eight hours a day for years, and feeling fulfilled in the process. We hold a really high bar for ourselves, and the way we’re able to hit that high bar with consistency is by creating an environment where we’re supported by each other, and where our systems are designed to support us.
One great aspect of the culture; the senior engineers are super open to helping people learn, which is major. I never feel like I’m bothering anybody by asking questions. Everyone is happy to hop on a call, talk things through, and collaborate.
What led you to Fieldguide?
After high school I was alternating between working to save up money, and traveling around the world. At one point I spent six months traveling solo. I visited thirteen countries for about ten thousand dollars.
After that I started working in wine. I worked for Realm Cellars processing grapes. It was the hardest job I’ve ever had. I worked 14 hours a day during harvest season, tugging hoses around, managing fermentation, and some nights I wouldn’t get home until 3am. It wasn’t long before I got burned out. It was putting a ton of strain on my body, I was falling out of love with wine, and we were having major fires every single year. So I had to look for a different career.
I audited a data science class at SFU, and really enjoyed it, so I signed up for App Academy. I knew I wanted to work for a startup, and from my first interviews with Fieldguide I could tell it was a really good culture fit for me. Everyone I talked to really cared about the product, and I could tell they really enjoyed coming to work.
What excites you about Fieldguide?
Fieldguide is a product for people who haven’t had one before. They’re using software that hasn’t been updated since the 90’s or they’re emailing excel spreadsheets back and forth. And to me, the idea of having to do anything through email is a nightmare. So the idea that they can log into Fieldguide and everything is centralized is really awesome. It’s high touch. Being the company we are, we don't have 300,000 users a day. What we have is people who use our product constantly. Some of them are in the product for five or six hours a day. So we’re not making a tiny difference in lots of people’s lives, we’re making a huge difference in a few people’s lives. And our users appreciate that. They appreciate that we’re creating a solid product for them, in an industry that hasn’t been served in the past.
Describe Fieldguide’s culture in three words or phrases.
How about three emojis?
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’ve been really into pottery lately. My friend messaged me one day and asked if I wanted to sign up for this six week pottery class and I just knew right away that I’d enjoy it. And luckily for me I turned out to be good at it pretty much right away. Recently I made a set of bowls for my friends. They love chips and dips so I made them a special set of bowls that say “dip people”. And I made a guacamole cauldron for Halloween.
But I tend to cycle through hobbies pretty quickly. I think by February I’ll have moved on from pottery. Maybe glass blowing is up next.
Is there anything you’d like to tell potential candidates?
Working here you get so many opportunities to tackle projects that you just wouldn’t get in bigger companies. Or even some small companies where there isn’t as much trust. One of the best parts of working here is that there is so much trust. We trust that if someone implements something incorrectly, we’ll catch it in code review, and that gives us a lot of freedom to let people try working on things they’ve never worked on before.
Also, if you’re coming into an interview, we don’t do trick questions. There’s no secret one line solution. We actually want to see your process as a problem solver and how you collaborate.