This is the third post of our new Women of Verkada Spotlight Series highlighting just a few of the talented and inspiring women who make up our team. In this post, we’ll introduce you to Grace Wang - Software Engineer on the Cameras team. We'll learn more about her role at Verkada, her advice for women starting out in their engineering careers and what she loves most about her work.
Grace, tell us a little bit about your role and what you do at Verkada.
Hi, I’m Grace, and I’m a Software Engineering Manager for Verkada Cameras. In my five years at Verkada, I have worked on many aspects of the product, from Face and Vehicle Search pipeline to encryption and security. Right now, my team and I focus on the streaming-related features for our cameras, such as archive, cloud backup and floorplans.
What's your favorite part about working on the camera team?
Working on our cameras, there are a lot of complex technical challenges to solve. I'm always learning new skills, whether it's firmware, Infra, React or different streaming protocols. Life is never boring here. As our product gets more mature and more advanced, we get to tackle some cutting-edge problems. For many of them, it involves experimenting with different methods and building prototypes, which I enjoy.
Another thing I love about my work at Verkada is working with some of the best engineers who dare to innovate. Together, we build some really modern solutions that turn into mature products that customers love, which is fulfilling to see.
What advice would you give to future women engineers?
My advice to someone early in their career would be to talk about your career goals with a manager, a mentor, or someone whose work you admire early on. These people can help you decide what paths you'd like to take in the future, like whether you want to be an individual contributor or are interested in pursuing a manager role. Let people know your expectations for yourself, and don't be shy or afraid to speak up and ask questions.
Something else that I learned from working with our co-founders at Verkada is that if you have an idea that you think is valuable - build it. Don't be afraid of failure; you can learn twice as much from the projects that didn't go as planned than those that did.
How do you build a community for women at Verkada?
I'm a co-chair for our Women at Verkada Community, one of our employee resource groups. We organize events like fireside chats with female leaders in tech, cross-functional happy hours, philanthropy events, and self-development programs like our "#IamRemarkable” workshop.
We also have a Women in Engineering group, a smaller community specifically for those in the engineering organization. This group gets together more regularly to discuss any challenges we've been working on and how we can help each other out. We’re also looking to build a more formalized mentorship program within this group where more junior engineers are paired with senior-level engineers.
Why do you think someone should apply to Verkada?
First, we have a unique, driven start-up culture where people are excited to work together to build the coolest and most cutting-edge features. I find myself working on new challenges every day with my team members, who are the smartest engineers I've ever worked with.
Candidates and friends often ask me this question: How should I choose between companies? I think the most important thing is to see if the people you meet during the interview process are the kind of people you want to work with and people you feel you can learn from. At the end of the day, the people you work with are what matters most. I went with my gut when interviewing with Verkada 5 years ago because I wanted to learn from the people I had met here, and five years later, I'm still very grateful to be able to work with everyone here now.
Want to build products that help keep people safe? Apply today!