Name: Laura Swinson
Role: Tech Lead of Growth
What do you do at Dialpad?
A better question would be what haven’t I done at Dialpad? I started out building account settings, promo codes, and checkout flows in UberConference. Now as tech lead of the growth team I focus on driving user sign-ups, fighting fraud, and building the analytics tools we need to monitor both those things.
How did you get into your career?
My brother suggested I take a computer science class in college since I like math and logic puzzles. I took a non-major CS class the summer after my freshman year and really enjoyed it. My parents had always pushed me to major in something that had a career ‘attached’ to it so computer science was an easy choice.
What drew you to Dialpad?
The people. More specifically it was the pitch I got from co-founder Brian Peterson during my interview. I remember him being so excited about Dialpad’s technology and how the company was changing business communications. His energy and enthusiasm were so inspiring, and I’m happy to say he’s now my direct manager.
What's been your favorite project and why?
I really liked working on Dialpad Free. While we were building it we got to invent a new country: Dialpadistan. And when it launched, we had a billboard on the 101 that got a lot of attention. It also involved making changes to a lot of different parts of the Dialpad code, so I learned how a lot about porting numbers, caller ID, and how calls are made.
What's one thing you’ve learned about engineering since joining Dialpad?
The code builds on itself. If you don’t take the time to build something correctly from the beginning, adding new features in the future will take longer and longer. The code becomes very fragile because you have to make hacks instead of extending a good design.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out in your field?
When I was first starting out I was nervous to change too much code. I thought I would break something, so I’d try to jam in a small change somewhere. That’s bad! Read all the code you can when you have your first few projects. If you understand how the existing system works, it will be so much easier to modify it and not create bugs.
Interested in joining Laura’s team? We have openings across departments and offices from Vancouver to San Francisco! Take a look at our careers page below.