Name: Dana Hoffmann
Role: Engineering Manager
What do you do at Dialpad?
I am a software engineer and newly-minted manager on the Telephony Engineering team. We take care of everything infrastructure-related here at Dialpad, which means we’re responsible for building a robust and scalable network that lets users communicate from anywhere in the world.
Most of my work so far has been on the Google App Engine, including building the APIs that handle our internal number management, call setup, and so on. My immediate customers are all internal: product engineers who use our APIs, technical support reps, and other engineers on the team.
How did you get into your career?
I originally studied electrical engineering and physics. In my first engineering job out of university, I developed signal processing algorithms for ethernet modems, and implemented them in ASIC. When I was looking for a change, I joined a company that had a lot of its signal processing algorithms implemented in software. My hiring manager made a leap of faith and gave me a chance to become a legit software engineer. I discovered that I like the faster pace and the opportunity to make changes and add features without waiting for a full tape-out cycle.
What drew you to Dialpad?
I knew very little about Dialpad when I was first contacted by Marcus, our recruiter. But all the engineers I talked to during the phone screens and on-site interviews were raving about the company culture, the sense of ownership and autonomy they get. I got excited about working with this group of smart, driven people. The further I got in the hiring process, the more I wanted to be part of it!
What's been your favorite project and why?
One of the first areas I took ownership of, almost as soon as I joined, was the number management APIs and models that we maintain in our telephony infrastructure. Realizing we were missing some tools to help troubleshoot problems and minimize the amount of manual work required of telephony engineers, I went ahead and built those tools. I was given complete autonomy and encouraged to redesign the APIs used by the products, and make the telephony code more robust.
What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about being an engineer?
I think many people don’t realize what a significant part of the day-to-day work involves communication. Whether it’s collecting requirements from customers, collaborating with other engineers, interacting with QA, or writing documentation, good engineers don’t operate in a bubble — they really make use of those communication skills.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out in your field?
Try to find a company that makes you excited. Keep challenging yourself and learning new things. Remember you’re in charge of your own career development, and make sure to step out of your comfort zone at least once in a while.
Interested in joining Dana’s team? We have openings across departments and offices from Vancouver to San Francisco! Take a look at our careers page below.