It’s a gloomy Wednesday afternoon, and ‘Karl The Fog’ is awfully low on this winter day but looking across the interview table is the warming, radiant smile of Dividend’s very own Julia Demers. For the second article in our #GetToKnow series, I had the pleasure to sit down Julia, Quality Assurance Engineer here at the Dividend HQ in San Francisco
. As you’ll read below, Julia has had an amazing experience growing with Dividend as she was one of the first 25 employees.
Q: Julia, so glad to have you on the #GetToKnow series! Why don’t you start off by introducing yourself?
A: Hi I’m Julia, I’ve been working at Dividend for two years now [anniversary in March], and I’m a Quality Assurance Engineer.
Q: That is quite the title. Can you tell us about how you came to land that role here with Dividend?
A: Of Course. So, let me start all the at the beginning, I grew up in Massachusetts, and went to college abroad at St. Andrews in Scotland, which was AWESOME, and where I studied Physics. When I completed University, I knew I wanted to move back to the States, and knew I wanted to move to San Francisco specifically, even though I had never been there before.
I was really attracted to the tech industry, and was admitted into one the Tech Bootcamps, which I actually didn’t love and decided to quit a few weeks in, but I was here and decided to look for jobs in San Francisco. In my search I came across Dividend, who at the time was only hiring for the Customer Success team. Although that wasn’t the role I wanted, I was able to see that getting my foot in the door with a growing company would lead to opportunities down the road, so I took the job.
It actually ended up being a great decision because I was able to learn and really understand all about the Dividend platform from a customer experience, which is crucial to my role today. After six or seven months with Dividend, we were introduced to LL Funds, who would go on to make a significant investment in Dividend which led to our growth and opening of our San Diego Ops Center (which is where the Customer Success team would sit).
“It’s like I tell my friends that don’t live here today, move to San Francisco and find a company you are really interested in.”
I had the opportunity to help with that transition as well as training of that team, but more importantly I was given a choice of what exactly I wanted to do at Dividend. I knew technology was the field I wanted to be in! After spending time considering different roles with our CTO, it made the most sense for me to transition into a new role of a QA Engineer.
Q: That’s and awesome story! What was going through your head when you dropped out of the boot camp?
A: I mean, it was horrifying, to say the least. As you know, San Francisco is extremely competitive, and there are so many smart people here from all over the country, it’s really difficult to get anyone to answer your call. I had experience waitressing and was able to get a waitress gig in order to survive while I was searching for a job. Once I found Dividend and was given the opportunity to join the team, things were great. Then when the opportunity for me to transition into tech came up, I was ecstatic!
It’s like I tell my friends that don’t live here today, “move to San Francisco and find a company you are really interested in.” I knew I wasn’t going to have a career in Customer Success, but it would give me the chance to prove myself to the team. Plus, in the meantime I was able to learn a lot of things I would have never considered otherwise.
It’s worked out great for me! [Big Smile]
Q: Now that you are in your dream job so to say, paint us a picture of a day in the life of Julia Demers.
A: Each day starts with stand up, which is where we discuss projects and initiatives for the day as well as updates to tech sprint we are currently working in.
From there I’m really focused on one of two workflows. I’m in charge of Dividend’s release management, which means I’m planning out release of all of the code that is to be “pushed” out that day. Dividend uses a lot of software in its installer portal and day to day operations so I manage the release. I ensure it has been tested, it’s working correctly, and of course that is not going to break any existing code or process that we have once it goes live.
Apart from that I also write automated tests so that we don’t have to manually test everything… (she then went on to name a few types of tests which I’d have a tough time repeating, much less spelling). Often times I’m also responsible for testing and troubleshooting product updates and improvements that we are getting ready to release.
Most importantly I dedicate a few minutes of my morning and afternoon to hang out with Unagi and make sure he is having a good day in the office. Unagi is one of the office dogs, a 2-year-old English Crème Golden Retriever. I love him.
Q: What’s been your favorite project to work on since joining Dividend?
A: We are in the process of rolling out the new V2 Flow of our Partner Portal right now, and it’s been my favorite project to date. This was such an incredible project to work on because of the amount of people that were involved and the quickness in which we were able to complete it. I love the end result, and I loved the process of building it. There was a lot of collaboration, problem solving and thinking on your feet. And for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, they should definitely talk to the sales team and get a demo. I’m very excited for it go live and start to hear Partner feedback.
Q: Shifting from your job to a bit more about the Dividend Culture: Can tell me about these ‘Ladies of Dividend Outings’ that the women of our San Francisco office have been partaking in?
A: Hahaha Oh Wow! Well to start, I’ve love being at Dividend. Everyone is so friendly and a lot of us like hangout after hours and outside of work, so we planned a day-trip to Napa to go wine tasting. We went to a few wineries, had a wonderful picnic, and got to do some bonding outside that office. Definitely looking forward to our next outing.
Q: What are some of your interests outside of work?
A: I like traveling, and I love planning trips. I just got back from Argentina which was great, and I’m actually headed up to Oregon coast this weekend with my boyfriend. Even when I’m in the city there is always a sense of adventure. On the weekends I like to explore San Francisco by foot and can walk up to 12 miles just exploring the city. Also, I love dog sitting, especially Unagi.
Bucket list Items:
1. Get a dog… did I mention I like dogs?
2. Start my own business
3. Live in Asia at one point (even though I’ve never been)
Julia’s Closing Thoughts
I’ve learned so much from working at Dividend, and even though I started in Customer Success knowing that’s not where I would have my career, I’ve loved everything I’ve done since joining the team. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get in with a company that fits your lifestyle and career aspirations. For me Dividend is that company.
Connect with Julia via LinkedIn.
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