Friday August 2nd
Quora Open House
I took a work from home day
- I had to get away from the city. I really like Sunnyvale, so I took the 7:45am Caltrain to Sunnyvale, and settled into a coffee shop by the station and worked from there, buying various amounts of Yerba Mate (which is pretty much what I buy from there.) It’s so bad, that, as I was telling a friend yesterday, I went into a coffee shop that looked the same once (they’re both chains) and asked for a Yerba Mate, and then commented that “it was a shame that they took the best drink off the menu”. The guy behind the counter then went out of his way to make a drink as similar to Yerba Mate that he could, and even asked me to “taste it and make sure I liked it”, and that he was so sorry they stopped selling that drink. It was only a day later, as I was walking in SF that I remembered “Oh, I went into chain X and asked for a Yerba Mate, and chain Y is the one that sells it. Well whoops!”
My friend and I went out for lunch
- We hung out a bit, and it was just really fun being able to get away and hang out. His insight about a lot of things is so spot on, I always enjoy speaking with him!
I went to Quora Open House
Actually, I met up with a senior engineer there, first. We chatted. It was so fun speaking with him; he was so easy to speak with, and it made me think quite highly of the company after speaking with him; he was so bright, insightful, and seemed like a wonderful mentor. So we kept in touch, and I definitely would love to continue speaking with him throughout my tech career.
- I then attended Open House, and met a bunch of lovely people. I especially liked the full-timers there; a few of them came up to me and said I calmed their nerves because I was sitting in the front, smiling and nodding as they spoke. I really enjoyed all the talks and the insight into what Quora does. In fact, I had, in my mind, two questions about how they did things, and they answered them both during presentations via presentations themselves, which was impressive! To me, that said that there is some commonality in the way we think about problems and in our intellectual curiosity about things, which is very interesting!
- Also, they stressed mentorship, that you will be given tasks and be asked about how you feel about them, so you and your manager both agree that you have motivation to do the tasks. Also, they ask about where you want to be in 5, 10 years and they put you throught and initial “bootcamp” where you are rotated through teams you pick, to decide which one is a better fit. I thought that those were all great. They’re also incredibly data driven, but the focus is on quality. Specifically, what makes them different is that their answers are screened to filter for quality questions and answers or knowledge in general, which I thought was really interesting.
- I was impressed that he came by, and that by hearing him speak (he’s one of the founders, btw), he also struck me as having a very analytical mind, which was super appealing to me. He also mentioned research and academic papers, which is super impressive for someone running a company to me, as well as the shift from Desktop to Mobile (which I had a question about in my mind before he mentioned it). He also took Q and A from the audience of prospectives. Everyone was really kind and nice, there, and there were people who looked like me there, which was awesome.
- That whole culture of quality permeates in that even the swag they gave us had care crafted into it. For example, the notebook they gave us said “Open House 2019”, so you knew it wasn’t recycled swag. That made an impression on me, too.
- I’m not going to lie; I’ve heard their interviews are challenging, but from the people I met, I was really impressed to find out more.