As cliche as it sounds, if someone told me a year ago that I’d be a lead engineer on an app with a million downloads in the play store and well over 20,000 active users a day, I’d laugh and ask if you hit your head, but cliches exist for a reason. As someone who started her first full-time job at TribalScale in January of 2016, just after graduating university, I can tell you first hand that the startup community, and industry as a whole, is very fast paced. As one of the first few engineers to join TribalScale, I got to witness how quickly the company grew and how all of us grew with it. It’s been a wild ride friends, and here’s a story of how I got to where I am today.
One of the magical things about working in a startup is that you are not only responsible for your own work, but oftentimes the overall well being of the organization. From my first interview onwards, I was told about the many responsibilities and opportunities waiting for me at this job, and how quickly they would come my way. Spoiler alert: they weren’t lying. In keeping with this honesty, I must confess that yes I was terrified for a long time and sometimes I still am, but I’m pretty sure it’s completely normal. As someone fresh out of university I had a huge learning curve to climb and I still have a lot to learn and experience. If you’re at the right company however, your colleagues and bosses will be supportive and will have the resources and capability to help you grow and succeed in your role. Being a newcomer to an industry with so much potential for both success and failure it makes perfect sense to be terrified, and that’s good! Learn from that fear and become better, because at TribalScale, we’re always innovating and learning from other our mistakes to create better products. Don’t be afraid to take on a role that scares you because it’s usually tied to countless opportunities that can be immeasurable for your success.
If as a new grad, you ever have moments of fear, feeling unqualified, or like you don’t know enough, remember that you’re not the first or last person to ever feel that way. Acknowledge that if someone extends an opportunity to you it’s because they see your potential, and you shouldn’t let that go to waste. Sure, you’ll need the building blocks but experience is an amazing teacher and learning as you go should be expected, not feared. When that little monster in your head tries to tell you you’re not qualified, don’t let it stop you from overcoming your fears to take on as many opportunities as you can. Everyone starts somewhere, and chances are others were also terrified in the beginning. Eventually, when you dive off the deep end, you’ll realize the water’s quite warm.
Nathalie was born in Suriname and raised in Trinidad. Growing up, Nathalie was a creator interested in building physical products. Her love for creation and architecture quickly led her down a path to creating digital products. Now a Lead Engineer at TribalScale, Nathalie has the pleasure of building products that are experienced by millions of users.