On June 1, I started my new software engineering job at WePay, a payments processing company acquired by JPMorgan Chase in 2017. Previously, I worked as a robotics software engineer at Built Robotics in the Bayview district of San Francisco; the company had to significantly downsize the team across the board in April due to COVID-19 impact. All of Built Robotics' projects are in the energy sector, which was the most hard hit by the global pandemic. I began interviewing right away and am lucky to have secured a job at WePay within 2 weeks; the week I accepted my offer, Uber and Airbnb announced over 5,000 layoffs in total. Due to shelter in place, I started the new role having never met the team in person, nor having seen the Redwood City office, but so far I'm liking the company and my team.
Why I Joined WePay
After Built Robotics, I knew I wanted to join a slightly larger company; Built Robotics had around 30 employees and I wanted to join a company in the 100 - 200 employees range. I had experienced many company growing pains such as management issues which are typical of most startups and wanted to see the "right" way of doing things. I ended up choosing WePay (~350 employees) over other offers I had because I was very impressed with the thoughtfulness that WePay had put into its recruiting approach. One thing that caught my eye is when my recruiter shared with me a WePay blog post on "Software Engineering Interviewing at WePay" plus a series of professionally produced videos on growth opportunities at WePay. Prior to my final round, the recruiter told me about WePay's breaking the final round into 4 modules - each designed to assess a specific quality of the candidate. I liked the module approach because it reduced inefficiencies. For instance, instead of having all 4 interviewers ask me to talk about my past experiences for 5-10 minutes, one module was dedicated to talking about past experiences for an hour. This allows the interviewer to have a deeper understanding of the candidate's experiences, rather than 4 repetitive sessions at a shallow level.
Something else I liked about WePay is that it is common to find employees who have worked for 5+ years at WePay. I take this as a positive sign because employees want to stick around, in contrast to the typical Silicon Valley company where most employees jump ship after 1 or 2 years. As I looked through the LinkedIn profiles of employees at WePay, it was clear to me that there are opportunities for career advancement. I saw multiple software engineers who had been promoted from software engineer to senior software engineer as soon as 1.5 years after starting at WePay (and having graduated from a master's of computer science program right before).
Working for a company that is owned by JPMorgan Chase - arguably the strongest U.S. bank and with 350,000 employees - is assuring during this time of economic uncertainty. Having the support of a large company means that WePay is more protected from economic cycles because JPMorgan Chase is committed to expanding in the merchant banking field. In other words, the company can make long-term vision business decisions which may not be profitable in the short term. For instance, JPMC has committed to building a new Silicon Valley campus in Palo Alto for 1,000 employees. While WePay is now part of a much larger organization, WePay also maintains its own culture separate from JPMC; this is because during acquisition negotiations, WePay's founders were adamant about keeping WePay's culture independent. "Don't kill the butterfly," they said, and JPMC agreed since part of the reason WePay was acquired was to learn from its Silicon Valley culture in order to attract top talent to JPMorgan Chase.
What I Do at WePay
I am on the Internal Tools team - a new team tasked with building software tools to expedite processes for the WePay team. I can not say much more right now.
Have you used Ebay before? Ebay is a marketplace for buyers and sellers; buyers can pay by credit card because PayPal has an API which helps forward the payment information to the credit card networks (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc). WePay is like a PayPal for other online marketplaces (e.g. Shopify, Quickbooks), providing an API that allows merchants to be paid by their customers via credit card.
Conclusion & Referrals
I thought I would share some thoughts on my new software engineering role at WePay, focusing more on my personal decision and less on the company itself so as to not talk about confidential company information. If you find WePay interesting, we have a great referral system which incentivizes employees to bring in other great employees. Reach out to me if you're interested in learning more and I'm happy to refer you!