What's your job about?
Canva is a company that empowers people to design by providing an online service that captures the entire pipeline. My responsibility is to design and maintain tools to help import and manage content, which have been acquired or licensed to serve users. My day is normally very flexible and I just pick work from the backlog. I normally get blocked by stuff so sometimes I juggle different tasks at once so I like to think about work that way. Unless there is a critical task, I will normally pick that one up from the backlog. I then ask for context so I can look deeper into the problem, which is sometimes a back and forth as I discover more information and need to ask even more questions.
Next, I will go into the codebase and determine what I need to do and spend a few days making changes and asking some more clarifying questions when problems arise. This will get peer-reviewed by members of my team and once all the feedback is done, I do a deployment test and switch it on. Juggling these tasks means I just do as many unblocked items as much as I can.
What's your background?
I grew up in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and lived there my whole life. While both primary school and high school are important, I think the university has a much more impactful experience as there is the freedom to pick what you want to do and more options to pursue things that interest you. These include starting a university society, competing in hackathons and security CTFs, being involved in reviews, and helping build a vivid project.
Another part of the university was also getting my first job, which was a new experience. In particular, working in the makerspaces taught me a lot of technical knowledge and soft skills. I used Canva in my first year of university and I heard some of my friends tell me how nice it is to work there. I saw Canva was hiring graduates so I applied, got in, and have been working there for three months so far.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, the main thing about this job is really learning on the job and putting together all the small pieces of the system to understand the system in its entirety. It’s definitely helpful to have a very inquisitive personality and to easily interact with people to get more context.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
A lot of the tasks I do require a lot of planning and careful testing before they are pushed out. It is really satisfying to see something you have been working on for a few weeks actually running. One of those exciting moments was when I refactored a huge part of the ingestion pipeline to fit in with the new style. I switched on and no problems appeared. On the more manual side of things, I will occasionally add or remove images, such as one time where I brought in 1.5 million images in Canva.
What are the limitations of your job?
I think one major limitation is how the company is structured. Not all company cultures will fit everyone. It is also very fast-paced. While you aren’t rushed, a lot of things will change around you so you will need to ask around for more information. Another part is that you will be doing several things at once. While waiting for feedback on a particular task, you pick up a new one, which leads one to juggle tasks at different completion levels. This is really something you need to get used to, and other companies will have different cultures so look around and find one that fits you.
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