Name Brooke Jensen
Role Senior Software Engineer. I work on all our internal applications such as provisioning, monitoring and console, as well as providing on call support and consulting to our customers.
Location Canberra, Australia

 How did you get started working in IT?
I started in IT right after I graduated from Software Engineering. It was a fairly natural choice of career for me as I enjoyed maths and physics at school and always toyed with computers in my spare time as a kid. I really enjoy this industry and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else, even though most people are surprised about my job when they first meet me.

What sort of training or education do you have?
Bachelor Software Engineering, Diploma of Management, also currently studying to be a Practitioner of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition.

How long ago did you join Instaclustr?
December 2014

Why did you join Instaclustr?
I’d spent the last 10 years of my career doing technical consulting to large government departments. The work was no longer challenging me, and the ongoing stress had taken a major toll on my health. I eventually resigned and had 6 months off to recover and reassess my career. I needed a change and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I felt I’d know it when I saw it.

That perfect opportunity presented itself as the VP of Customer Experience at Instaclustr. It was exactly what I had been looking for and aligned perfectly with my interests and experience. It felt like a really unique opportunity and I was genuinely excited about working with a startup that had huge growth potential.

So how did I end up as an Engineer? At that time, Instaclustr desperately needed to expand the engineering team to support their growth, and that’s where I would be of most value to the company. Even though it wasn’t quite what I was expecting I still jumped at it, because one of my mottos in life is to never pass up a good opportunity (my other motto is that good food is worth waiting for).

 What’s your favourite part about the company?
How focused we are on our customers and the great team we’ve built up. Everyone is really well suited to their individual roles. 

What is a typical day like at your job?
My days are quite varied. Some days I have my head buried deep in java code. Other days I might spend a lot of my time assisting other developers or on support tickets or consulting. We’re a devops team, so I’ve just come off a weekend on-call and today I did an upgrade to our console and api applications in production. Tomorrow I need to write some help articles and a sample Cassandra application.

What is your favourite thing about working in a start-up company?
Getting to do “a bit of everything”, and seeing that my work has a direct impact on the company and our customers. Also, wearing yoga pants to work.

What skills or personal qualities are good for this job?
Resilience, adaptability, commitment.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Solving interesting problems and learning new technologies. I also like seeing what innovative things our customers are doing with Cassandra.

What is your advice to someone interested in this field?
Software engineering is a really broad field with many different career options. To succeed you need a desire and willingness to continually expand your knowledge.



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