Inside 6sense: an interview with software engineer Rita Kozlov
Rita Kozlov graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in December of 2014 with a degree in computer science. During her college years, she completed two program management internships with Microsoft. Now, she is one of the early members of the 6sense engineering team.
When looking for a full-time engineering job, Rita was very focused on finding a work environment that encouraged learning and provided support for those looking to expand their knowledge and skill sets. She also saw something unique in companies run by successful, ambitious women, and felt that these places provide a unique aspect of work life that other companies lacked.
I recently sat down with Rita to learn a little more about this and how she ended up where she is today.
Hired on Hired
Rita Kozlov: I was using Hired to find a job when I first moved to San Francisco. It’s pretty cool – you post a profile on Hired and companies can reach out to you. I got an email from one of 6sense’s cofounders, Viral Bajaria, decided to go in for an interview.
A life-changing interview
RK: First of all, I thought it was great to be contacted by the CTO himself. It showed me that I would be working directly with the leadership of the company and that they were genuinely interested in what I was doing.
To be completely honest, I didn’t know much about predictive intelligence at first, but since I had just moved to San Francisco to find a job presumably just like this, I went to the interview. It was during this process that I really started to get excited, because I had the chance to ask the engineering team a lot of questions. It sounded like they were working on solving a lot of fascinating problems, and it was then that I knew that I wanted to work on big data related problems.
To add to that, everyone seemed very pleasant and willing to help new engineers. In every interview I went to, I stressed my desire to learn and grow and asked if the team was willing to support that by providing leeway and guidance. Here, they responded in an overwhelmingly positive way, noting that this was not only acceptable, but an integral part of the 6sense culture.
Making a visible impact
RK: Right now I build internal tools for 6sense. I’m working on tools that enable our data scientists to do their jobs more efficiently and focus on actually building models for our customers, rather than trying to get data cleaned and sorted out. Essentially, I’m making the tasks of the data science team members easier and laying the foundation for a more streamlined onboarding process. The greatest part about my job is that I can see, on a daily basis, the impact that my work is having on the rest of the team.
B2B: the place to be
RK: First, I knew that working at a big company wasn’t for me. When I was going through a bunch of interviews via Hired, I already began weeding out the bigger companies because I knew I wanted to work somewhere smaller. 6sense was one of the remaining teams that I was considering joining, and after visiting the office and going through the interview process, I knew I really wanted to work here. There was something about the positive vibes of the office and the passion of the team that made me realize this was the place I wanted to be.
The cool thing to me was that I would be reporting to the person directly under the CEO, so the growth opportunity was huge. Also, when I was interviewing, everyone seemed excited to be working on what they were working on.
Lastly, I really liked the B2B aspect of 6sense. Consumer products are cool, but at this point, chances of becoming the next Facebook are pretty slim. You hear these new ideas for consumer products every day, and it’s almost always something you’ve heard before. The idea of having a concrete B2B mission of knowing there was a gap in the market and filling it by solving real problems is very enticing to me.
A day in the life
RK: I get in pretty early; I’m a morning person. I like to come in and work on some code before the day really starts picking up. Then, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I’ll do yoga with the instructor that comes to the office every week, and attend standup. Every day, the tech team gets together and everyone shares what they’ve been working on, what they’re going to be working on, and what’s blocking them.
We work in two-week sprints, so every two weeks I’ll get a set of activities to complete. Sometimes activities can change based on abilities and bandwidth, and we’re always encouraged to seek help when necessary.
Female leadership and new friends
RK: Another one of my absolute favorite things about 6sense is that we have a female CEO. This was actually something that I was looking for during my job search; there are certain aspects of woman-led companies that other companies simply lack. These can include benefits like insurance or maternity leave policies, but it goes beyond that. For example, what other company has a full shower in the bathroom for those who exercise before work and a CEO who teaches yoga?
On a more personal note, I’m still pretty new to San Francisco and didn’t have many friends before I started my job. Since I’ve been here, I’ve made a lot of new friends. At first, I thought I was joining the 6sense team, but it didn’t take long to realize that I was actually joining the 6sense family. You can really feel that everyone here is more than just coworkers.
6sense is hiring! If you’re a data scientist or software engineer who wants to be a part of a smart, passionate team in a fast-paced, positive work environment, apply today.