Becoming a software engineer isn’t always straightforward or the same for each person; careers in the industry can start at any point in your working life, backed by a variety of studied disciplines or work experience. We know that good software engineers don’t always take the traditional path into development, which is why we’ve created Wayfair Labs.

Wayfair Labs helps kick-start the careers of software developers hoping to join our full-stack and mobile software engineering teams. It’s a twelve week onboarding program where new hires get hands-on experience tackling Wayfair Engineering challenges, while building and showcasing their skills through projects of their own design. From learning new technologies to practicing real-world software architecture, Labsters, as we like to call them, get a chance to hone their programming skills and work toward mastery of the Wayfair tech stack.

The Labs Program allows us to hire engineers from a broad range of backgrounds, and place them onto a development team where they’ll make the biggest impact. They’ve often recently graduated from a Coding Bootcamp, College or University, or have already completed training and work experience as an Engineer. Through this series, you’ll meet Wayfair Engineers who’ve joined us through Labs and who also have a Coding Bootcamp educational background. They’re just a few of the many successful Labsters who have found a home at Wayfair.

The Story of H. Tucker Rosebrock

I’m Tuck, and I have an Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English. I came to software engineering after realizing I could combine my creative mind with my enthusiasm for problem solving. I currently work on a team at Wayfair focused on optimizing pricing for customers and suppliers alike.

Challenges of All Shapes and Sizes

For me, the biggest challenge during my time in Labs was getting used to working with a much larger codebase (and company) than anything I had worked with before. All the projects I had completed during my bootcamp were all worked on either entirely by me, or in very close connection with a few other bootcamp students. Joining Wayfair, I realized that I would be working with a codebase that was several thousand files, and had been touched on and written by several thousand engineers. And, furthermore, I’d have to be writing code that could be easily read and maintained by any number of engineers coming after me.

While this was initially challenging, however, it ultimately ended up working out for the best and pushing me to write better, cleaner code. Wayfair also has great documentation and clearly defined standards for the languages and frameworks it works with, which makes it much easier to ensure that I’m writing maintainable code. This also gives folks an easy way to learn new things about languages they’re already familiar in.

The Bootcamp Learnings that Gave Me an Edge

I think the biggest leg-up from my bootcamp experience was feeling very self-sufficient and confident in my ability not only to pick things up quickly, but to research and find answers on my own. Remembering how little I knew at the start of my bootcamp experience, and the complex projects I completed during my time there, made me feel confident in my ability to jump into just about anything at Wayfair and figure it out.

I was also pleased to find that my bootcamp journey gave me a lot more experience with web development than many of my peers in my Labs cohort – even those who had Computer Science degrees or who had worked with databases before. Having a grasp of the MVC model and a working knowledge of JavaScript put me in a great place to really excel and succeed at Labs. It also made it fun to work with others who came from different backgrounds, as we could collaborate and share our knowledge and areas of expertise to help each other.

Keep an Eye on Us!

Be sure to catch other posts in this series, where we explore how our Bootcamp graduates prospered via Wayfair Labs! Our top tip from Labs Recruiter Jennifer Cosenza: If you’re interested in applying for a role as a full-time Software Engineer, you can find the Wayfair Labs role here. You can find further job listings at wayfaircareers.com.