Employee Spotlight: Meet Wei-Jen Chiang, Smartsheet Intern to Software Development Engineer
by Corinne Long
Welcome to our employee spotlight series, featuring profiles on team members across our Bellevue, Boston, UK offices, and field team. Learn more about the people behind the product and why Smartsheet is recognized as a great place to work!
A voracious learner, Wei-Jen starts his days browsing YouTube, throwing different information at his brain to learn something new.
Wei-Jen was first introduced to Smartsheet as a summer intern, where he enjoyed the smart people, technical challenges, company goals, and work-life balance. After graduating from the University of Washington with his Bachelor of Science in Informatics, he explored other options, but felt he had unfinished business at Smartsheet and more to learn.
Wei-Jen has now been working at Smartsheet for three years as a software development engineer in our Bellevue office. A self-proclaimed geek, he spends his days writing and reviewing code, collaborating with his team on tough problems, and brainstorming new solutions.
I connected with Wei-Jen to learn more about his journey and the unique aspects of working at Smartsheet.
What is your favorite part of your job or working at Smartsheet?
The people here are incredible. Some have been working in the industry for over 20 years, and when I turn to them for questions, they will drop everything to help. They not only answer my questions, but also give me extra materials to read up on or warn me about a mistake they’ve made in the past in a similar situation. For someone like me — fresh out of college and eager to absorb as much information as possible — it really doesn’t get any better.
Another thing I appreciate is that my feature team has an equal number of male and female engineers. Outside of my feature team, I also see people who look like me in the office, holding managerial positions. Diversity in the workplace is very important to me, so I am glad and proud that I am working at a place that also takes it seriously.
What’s your favorite Smartsheet value?
Authentic. It’s an underestimated value to be your real self in the office and candid with colleagues.
What has been one of your proudest moments working at Smartsheet?
The first day of my internship. I only started to study computer science my freshman year of college, and at the time, it felt like everyone else around me started coding before they could walk, or built their first robot when they were three. When I landed an internship at Smartsheet, it was the ultimate validation of the hard work I put in. Regardless of how humble your beginning is, as long as you have the drive and skill set, Smartsheet will welcome you to our team with open arms.
What’s your average number of meetings per day?
One — usually just a quick stand-up meeting with my team in the morning. People here make sure that meetings are short and sweet, so we can spend more time writing code.
Advice for anyone looking to join Smartsheet?
Check out what our customers say about us! That is what got me excited to send in my resume and hopefully, it will for you too!
What is the one Smartsheet feature you couldn’t live without?
Card view, which gives teams a more visual way to work. I work visually, so something about seeing lanes and cards with different colors that represent the tasks on my plate just clicks with my brain. This feature was also shipped during my first ever release as an intern back in 2016, so that makes it extra special.
Favorite Smartsheet snack?
Anything with caffeine in it.
What is the biggest perk of Smartsheet’s office?
It’s 124 steps from our building to Anchorhead (yes, I counted), one of my favorite coffee shops in the Seattle area.
Who is someone you admire at Smartsheet and why?
There are so many that it’s hard to name them all! Daniel Mould and Kevin Tao, two of our principal software engineers, always challenge me technically and hold me to the highest standard. Cameron Doane and Ena Markovic, who were my classmates at UW, and have now become my support system at work. Amber Owen, our front office coordinator, who greets everyone with a smile when they come into the office. Courtney Rubin, our executive assistant to the CTO & EVP of Engineering, who makes sure our engineering events, such as Hack The Sheet, our internal hackathon, run smoothly.
Imran Khawaja and Pradeep Garimella, who were my mentors early on in my career, and have offered me so much valuable coding advice. Terence Maarschalkerweerd, my rockstar manager who was a big part of my decision to come back to Smartsheet and constantly presents me with growth opportunities, putting so much trust in our team. And of course, Mark Mader, our CEO. I hope I can be half of the speaker and leader that he is. I could go on forever! The people here are Smartsheet's best asset.
Anything else you would like us to know?
My dad is a huge Smartsheet gear fan. When I can’t find one of my Smartsheet shirts, it is almost guaranteed to be in his closet. I let him borrow my Smartsheet hat once two years ago, and he still hasn’t given it back. It is now his lucky hat when he goes golfing with his friends on the weekends. He doesn’t leave the house without it!
Come work with Wei-Jen and his team members in Bellevue, Boston, and the UK! We’re looking for driven, supportive and customer-obsessed individuals to join our quickly growing team. Check out all our open roles!