Career stories: Going mobile in NYC
February 2, 2023
Christine’s journey to LinkedIn has not been linear. A graphic designer by training, Christine initially worked in hospitality before she found her true passion in engineering. After working remotely in Arizona as a LinkedIn frontend (UI) engineer, she shares how her supportive supervisor and our Mobile Academy training/mentorship program catalyzed a Next Play internal mobility opportunity to transition into iOS mobile engineering back in her hometown of NYC:
Building a coding career at bootcamp
When I first graduated from Smith College with a fine arts degree, I was certain my career path was destined to be in hospitality. However, after one month on the job at a restaurant in New York City (NYC), I realized that my passions lay elsewhere. I first tried my hand at full-time graphic design since I love drawing and hold a degree in it. Right away, I realized I needed a digital outlet to share my art, so I started dabbling in HTML and CSS — this is where my career in tech began.
At the time, I was employed in a coworking space that counted tech entrepreneurs among its members. I shared my story with one of the members, who suggested that I explore a coding bootcamp as a way to share my art online. Immediately, I jumped into the five-month bootcamp, learning everything I could about building and maintaining the frontend and backend of websites.
Enhancing the user experience through code
Frontend engineering captured my interest the most — it’s exciting to create things that people can interact with online and to fine-tune the design for a user-friendly experience. I loved that frontend engineering felt like hospitality, because you’re serving people’s needs online.
I moved on to Citi Ventures as a senior software engineer, where my role centered on career upskilling, paralleling LinkedIn’s work. When the pandemic happened, I felt it was time to make a switch, and I was thrilled to find this opportunity at LinkedIn as a frontend (UI) engineer on the LinkedIn Business Platform (LBP) team, working remotely from my home in Arizona. In this role, many of the projects that I worked on were focused on making the platform more self-serve for our members. For example, the first project that I worked on was around extending our premium services (like Sales Navigator) to support member-initiated refunds, resulting in reduced customer support wait time for our members.
Making the switch from frontend to mobile
Although I love frontend engineering, after a year in frontend/web development at LinkedIn I was searching for something more and knew that LinkedIn could help me expand my horizons. I’ve always been drawn to mobile engineering since so many people interact with apps every day. When LinkedIn announced the mobile coding “Mobile Academy bootcamp” training and internal mobility program this past year, I had to see if I could make the switch.
For four weeks, I tried to learn everything I could during this crash course on mobile development, culminating in a coding challenge. Everyone in the bootcamp, from the mentor I was paired with to the engineers involved, supported me by answering all of my questions, giving me tips, and sending me articles. I successfully passed the challenge and my coding exam to become a mobile engineer.
If you’re looking to make a switch in your career, LinkedIn provides so much support for pursuing your passions and designing your career path. Their engineering bootcamps are an incredible opportunity for upskilling and networking to find where you belong in the engineering world. You get out of it what you put into it — if you’re ready to work hard, there’s no limit to where you can go through engineering at LinkedIn.
Following my passions at LinkedIn
My roles at LinkedIn have let me explore new passions within engineering, like mobile development. For my latest project, I helped create and launch a new feature that allows members to schedule posts directly within the LinkedIn mobile app. This feature is a game-changing update since members won’t have to use third-party apps to plan their content — drafting, scheduling, and posting will all be available in-app. I love that anyone can use this on LinkedIn, not only enterprise members/customers.
LinkedIn has also helped me manage my work-life balance with the flexibility of working from home, and the ability to maximize our discretionary time off policy, such as my recent vacation to the Dominican Republic. When I first joined the team, I was working remotely from Arizona but later moved back home to New York City (NYC) on a diverse team with engineers based in California, NYC, and New Jersey. I had brief conversation with my supervisor about my desire to relocate, and a form later the process was complete.
Remote work has its advantages, of course, but it’s so convenient to be able to pop into our LinkedIn NYC office in the historic Empire State Building whenever I need to bounce ideas off of a coworker and connect in person. LinkedIn is really the first company I’ve worked at where I thought, “I want to be here for a long time.”
My team also supported my involvement in DevColor, a partner for companies led by Black engineers, which LinkedIn has formally partnered with too. I’ve been with the program since its inception in 2015 — I’ve loved meeting engineers who have worked at major tech companies, like Dropbox and Meta, and hearing more about their experiences. It’s been rewarding to ask them questions about how they got to where they are now, tips for engineers on a similar path, interview prep, and how to get raises and promotions.
Christine is a LinkedIn mobile iOS engineer on our LinkedIn Consumer/Flagship team. She’s also served as a frontend (UI) engineer on the LinkedIn Business Platforms core-engineering team. Before joining LinkedIn, Christine worked as a frontend/web engineer at Intel, Crew, and Citi Ventures. She holds a bachelor’s in fine & studio arts from Smith College. Outside of work, Christine enjoys traveling internationally and exploring the city with her friends and family.
Editor’s note: Considering an engineering/tech career at LinkedIn? In this Career Stories series, you’ll hear first-hand from our engineers and technologists about real life at LinkedIn — including our meaningful work, collaborative culture, and transformational growth. For more on tech careers at LinkedIn, visit: lnkd.in/EngCareers.