Meet Trisha Gee: Java Engineer

We're excited to introduce you to Trisha Gee, a Java Engineer and Evangelist based in Spain.

What is your role at MongoDB?

I’m a Java Engineer. I work on the Java driver for the Developer Experience team.

Where were you before MongoDB? Why did you choose to come to MongoDB?

I’ve been a Java engineer for twelve years since I graduated in 2001. Before joining MongoDB just over a year ago, I was working for company called LMAX Exchange, a financial exchange in London focusing on low latency, high performance trading.

I came to MongoDB because I had spent a lot of time working in finance and I wanted to work for a company with a product. The evangelism within the MongoDB community was also big part of the draw. At previous positions I’d mostly done coding with only a bit of outreach on the side, but I was interested in doing more. At MongoDB, I had the opportunity to continue with coding and development but take on more speaking and evangelism roles. I also really liked the vision the executives had for the product and the company.

Where are you from?

I recently moved to Seville, Spain but before that I was in London.

Why did you decide to move?

My boyfriend is actually from Spain. Back in March we were looking ahead to the rest of the year, and decided we needed a change of scenery and a change of weather! And honestly, it doesn’t matter where I live because I’m either travelling for evangelism events or working from home.

Did you have previous experience using MongoDB before you arrived? If so, how are things different now that you work at MongoDB? If not, how did you learn MongoDB and how was the education process?

I didn’t have much experience with MongoDB. But when I started in London we had a basic overview of the product, and then I went to the weeklong boot camp in New York. There was a lot of intense technical information, but it was good to have it all as a reference. And meeting the people in the New York offices was great.

I learned a lot on the job, mostly when we were working on community support. Handling the challenges of clients using our product in the real world gives you a great idea of how the product functions. Supporting other MongoDB users taught me a lot about how to use it myself.

What’s a typical day (or week) for you?

I have two different kinds of days: the ones when I work from home and the ones when I travel. When I’m at home, I go out for a nice breakfast to get out of the house and sit out in the sunshine. My boyfriend is also a Java developer so we’ll have a mini “standup” where we talk about what we’re hoping to accomplish that day. Then the mornings are focused mostly on administrative tasks, code review, catching up on email, booking my next trip, etc. In the afternoon is my coding time, although most days I’ll also have a video conference with my team or department.

When I’m travelling it’s totally different. On my way to a conference I always try to write a blog but I’m usually preparing for my presentation instead. I get up very early and go to the gym. I always make sure to get a good breakfast (you never know what your meals could look like when you’re at a conference). I go through one more dry run in my hotel room before presenting. Then I usually give my presentation and take notes on others to include in blog posts later on. On the flight home I’ll try to write a post, but I often end up watching movies.

What do you love most about MongoDB?

I like that I’m never bored! I jumped around between several companies before MongoDB because I wanted more to do. There’s always something to work on, and everything is flexible so you can focus on what you’re great at or what you’d like to improve. There’s a lot of variety so you can move around between projects. And the people are amazing.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

At the moment we’re trying to rewrite the entire Java Driver from scratch. Project rewrites are always a lot of work, and on top of this big project I’m still managing my schedule of evangelism trips. It's challenging to switch between the contexts of coding and community outreach.

What’s one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had working here so far?

I actually love our review process. It’s so constructive to sit down with your manager and have them say, this is what you’re great at and this is what you could be even better at. They help you come up with ways to improve and be more effective. I’ve worked at lots of different companies and never have had as constructive a review process than at MongoDB.

What’s your favorite Seamless lunch order?

When I’m in the NYC office I often order salad, which is weird since I’m not that fond of salad. I guess I like that I can put everything I want in there and nothing more.

Favorite breakfast?

My favorite breakfasts are always in New York (I lived there for a year five years ago). I love diners and I usually get something simple like eggs and sausage. My perfect breakfast, if I’m going to treat myself, is eggs benedict.

Name one secret skill you have, unrelated to work.

I’m an expert at putting together IKEA furniture. And given how much I’ve moved around, it’s extremely useful.

Kindle or book? What’s your favorite book?

I love books but since I travel so much having a Kindle is fantastic and I use it all the time. You can sync all your devices and read a technical book and a novel at the same time. It’s great. My favorite book is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Describe your perfect weekend.

A few years ago I would have said a visit to Prague or another city. But since I get to travel all the time now, I want to be here in Seville, go on a bike ride, meet friends and family for food, and have the time to do stuff around the house. I’d end the day with a movie and a glass of wine.

Favorite airline?

The staff on Virgin Atlantic are always so nice and friendly, but I often fly British Airways because they let you take hand baggage on board and go to a lot of different locations.

Craziest flying experience?

On a flight from New York to San Francisco in September, we get to JFK and our flight was delayed. When we finally get on the flight we sat around for hours, before taxiing back to the terminal. Apparently there was a grinding noise so they didn’t want to fly. So we waited about two hours for another plane, get on the plane, and sit there for a few hours before finding out this one also has a mechanical problem. I had to go back to Manhattan for the night and fly out the next morning.

If you're interested in joining the MongoDB Team there many open positions available in Engineering, Sales, Marketing, and Business Development. If you’re inspired by Trisha, we’re looking to fill the positions of a Java Engineer/Evangelist, a Java Application Engineer, and a Web Applications Developer. To learn more about open roles at MongoDB, please visit the MongoDB Careers Page.

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