Moving on

And so after slightly more than 2 years at PayPal, I’ve decided to move on.

The past 2 years at PayPal has been nothing short of amazing, and I’ll just use this post as a summary of my journey at PayPal, as well as to thank the people who have impacted me.

Regional Solutions Engineering

I started out in PayPal in the Regional Solutions Engineering team. As part of the team, we worked on solutions for the LatAm region, and it was with this team I learnt about writing software for big organisations, and learning to fly blind and yet succeed in achieving the goal. During this first year, I had the privilege of being managed by Sau Sheong, Colin Leong, and Sujit Mathew, all of whom are really excellent leaders who have allowed me to grow. I also had the privilege of being in a team led by Raj and Amy, and I daresay I’ve matured as a software engineer under their leadership. And of course, the conversations with Justin, Yanhui, Shipeng and Kyle helped to broaden my horizons. And this was the team I spent more than a year with.

lunch with my first team in PayPal

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Consumer Engineering

This was after the reorg of 2015, after David Marcus had left the company, and the company was heading towards an IPO. I initially started out as the Operability team. Yes, it was a 1 man team after the team lead resigned shortly after the creation of the team. Colin was my manager then, and he gave me alot of freedom to explore what I wanted to do with the team, and what initiatives I wanted to drive. This was the time I had the opportunity to learn about PayPal’s infrastructure, and it was also during this time I met many people in many teams across the world. However, due to the department not having much clarity over the direction of work then, this initiative was scrapped, and I was transferred to another team. Soon, priorities changed again, and we had to work on the new PayPal mobile app, and we managed to deliver the homescreen and the loyalty card screen despite changing requirements from the design team every other week. It was also during this period where I was given the freedom and guidance from the core team to learn about how views work in Android, and how to build infra level views for other people to use, and credit for a huge part of this goes to Daniel Palevich, who shared his experience freely, and guided me along as I was learning how to code in Android. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team for accepting me as part of the team, especially during a time when I had no clear direction forward, and I will miss the friendships that we formed during this period. I would also like to thank Colin, who was my only manager during this stint, for his honest feedback on where I could improve on, and what I can do better. All these feedback has been extremely valuable, and I hope I have become a better person because of it.

lunch with the PayPal mobile homescreen team!

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So for a short stint while with the previous team, and as I head into my final days with PayPal, I was embedded into the NFC team. I had worked with the team before as part of my work in my first year in PayPal, and I was embedded into the team to get around some really tight deadlines. I learnt alot about how credit cards work, and how the credit card spec was like HTML, there is a spec, but no one really follows it. I worked under both managers that this team had, Salehin and Yoga, and I’d like to thank them for giving me the freedom to do what I do best, and removing overhead from me doing work. The team was also a joy to work with, and I learnt loads from Oscar, especially from the many experiences he had.

lunch with the NFC team!

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I had by this time pretty much worked with every single manager reporting to Sau Sheong, and it was an amazing journey of growth and self discovery, and it is with a heavy heart that I’m leaving this department.

Developer Outreach

This was the craziest of everything I did in PayPal. It’s not even what I’m paid to do. Sau Sheong unleashed me to run, and Anupam and Ashish gave me the resources to fly.

I started out the Developer Outreach team in PayPal with 2 other people, and within a year, we had grown to over 15 people, with 8 core members, and on average hosting 3 meetups per week. This stint gave me an opportunity to learn about growing a team, and to learn about what it meant to lead a team, and a volunteer team at that. This was the team I learnt the most from, and I have to thank Sau Sheong, Anupam and Ashish for trusting me with it, and my team members for always being there when needed. I could trust everyone in my core team to be there when I needed them to be.

Shipeng and Bipin were also amazing in their own teams (University and Industry), and together, as an Outreach team, we achieved many things that even full time outreach teams will find hard to achieve.

lunch with the #PayPalOutreach team!

A photo posted by laurenceputra (@laurenceputra) on

I also saw this team moving on after I had tendered my resignation with a few high profile meetups in PayPal. While it is sad that I have to leave a team I built behind, I can look back with pride that I have built a team that has survived me to become greater and better, and I’d also like to thank Subh for taking over this team. I can leave in peace knowing that what I’ve built is in good hands.

amazed at what the #PayPalOutreach team has achieved!

A photo posted by laurenceputra (@laurenceputra) on

The official PayPal_dev/Braintree_dev also provided a lot of support, especially when my funds were running dry. It was one of those few times when 2 teams with similar means to an objective came together to get stuff done together, and it was a joy to work with the team, and be treated as part of their family. I’ll miss the days last year when Mastercard’s Masters of Code was on the same day as PayPal’s Battlehack, and the outreach team worked really hard to support the Braintree_dev team for the couple of months before the hackathon to make sure that our message got out to the community. And it did, and we saw one of the largest hackathons Singapore has ever had with Battlehack 2015. John Lunn and Taylor were amazing leaders, and Tim (now at Google) was super supportive of the work we did in Singapore. Alan, Steve and Caprice all helped when they could, and I’ll miss the days of working with all of them.

Post Battlehack 2015 photo
Post Battlehack 2015 photo

I’d like to once again thank Sau Sheong, Anupam, and Ashish for trusting me to do the right thing, and Shipeng and Bipin for being awesome peers I can count on for support. I would also like to thank my very awesome team for trusting in my leadership, and giving up their time, to make PayPal’s Outreach efforts a success. And finally, I would like to thank the many community leaders who trusted in my team to do the best for the community, and having their meetups with us, and I believe that Subh and his team will continue the great work.

Summary

I will miss the many friends I’ve made, even the folks I didn’t work with and didn’t get a mention above. I will also miss the days where I’ll spot unlocked computers, and help them send out messages (although I suspect the team will be relieved that I’m gone). Realizing that there’s only 2 weeks left here for me, has made me a little emotional, but I will leave this place with fond memories.

I just wanted to take this opportunity again, to thank everyone who has been a part of my PayPal journey. I could not have grown so much without all of your contributions, and I will miss working with everyone.

My PayPal journey started March 3rd 2014, and this chapter will end March 31st 2016.

laurence

I am a Senior Engineer with Singapore Power, and have a passion for security and distributed systems. Prior to this, I have worked in companies including PayPal, 99.co, and Nugit. I also headed GeekcampSG from 2012 to 2014, and am currently focusing my free time on social empowerment initiatives including IAmTalentedSG, and CollaborateSG. When not doing work, or any of these stuff, I can be found cafe hopping/taking photos/trekking.

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