Meet John Larmie, Engineer in San Francisco

john larmie interview
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Apr 4, 2024
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Kasey Hickey
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Building products that transform how thousands of brands engage with consumers, the Engineering team is at the forefront of AI and marketing innovation.

Attentive’s Engineering team innovates every day to solve critical problems for our customers, by building the next generation of Attentive’s AI marketing platform. We recently sat down to chat with Senior Software Engineer John Larmie about what excites him about his work, what his day-to-day looks like, and why now is an incredibly exciting time to join the team.  

Tell us a bit about your background.

From a young age, computers have gripped my imagination with their mechanics and functionality, ultimately leading me to a career in technology. I studied Computer Science and gained a solid foundation in software engineering, which propelled my career into a diverse set of tech industries, from e-commerce and edtech to video streaming.

These experiences have equipped me to tackle the exciting challenges of my role at Attentive. I hope to contribute significantly to the fast-growing sector of AI and incorporate this technology into our powerful product suite. I'm passionate about leveraging technology to transform lives, and at Attentive, I look forward to indulging in trailblazing endeavors and contributing to technological advancement.

What brought you to Attentive? Why were you excited to join?

Attentive’s Recruiting team approached me and guided me through the interview process, including coding and system architectural design interviews. It was during this that I was able to meet a cross-functional interviewing team and gain a well-rounded view into how the Engineering team at Attentive operates. 

What sparked my enthusiasm most was learning about Attentive’s AI & automation initiatives. I was excited about the opportunity to work on AI, contribute to the development of cutting-edge automation products, and join a team that's shaping the future in its space.

Tell us about your team. What are you working on and what are you excited about?

I'm part of a dynamic team pioneering AI Journeys, AI-powered messaging systems that empower brands to build smarter, more powerful SMS and email programs based on a variety of triggers and conditions. This project is fascinating because we're leveraging Attentive’s vast aggregate of data to personalize the messaging flow for each individual user, ensuring delivery of the most effective and engaging messages. 

Being involved in this project from its inception has given me a deep understanding of the systems at Attentive. I've been actively involved in the development and refinement of our AI journey system, from experimental phases to alpha and beta rollouts. It's been an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience to see the impact of our work on the end products that reach our customers.

Walk us through your day-to-day.

I usually start my day with a cup of tea and get caught up with global events. I commute to our San Francisco office in FiDi via Muni, and almost immediately dive into Slack, strategizing my game plan for the day. I create a mental catalog of tasks that need priority handling or alignment, drawing my blueprint for the day ahead.

One of my comforting rituals once in the office is to make myself a second cup of tea in our kitchen and catch up with my teammates on the latest happenings in and outside of work.

Next up, I’ll examine any pending PRs awaiting review and act upon my own open PRs: merging them, and deploying my changes to production.

In the mornings, I occasionally get my hands on some design work, which gives me the chance to exercise my writing and diagramming skills while I’m at peak mental clarity. Otherwise, I may use this time to submit interview feedback, after having slept on my observations so I can come in with a fresh perspective.

On standup days, we catch up on our current sprint tasks—what we've accomplished, any stumbling blocks encountered, what we aim to complete next, and how we can support one another. We’ll also use this time to gather insight from our Product team regarding what we’ve successfully launched, what’s on deck, and what’s changing. The brisk pace of our one-week sprints means we always have one eye on our end-goals, closely monitoring our progress.

Each day, lunch is delivered from some of our favorite San Francisco restaurants. During these moments, we take a break to eat good food and connect with our teammates. 

A large chunk of my day is devoted to the day’s tasks, along with peer collaboration on shared projects. Since we’re hiring, some weeks, I'm an onboarding partner for our new teammates, making sure they have a great experience and are set up for success.

Want to be part of a team that's pushing the boundaries of technology? Explore our open roles.

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