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Pendula goes to CampJS

3 minute read
September 26, 2019
You will be hearing from our Pendula people from various departments on what makes Pendula a great place to work.
Meet Alex Pribula, Product Designer
Q. Tell us about your career journey at Pendula.

I started at Pendula while I was still doing my undergrad at USYD. I started off as a part-time Junior Designer, and found a real enjoyment in not only collaborating with our design team, but also getting to know the legends behind the Pendula product itself (engineers and product peeps!). And, although I graduated soon after starting my Pendula journey, I certainly haven’t stopped learning. My interest in product design was something that was nurtured and highly encouraged by Pendula, and I soon started working on the product as a Product Designer. It’s been a fantastic experience, and super rewarding when we get to celebrate our great wins as a team. I couldn’t ask for a better place to kickstart my career in product.

Q. What do you think makes Pendula a great place to work?

As corny as it sounds, I’ve never met a better bunch. I was afraid I had rose-colored glasses on in the beginning, especially directly comparing to uni groups… but they truly are fantastic people in and out of work and it makes my day to day (and even the bumps in the road!) super enjoyable. I also like playing with all of the dogs that come into the office. Definitely not biased because of that… no no…

Q. What's your favourite thing about coming to work?

We get to work together in a super cool spot in the heart of Surry Hills. It’s a fantastic location and there’s so much to do. Frequent team outings, after work drinks, lunches etc etc. Not only that, but I’ve also had the opportunity on multiple occasions to travel to our Brisbane office to work on product directly with our awesome engineering team. It’s always a great day coming in to the Pendula office!

Meet Rowan Train, Solutions Consultant
Q. Tell us about your career journey at Pendula.

I joined Pendula almost 4 years ago in a different role I am in today. As part of a smaller team then, I was exposed to many different tasks within the company and with the ongoing support of our executive team have been able to transition roles more than once to different departments within the company. I have more recently joined the Sales team and am very happily working alongside some very experienced salespeople. It has been an ever changing journey and I'm grateful for the leadership team supporting me as I've changed positions as the company has grown and our needs have changed.

Q. What do you think makes Pendula a great place to work?

We are fortunate to have a team of very hard working and intelligent people. We're also good friends, so everybody is willing to help one another out without expecting anything in return. I would say that everyone in the company is approachable and especially the Executive team are always willing to take time and listen to all levels of the staff. There are no egos in the company and I think that really shows when we all get together, we always produce great work and have a good time.

Q. What's your favourite thing about coming to work?

For me personally, I'm always keen to learn something new. So I really enjoy coming in to work because it gives me a chance to see how others solve their day to day problems and I'll always take something out of that.

Our very own Julian Scharf breaks down some of the highlights of the Pendula engineering team’s weekend away at CampJS.

CampJS is an ‘unconference’. It was started 10 years ago by friends in the javascript community who wanted to get away from the city and build cool things together. This year it was held in Broken Bay, just north of Sydney. So at Pendula, we decided to bring the front end team together for some hacking, learning and karaoke!

In the weeks leading up to CampJS, I had submitted a talk and a workshop to present over the weekend. Both were accepted, but more importantly I was also asked if I could run the karaoke night! (I had done so the previous year and it was epic). So I dialled all my efforts up to 11, packed my bags and headed down to Sydney.

I’m based in Brisbane, and the majority of my team is in Sydney, so it made sense to spend a few days hanging out in the totes awesome new Sydney Pendula office. So many good vibes, endless ping pong, Mario Kart, a few guitar jams and lots of puppies! (Apparently all the work gets done in the Brisbane office…) Regardless of how well everyone works together, something really magical happens when you all socialise a little when work has finished for the day. 🙂

I did a dress rehearsal for my synth workshop with the Sydney team before I headed off to camp for the weekend. It went down really well, and everyone had a blast.

On to the main event: CampJS was amazing. I’ll just cover the highlights:

A great talk from Rob Howard: Why to use Typescript over plain javascript. By restricting the possibilities for your code signatures you can’t compile erroneous code.  This talk had something for both the experienced and the newbies on our team. We use Typescript for everything on the Pendula front end. We find the majority of our problems at compile time, which is awesome, plus the auto-completion with VSCode is the icing on the cake.

My own synth workshop was hands-on and engaging. Everyone had a blast learning about oscillators, filters, sequencers and envelopes. Each ‘effect’ was demo’d in a pop song. I had someone tell me the next day that they appreciated electronic music with more nuance, now that they could pick out the filter sweeps, sequenced arpeggios and side chain compression in what they listened to.

The karaoke night was beyond epic. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much pure, unadulterated jubilation in such a small room before! I kicked things off by dressing as Freddie Mercury, complete with a freshly shaved moustache! The crowd quickly warmed up and after a few hours no one even needed a microphone, it was a free-for-all sing along. I left for bed at 1:30am and it was still going strong!

Althea, who works with me in the Brisbane office, gave an impromptu lightning talk on mobx state tree. We use it for state management in our front end at Pendula. She gave a great breakdown on how to define a MOBX State Tree(MST) model, instantiate the model and then use that model instance inside a form component to update fields and trigger a modal. And she’s already been asked to present a longer format of the talk for the Brisbane React community!

After a week in Sydney I was ready for some family time again, it’s always good to come home. But as I’m writing this a few weeks later, I’m already looking forward to dropping in to see the Pendula family again. 🙂