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Employee Spotlight: In Conversation With Corey Alexander

Here at Tulip, our technical roles span two groups:

  • Product Engineering
  • Launch Engineering

Our Product Engineering team is a brilliant group of alchemist building new Tulip app features and functionality for our top tier global retail clients and prospects.

Launch Engineering is our specialized swat team responsible for marrying the Tulip solution and product architecture with the systems and environments that are unique to each of our clients. Launch sees the transformation of the retail industry daily and is the team called in to brainstorm and solve some of the most important data and implementation challenges faced by clients.

For Tulip’s next blog series, we’re nominating and recognizing some of our talent within the Launch Engineering team as they speak to their career stories and motivations in working for Launch, technical and leadership skills developed in these unique roles, and the cutting edge technology problems that they’re solving daily to bring the Tulip suite of products to our clients with each implementation.

Join us in our recognitions and in learning about the roles within the Launch Engineering team at Tulip.

This week, you’ll find us in conversation with Corey Alexander, Software Developer at Tulip.

Tell us about your career story? How did you get to your current position at Tulip?

Corey Alexander: I joined Tulip two years ago after finishing my schooling. I started in Launch with my first project which was to upgrade Toys R’ Us to a newer release of our product. After this point, I began working on the Tory Burch project. The rest is history.

What education/experience/personality traits do you need to be successful in your current role within Tulip’s Launch team?

Corey Alexander: I think to be successful within Launch, you need to be curious and critical.

Curiosity allows you in this role to wonder how the different features of Tulip work or should work. You will need to ask yourself “Is this the right approach to solve the issue at hand; and how will the decisions made now affect Tulip and our retail clients in the future?”

Having critical analysis skills will give you the power to make the decisions needed to enable the customer and Tulip to move forward, together, without either partner sacrificing quality of the product.

What skills have you picked up in Launch that are unique in dev roles and why did you target getting these skills at this point in your career?

Corey Alexander: A great skill that I have picked up in Launch is the ability to estimate the difficulty or complexity of a technical task. I believe this is a useful skill because it enables me to identify and break down complex tasks into more manageable tasks.

Another skill that I have picked up is adaptability. I feel this skill is important both here at Tulip and elsewhere due to the rapid pace of change in development. Quickly adapting enables me to jump headfirst into projects, get up to speed and contribute fast either by helping to guide others to do the task at hand or completing the work myself.

Give us a day in the life of a Launch solutions engineer at Tulip?

Corey Alexander: A day in the life of a Launch dev follows a pretty standard template: first, we get together with the team for scrum in the morning and then we work on code reviews or tickets throughout the day, depending on the priorities given from the dev manager.

Each day comes with its own unique twist. Whether it is helping out a Solutions Engineer come up with the best way to solve a tricky feature that we don’t support out of the box; or another developer having a question about features or technology that I’m familiar with; to my personal favourite, an esoteric bug that I’m asked to take a look at.

What problems are you solving daily for partners?

Corey Alexander: Some of the problems that I help to solve daily for our partners tend to be external system integrations. For example, a customer wants to sync data back to their system from ours. These kinds of problems are exciting because you learn to work with different vendors like Relate, Salesforce, and Hybris, each with their own unique challenges to overcome.

What do you enjoy most about your role and where do you feel you’re developing new skills that were not previously in your arsenal?

Corey Alexander: I enjoy the freedom my role offers me to learn new technologies, languages, and development approaches. The work Launch gets to do is interesting because we tend to build solutions that are specific to our clients. We get to invest time into learning new things while also defining the best approach to Launch for Tulip and our clients. This gives Launch developers a lot of freedom to explore, experiment, and build up a toolkit of products, tools, technology that they can use to implement solutions faster and at a higher quality. I feel I’m constantly adding new skills to my toolkit through problem solving. I’m either evaluating whether a specific technology or approach is the right one for the job, estimating the complexity of a task; or designing maintainable, forward thinking solutions that benefit Tulip and our clients.

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