Spotlight: Stephen Reichling

IMG_5371Role: Sr Software Engineer, Platform Infrastructure

Hire Date: April 2012

Fun Fact: Can speak German fluently and studied abroad in Germany while in school.

“I’m psyched to be at a company that has really amazing and compelling ideas, and then solves problems for students with those ideas!

Why did you decide to join Chegg full time?

Well, I was an intern here before my last year of school and had an amazing time here but also the mission is so compelling. I did college in 6 years and it should have taken me 4. Huge factors were cost and ability to get the classes and resources I needed, so to see a company that has a vision to address those issues for students is really exciting.

How would you describe your first 1.5 years?

A whirlwind! It’s also been very exciting for me because I’ve been able to learn and grow a lot. Especially being a part of this particular team.

What does the Platform Infrastructure team do?

The Platform team has several roles but the main role is to build a platform as a service for the other teams here at Chegg. When teams are tasked with building new products, and building new services to store and track data needed for those products, we build a platform that they can build on top of which will take care of all the “horizontal concerns” – things every system has to solve for for – so they can focus on the specific business problem.

The work we do is very impactful – in both the positive and negative sense – meaning if we don’t do our job right it can impact a lot of people. It’s challenging but I’ve learned a lot in the process.

I love this team; we are very collaborative and there are different levels of experience on this team. I’ve valued being able to learn so much from those more experienced than me just by being around them.

What are you proud of so far?

Specifically the work I’ve done on the platform. We’ve been working on it for over a year now. We’ve used it as an internal tool for the team and now more than half of the other teams are using it as well. To see other teams use it and hear them talk about it is validation of all the work we’ve been doing and that’s awesome for me.

What excites you most about Chegg’s future?

The vision we have for connecting students with the right resources and services to help them during such an important time of their life. That vision is huge! I mean, wow, how could you ask for something better than that?

Spotlight: Joshua Huff

IMG_5344Role: Operations Manager for the Content Team

Hire Date: March 2011

Fun Fact: Grew up in Hawaii but hates the beach.

“My job has given me the opportunity to do really challenging things I never thought I would do. Every day is interesting and it’s been really fun and rewarding.”

Tell us about your various roles here over the past few years.

I’ve been here for 3 years now in various roles in Content. I started off in being in the Pasadena office and then moved up here to Santa Clara working on building our network of US contractors for Textbook Solutions. That took off decently well and that area continues to grow. We started having partners in the US and India that also create solutions and I began working with them, managing their throughput. Then over time, more and more things came up and I am now working with the back end Textbook Solutions (TBS) team in India. We’ve built a system for tracking what solutions have been done, where they are in the review process, what’s good or needs to be reworked, and then paying people as well. That team is also helping us with publisher content and getting that ingested into the front end site for Chegg Study.

I’ve been to the India office three times already and the team there is awesome! A lot of the staff has been there for a really long time and they know their stuff so it’s been a really great team to work with.

You’ve been here for a long time – why do you continue to stay?

The company as a whole is great and obviously helping students is awesome. I’m 4 years out of school and I really wish I had Chegg Study, the way it is now, when I was in school. The mission is really important, being able to really help people save time, save money and get smarter – we really do those three things with the Content Team. Our team is small and close knit; we do a lot of things together and we’re really capable. My boss is great and keeps giving me more projects so I’ve been able to really learn a lot here.

What did you do before coming to Chegg?

I worked for the Department of Defense writing RFPs and SOWs for the Air Force. It was between that role or going into Healthcare Consulting right out of school and I studied Business and International Relations so I thought that would be a good place to be. I learned excel and how to write RFPs and SOWs, which we do here, so that was good preparation for Chegg in that respect. My roommate at the time introduced me to my role here and the rest is history!

Looking back at your time here, is there anything you could say you’re most proud of so far? 

Looking at the way in which we’ve really built the Textbook Solutions out and really helped more students makes me proud. I mean, the first year we moved up here from Pasadena, we probably did about 10x as many solutions during that time. Also, keeping the team in India motivated and working with them, learning about them, traveling out there and building a great relationship with people there – it’s all been really fun and such a great experience.

You’re team is currently looking for new people to join its team. What makes a good candidate for your team?

Someone who is a team player, willing to learn and who doesn’t have an ego. This is a really smart company, and the Content Team has super smart people on it; everybody knows things and there is no room for any ego. We’re also looking for someone who has ideas and really wants to be part of a collaborative team. We work really well together, support one another and help each other out. It’s a really fun team! Plus we have a book club where we’ll go to a wine bar and talk about the book, so it’s pretty cool.

What’s been the best book you’ve read in the club?

One called Train Dreams; I actually was on the train and read it on the way up to the city to talk about it. It was very apropos.