Audible: Keeping Systems Safe & Secure with Continuous Integration
On February 3, 2022, PowerToFly hosted an esteemed panel of Audible's women leaders to share how using continuous integration can keep systems safe and secure. This networking and hiring event attracted software engineers interested in various opportunities at Audible.
Megan Alexander, Virtual Events Host at PowerToFly, kicked off the interactive session with a few words about the celebrated collaboration between Audible and PowerToFly.
Meg introduced Tanya Kravtsov, Senior Director, Quality Assurance, who moderated the remainder of the event. Tanya, who's been with the team for six years, leads the quality management organization at Audible.
"We love good stories; we spend our days seeking them out, dreaming up new ones, and creating incredible listening experiences," Tanya began.
Tanya gave the audience insights into best practices surrounding continuous integration testing and delivery. Noting that the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation and forever altered workplace culture, Tanya highlighted the need for advanced security in the process.
"It's important to identify and solve security issues early in the lifecycle, rather than after a product release," Tanya said.
After her address, Tanya passed the mic to Khushboo Kumari, Software Development Engineer. Khushboo noted that she's been with the Audible team for three years and loves it.
She explained Log4j features and vulnerability for her portion of the session. In addition, she described how exploitation works and discussed mitigation strategies.
Khushboo then invited Kaylee Kohlfeldt, Software Development Engineer, to present next.
Kaylee talked about continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), describing the differences between the two. She began by asking the audience questions about file copying to deploy things and joked about the frustration that often follows.
Then she gave a quick product demo using AWS CodeDeploy for an S3 static website. She walked the audience through the anatomy of a pipeline and explained code reviews and validations within developer environments.
Kaylee also reviewed the pitfalls to CI/CD, mentioning that the benefits far outweigh any headaches (mainly to avoid panic in the middle of the night when you find out your release process is broken!).
Tanya then returned to give an overview of integration testing, including best practices. She referenced the guard rails that catch critical issues and provided some handy references.
Afterward, the trio took on questions from the audience.
First, they discussed a day in the life of a Software Engineer. "No day is the same," Kaylee pointed out, mentioning that Audible's warm, approachable atmosphere welcomes and encourages curiosity. "It's very friendly; I feel like I reach out at least once a day to my teammates with questions."
The panel also addressed what they liked best about working at Audible. "Many things," Khusboo answered enthusiastically. "I would say the way we are encouraged to have a proper work-life balance. That's something Audible has respected; your manager gets very happy when you take time off to rest and recharge!"
"At the same time," Khusboo added, "you're contributing to such a good product that is changing lives."
The women leaders went on to discuss the coding tools they use and offered advice on Audible's interviewing process.
"Post your algorithms!" Khushboo advised. "Boost some of your system design capabilities and try to understand how a particular problem can be solved. Language doesn't matter."
Kaylee added, "One thing to practice is just talking through your reasoning and talking through the code as you're coding it. So it's great to practice with a friend!"
Finally, the women shared what they felt was most distinct about Audible's culture.
"I feel like the most distinctive thing about Audible's culture is the 'Activate Caring' element," said Kaylee, referring to Audible’s People Principles. "I think people look at Activate Caring, and they think of going to volunteer and teaching kids to code and stuff. I think it is that, and we do have events like that, and they're very fun—but I think way beyond that, it's treating your colleagues with respect, coming to work and assuming the best of people. I think that's fairly unique."
Khushboo tacked onto Kaylee's sentiments. "I think Audible also brings out your inner child. It's just fun! Sometimes you get out of your day-to-day work and get back to your hobbies," Khushboo said. "Another aspect is the learning. I think here, what I have noticed is that you want to learn and you want to go to conferences."
For her part, Tanya elaborated on Audible’s caring, collaborative culture. "I feel like it's really reflective of how everyone in the company treats each other. How managers care about their team members, how everyone cares about each other." Tanya also referenced the company’s next-level perks. "It's definitely a great place to be."
Next, Tyler Mataya, Senior Tech Recruiter, joined the panel to talk about various opportunities with Audible. Tyler recruits primarily for the full-stack backend for mobile engineering teams. He thanked everyone for attending the virtual event and applauded the fantastic presentations given by his teammates.
Finally, the audience moved into Breakout Sessions, where they connected more intimately with the Audible team and hiring managers before the event concluded.
Visit the careers page at audiblecareers.com and apply for the role that best fits your background and skill set!