+ Eugene Kenny

Call me, Intercom

Hi! I'm Eugene Kenny, a web developer from Dublin, Ireland.

I want to work with you.

After reading your job description for a Product Engineer, I'm convinced that Intercom is the best place for me to work. This page should hopefully convince you that I'm the best person to work for Intercom.

I loved your single page site calling for a lead visual designer. It shows the same level of craftsmanship that I've seen applied to everything about Intercom. To demonstrate my own dedication, I thought I should do something similar!

Why do I want to work with you?

We use Intercom at my current job, and every aspect of the product I've encountered so far has been extremely impressive. I want to work with people who strive to create the best product they possibly can, and from what I can tell you fit that description.

The way the job was described – "be proud of what you work on", "obsess about the quality of the work you produce", "do the best work of your career" – is exactly how I want to think about my workplace. My experience using your product and reading your blog leads me to believe these aren't just words, they're part of your company culture.

I'm an engineer at heart; I love thinking about performance, scalability, code quality and maintainability. However, I also need my work to have impact with real people. I believe working on Intercom will let me do that.

Why should you want to hire me?

I'm extremely passionate about web development. I'm subscribed to developer blogs; I read Hacker News daily; I attend (and speak at) developer meetups.

I'm always trying to learn new things. On hackdays at my current job, for example, I've worked on a wide and varied range of projects:

I'm an aspiring full stack developer (I've never racked a server, so I'm not quite there yet). At my first job after college, I worked for a startup with 4 developers, where I was the only one working on my particular product. This meant that I had to learn to do everything: manage EC2 instances for deployment, develop application code in Rails, write HTML/JS/CSS, and create Android, iOS and J2ME(!) mobile clients.

Why do I think we'd be a good fit?

I'm familiar with almost all of your stack, to various degrees:

My particular focus at the moment is designing and developing APIs. Intercom's API seems well designed, and you mentioned in your job description that you're looking for someone to help expand it; I'd love the opportunity to do this at Intercom.

Previous projects

Your job description asked for details of the project I've worked on that I am most proud of. I couldn't quite narrow it down to a single project, so here are two examples I think demonstrate complimentary skillsets:

Hit The Road

In May 2010, I attended the first Dublin Startup Weekend event. I teamed up with four other attendees and worked on a product idea over the course of 48 hours.

The end result of the weekend was Hit The Road, an interactive journey planner for Dublin public transport. My main contribution was implementing the A* search algorithm in ruby as our first attempt at finding good routes, but I also worked on frontend design, some elements of which are still in the product today.

Shortly afterwards I started a new full-time job, but two of the other team members went on to incorporate as Commutable. They're still working on the company, and recently launched a realtime coach tracker for National Express in the UK.

This project shows that I can work on several aspects of a product at once, on an ad-hoc team, under a strict deadline and deliver high quality work.

Adverts.ie API

At my current job, we have an API to power our mobile apps. It evolved from a prototype built by our mobile developers into a production system, and has little documentation, no support for versioning and not much consistency in behaviour. Over time, it was becoming increasingly difficult to add new features and fix bugs.

At the start of this year, I was tasked with starting a rewrite of the API from scratch to be more maintainable. I had been interested in RESTful API design principles for a while, so I had a collection of resources to draw from. I met with our mobile developers, our CTO and our development lead several times to discuss design issues and gather feedback. The new and old APIs were also going to be used in tandem for the foreseeable future, which introduced additional design challenges.

We launched the new API in March, handling our signup and login actions. For the upcoming next version of our mobile apps, we're in the process of moving some of our biggest features over to the new API. Daft.ie recently started working on a new version of their own API. I demonstrated our new API for them, and they went with the same system.

This project shows that when given total ownership over a critical task, I can research and implement a high quality solution.

Let's talk

If you liked what you read here and want to get in touch, feel free to reply to me by email. However, I thought it might be interesting to use Intercom!