Nathan is a Principal Software Engineer working on the Social team at Roblox. Before joining the team, Nathan was a long-time user of the platform, giving him an insightful perspective that infuses his day-to-day work with passion and energy.
Describe your team’s role here at Roblox.
The Social team focuses on making it easy to forge new friendships and share experiences with people on Roblox. We handle a broad range of features including Friends, Groups, Chat (including upcoming Voice Chat), and real-time Online Presence. The ability to socialize and interact with others is a crucial feature of our platform. It drives developers and creators to create engaging experiences with infinite replayability.
What is one of the most interesting aspects about working on your team at Roblox?
Roblox’s consistent growth over the last few years meant we had to handle large traffic increases on the web backend every year. Figuring out how to ramp up our systems through query optimization, caching, and re-architecting existing code is a great hands-on way to learn about scalability.
When I first joined Roblox as an intern, my only prior experience was building small, personal websites for a handful of individuals. My first project involved building a full-stack feature where I had to create the database tables, implement the frontend, and write the code for the backend. Even as an intern, I was building things that mattered, and I had a huge amount of help every step of the way.
I am thankful for the time and energy that other more senior engineers have spent helping me learn and grow my technical skills. Roblox empowers interns and treats them as fully capable engineers, which goes a long way towards building trust and self-confidence.
How is your experience on the team at Roblox different from other roles you’ve had?
One great aspect of Roblox is how passionate our employees are about the platform. Many of our staff, myself included, were long-time users before joining the company. Others applied for jobs after their children showed them Roblox. Having direct hands-on experience with the product as a user (or parent of a user) leads to helpful insights on how we can improve the product for everyone.
On a personal note, a few days ago I was chatting online with another Roblox employee and discovered after exchanging usernames that we used to be best friends on Roblox nine years ago! We had lost track of each other over time, but our paths collided again when he joined the company. Roblox’s ability to bring people together from around the world (who would have never met otherwise) always amazes me.
What’s one thing you love about the culture at Roblox?
I love the collaborative energy at Roblox. Teams across the organization often come together and solve hard problems in order to do things like reduce latency or make the user experience more intuitive. I also have a deep appreciation for the company’s tendency to “take the long view” when it comes to decision-making. Our leadership team consistently chooses to make decisions that benefit our community long-term.
Interested in joining the Social team at Roblox? We’re always looking for new talent, so come check us out at corp.roblox.com/careers/ and see if there’s a role that’s right for you.
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