Our “Second City” blog series places the spotlight on DocuSign employees based in Chicago and Warrenville who tell us about why they decided to join DocuSign, what they do here, what it’s like living and working in Chicago (an emerging tech hub), and more. At DocuSign, we want employees to look back at their time here and say they did the work of their life at DocuSign. This week we sat down with Melanie Z. in Engineering based in Chicago to learn more about her career.
Are you originally from the Chicago area?
I was born and raised in Chicago. I grew up on the North side of the city known as Uptown. My family settled in Chicago after leaving Cambodia in the 1970s.
What do you do at DocuSign?
I am a performance engineer and I lead a team focused on system and application monitoring, and performance management. We help ensure that our products are performing optimally so our customers are happy and continue to see the value in using our products. My job includes ensuring that all parts of our infrastructure is monitored for availability and performance degradations; that all services and features of our application is available and performing within expected SLAs; helping to troubleshoot any performance issues; proactively managing our capacity to make sure we have enough resources to handle current and future customer workloads.
When/why did you decide to pursue a career into Technology?
I attended DePaul University here in Chicago and I majored in Computer Science. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted my career to end up. I just knew that I wanted a career that would force me to constantly learn new things, challenge me, let me work with smart people and have fun! It was actually my father that suggested I majored in Computer Science and I can’t thank him enough for it. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I got everything I wanted and more by pursuing a career in tech.
What excites you most about working at DocuSign in the Greater Chicago area?
The people are top notch! I always have fun coming to work because my DocuSign peers are so helpful, fun and smart – there’s always something I can learn from them. Another aspect that excites me is being able to learn new technologies all the time. I love that I get to be exposed to new tech and have the chance to learn how it performs, how to properly manage and monitor it, and how it can improve our application.
Based on your observations, what are the advantages of working in our Chicago area offices?
I think the big advantage of working in Chicago is being able to enjoy the beautiful downtown area. The Chicago River is only a few blocks away and we have lots of delicious food options all around! In addition, there are many other tech companies in the loop, so the networking opportunity here is huge!
Why should somebody consider working at DocuSign Chicago and building their career here?
Chicago is just a great city to live in because the food options are so diverse and delicious, transportation options are plenty, cost of living is lower than being on the West coast and there are lots of outdoor activities especially in the Summer since we’re right by the lake. The people here are nice and down to earth, and we have lots of beautiful architecture throughout the city.
Tell us something about the city that you love that others outside of Chicago might be surprised to hear or not know.
I love Chicago in the Summer time. The city comes alive! One of the best things to do here in warmer months is to go and hang out by the lake. You can walk, run or bike the path along the lake and watch the sunset. Or you can bring a blanket, grab some sun screen and relax on the sand with friends. Situated right next to the water, Chicago offers a lot of fun activities throughout the year.
Lastly, tell us your favorite “non-touristy” thing to do in Chicago.
I love food, so my husband and I like to find different restaurants in the city to try out. This gives us the opportunity to explore different neighborhoods while enjoying new, local restaurants. I grew up on the North side of Chicago, so Andersonville is one of my favorite parts of the city. There are lots of cute boutique shops, coffee chops, restaurants, and bars. I also love that most of the restaurants are pet-friendly! One of my favorite restaurants in the area is a Mediterranean restaurant called Reza’s, and a coffee shop I frequent a lot is La Colombe on Foster and Clark.
Interested in joining DocuSign Chicago or Warrenville and doing the work of your life? Check out our job openings. We’d love to talk more.