Sep 30 2022

How this engineer is building her career and the future of games

By Meta Careers
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“I didn’t expect to enter the games industry after doing software development for 22 years,” smiles Dawn T., a senior cloud platform engineer on the team building Crayta, a free-to-play platform that makes game creation accessible to everyone. “But when you have the opportunity to be part of a talented team like ours at Meta, you grasp it with both hands.”
Dawn joined Meta after working at a software company for two decades, rising from trainee developer to principal software developer. This mid-career transition is just one way Dawn continues to pursue growth as a journey, rather than a destination.
"Dawn smiling and preparing to zipline through a rocky canyon"
Dawn also loves to scale new heights outside of work
“My life has been an exciting balancing act,” she shares. “Raising two kids while pursuing my career meant if things slowed down at work, I was busier at home or vice versa. But once the kids grew up and I felt settled in my previous role, I found myself craving a dynamic environment.” Around this time, a friend told Dawn about an open role on the Crayta team. “The timing was perfect, and the opportunity to join Meta made a major change feel not only doable, but thrilling.”

Empowered to enter the games industry

Early on at Meta, Dawn’s ability to embrace change became her superpower. “I left a company where I knew the software inside and out and entered an unfamiliar industry,” she shares. “It was intimidating, but I loved knowing gaming was rapidly changing. Learning motivates me, and I saw there would be no shortage of challenges and opportunities."
Joining a new industry inspired Dawn to broaden her horizons at Meta. “From the start, I was learning new codebases and technologies from scratch and a new industry vocabulary for games. I had to adjust, but week by week, I felt more confident that I was making an impact.”
Dawn credits her teammates at Meta for creating an environment where she could jump in headfirst. “My team is incredibly supportive,” she says. “This new role could have been daunting, but the people at Meta believe in each other and offer help without judgment. They trust that I’ll find the best way to solve a problem, even though I’m new.” The collaborative culture is Dawn’s favorite part about the games industry. “I’ve found people in gaming are open, inclusive and come from diverse backgrounds. You can be yourself and everyone accepts you. It’s unlike anything I’ve experienced before.”
“I’ve found people in gaming are open, inclusive and come from diverse backgrounds. You can be yourself and everyone accepts you. ”

Inspired to innovate and grow at Meta

Joining Meta has started a new chapter for Dawn in more ways than one. “On the Crayta team, I’m not just bringing existing skills to new problems. I’m adding to my toolbox, from learning new code to seeing the way my teammates approach problem-solving. I feel inspired to find new ways to do things every day.”
In addition to growing her skillset, Dawn shares how her role plays to her strengths. “All our code needs to be up to Meta’s standards, which aligns with my passion for high-quality work. I’ve alway been motivated by producing clean, well-tested code that’s readable and understandable, and I love getting stuff done!”
Dawn’s enthusiasm for innovation makes her a perfect addition to the Crayta team, which is charting a course not only for the future of games but also the metaverse. “My team is bringing Crayta into the world of Meta,” Dawn explains. “We’re creating new opportunities for collaboration between creators in the metaverse.” As a platform engineer, Dawn describes her projects as “behind the scenes.” “I support games programs with functional code, making it possible for other teams to make more visible changes. It’s rewarding to know my work empowers others’ innovation.”
“My team is bringing Crayta into the world of Meta,” Dawn explains. “We’re creating new opportunities for collaboration between creators in the metaverse.”

Flexibility to thrive as a working parent

Being full-time remote, Dawn has shaped her work schedule around being a single mom. “While my kids are older, I still need to bring them to appointments and be a ‘taxi mom’ from time to time,” she shares. “The culture at Meta gives me the flexibility to balance my work and be there for my kids, and my team trusts me to make those decisions.”
“The culture at Meta gives me the flexibility to balance my work and be there for my kids, and my team trusts me to make those decisions.”
This trust is made possible by strong relationships, Dawn believes. “On my team, no one is confined to one role or job description. Instead, there’s an openness to share ownership of the work, and everyone is willing to help out.”
"Dawn standing on a balcony overlooking a coastal town"
New experiences and a change of scenery spark inspiration for Dawn.
Now that she’s experienced this support as a working parent, Dawn only wishes she made the career change sooner. “I’ve enjoyed the way my career unfolded,” she reflects. “I also wonder what it would’ve been like to have this flexibility when my kids were younger. If I could give my younger self advice, I’d say, ‘Believe in yourself more. You’re good at what you do, so look for new opportunities and take more risks.’ This new chapter is proof that it pays off.”

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