Meet Our Software Engineer Program (SEP) Engineers

They’re influencing the global scale of our advanced tech capability.

August 28, 2021

JPMorgan Chase is much more than just a bank -- we also employ 50,000 technologists shaping the future of financial technology.

The students in our Software Engineer Program decided to join our firm this summer and they're now influencing the global scale of our advanced tech capability. From cloud computing to app deployment, hear what Meghana Pothineni, Ezequiel Giulio, Jonathan Martin, Keziah Brown and Clarence Castillo have to say about their experiences.

What is unique and exciting about your role?

Meghana: I get to learn something new every sprint, if not every day, and I have the freedom to innovate and share my ideas openly with my team. My team has trusted me to produce high-quality work and  allowed me to continuously strengthen the backbone of all the applications in a massive and complex ecosystem by providing stakeholders with real-time data about the status and performance of their underlying infrastructure and offering capabilities to predict a failure or breach.

Ezequiel: I have the opportunity to work daily with the latest technology. Our code base is mainly Python and Java and now we are migrating our services to public cloud. It couldn't be more exciting.

Jon: The great thing about this role is that there's a lot to learn. It's heavy on programming, particularly in Python, but involves a full stack of technologies, including databases, frontend UI, and microservices. This means that there's often opportunity to pick out interesting work.

Keziah: The flexibility in my role to be working on the back end one day and the front end another day is really cool. The team is always open to embracing new technologies, such as cloud and chaos engineering. I knew nothing about these technologies when I started, so it has been a great opportunity to up-skill and find new things I enjoy. 

Clarence: The vast exposure to leading upcoming technologies such as distributed computing, containerization, and even AI/ML is really exciting. I’ve seen and personally worked on projects promoting tech modernization. We've deployed applications to public cloud running with masked confidential data, orchestrated app deployment to the firm's internal Kubernetes cluster space, and now even rewriting our apps on top of Apache Flink for a more robust stream processing.

Why should someone choose to work in a software engineering role at JPMorgan Chase?

Meghana: Apart from gaining exposure to cutting-edge technologies and having the freedom and flexibility to chart your career path, you will also have access to numerous platforms, like Tech For Social Good, Business Resource Groups, learning forums, Hackathons and so much more. These will enable you to let your other qualities/capabilities like leadership, volunteering, organization and innovation shine through as well.

Ezequiel: You should choose JPMorgan Chase because of the opportunities that the firm gives you. You can grow as much as you want. You can also take a lot of courses that the firm provides you, not only technical courses, but also business-oriented.

Jon: Although JPMorgan Chase is the only software engineering role I've had, I've heard that the company culture is special. It definitely feels like the company has invested in its employees with learning opportunities, wellness incentives, hackathons, tech talks, etc. that all feed into career progression, while stoking the various interests of the individual.

Business Resource Groups are also good ways to connect with others you may specifically identify with within the firm (minority, LGBTQ+, etc.).

What can someone do at JPMorgan Chase that they could not do somewhere else?

Ezequiel: For anyone who works with data in their daily job you are going to be amazed with the enormous amount of data that you have to work with. It is really challenging because every line of code must be written thinking on performance, no delays are allowed.

Keziah: The Force for Good program is a volunteering opportunity that we can take part in. It is exciting and rewarding to spend time with charities, helping them realize their tech aspirations, plus it gave me the opportunity to learn new coding languages and try new technologies like AI and machine learning.

Clarence: Compared to other financial institutions, I think JPMorgan Chase offers a wider range of areas that developers can choose from to build their profiles and gain experience. In addition, although the firm is a bank, I often see a lot more similarities between the firm and other tech companies versus other banks especially when it comes to keeping the culture of innovation and the agility to make use of technology to better serve clients.

How has your role helped you develop as a software engineer?

Meghana: I have had the autonomy in making my own decisions from the get-go. This allowed me to not only adopt a growth-mindset, but also learn from my failures instead of shying away from accountability. Over time, I was able to not just meet goals and deliver on crucial business requirements, but also lead by example and propose better ideas or methodologies for my team to follow in order to simplify a complex issue.

Jon: I gained experience in how to work in a professional team, as well as technical experience in various technologies. Being able to actually work in the field has also helped me build priorities in areas where I want to steer my career.

Keziah: My role has taught me to design and think holistically about how complex systems work. I work with a combination of legacy and new components, and my team is always thinking of ways to improve the apps that we manage. I started from a relatively inexperienced back-end engineer to a full stack engineer in a matter of months, thanks to the support and teaching of my teammates.

Clarence: I've been provided with opportunities to understand not just the technical aspect of our app's implementations, but also seeing how our efforts allow our business stakeholders to succeed. I've been given flexibility to choose what I want to focus on, from writing RESTful services using web frameworks, to deploying containerized applications to the firm's cloud clusters.

What are some notable projects and/or accomplishments in your role?

Ezequiel: I have worked in several projects in the last two years. These projects have helped our traders and controllers handle data in a safer and faster way. 

Jon: Some of the projects I worked on were:

- Built strong familiarity with public cloud products to help build and maintain a cloud platform for machine learning within the firm

- Developed and managed an EMR bootstrap process that was deployed to public could environments that made installing packages easier 

- Worked on a proof-of-concept involving the usage of public cloud Sagemaker endpoints

- Implemented a microservice that reads from the Stratus API, which compiles information from private cloud deployments

Keziah: Currently I am involved in moving our app onto the Gaia Kubernetes Platform, the firm's internal Kubernetes. The migration to cloud technologies has been very interesting, it is incredibly powerful and flexible. It has also given us the ability to increase telemetry and improve debugging via a combination of platforms.

Would you be able to describe how something you have worked on at JPMorgan Chase has had an impact for either end-users or for your community?

Meghana: I took the lead in designing, developing and delivering critical Resiliency management dashboards for firm-wide applications. This helps application owners prepare themselves for a possible fail-over at an application or data center level and manage their app's underlying infrastructure. It allows our end-users, primarily the Global Technology Resiliency Management Team, stay on top of disaster recovery and avoid long periods of downtime and losses in business revenue.

Keziah: I'm a member of the SEP committee for Glasgow, and through that I have been able to organize a speaker series on mental health, bringing a licensed counselor in to help our SEPs with the effects that lockdown and the pandemic has had on our mental health. It's been surreal to start our careers entirely virtually, but through the committee role I have organized networking sessions like game nights and coffee mornings to strengthen the bonds we have in our community.

Would you have any advice for future interns? 

Ezequiel: Don't be afraid to ask, even if you think that the question you are about to ask makes no sense. The more questions you ask, the faster you will become more productive.

Jon: Treat this as a learning experience and build perspective. Decide what you like and what you don't, and choose where your career continues to go. But before you can do that, you need to experience the work environment first.