Eight Questions: Jenny Kim, Member of Technical Staff, Frontend Custody

Headshot and abstract illustrations

Welcome to Eight Questions, where we profile individual members of the Anchorage Digital team, diving into their career paths, what brought them to crypto, and what makes them tick. Why eight? Because it’s the number of decimal places a bitcoin can be divided into. It’s also the last single digit number in a Fibonacci Sequence, and we like that.

Jenny Kim, Member of Technical Staff, Frontend Custody

Next in our series is Jenny Kim, a software engineer at Anchorage Digital. Based in the LA area, she holds bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and computer science from UC Irvine. It was at Irvine where Jenny discovered her passion for crypto, which led her from a sales engagement platform to Anchorage Digital in 2021. When she’s not working with her team to find cutting-edge solutions for custody clients, you can find her unwinding with her cats Cassie and Remy, or exploring LA’s food scene.

1. As a frontend developer, your work really impacts how clients interact with the Anchorage Digital platform and website. Can you tell us what kinds of things you work on day-to-day?

I get to work on a ton of really cool projects—something that I love about my work is that it directly affects the way people interact with our product. That makes building things quite exciting. I've had the opportunity to work on a range of projects: building an interface for NFTs under our custody, supporting major actions like asset withdrawals on our web application and even work around architectural changes such as moving our apps to use newer technologies like Next.js. 

In terms of my day-to-day, I like to stack my meetings to be in the mornings so that I can allocate the rest of my day to the different tasks I need to do. I really appreciate our Engineering commitment to “no meeting Wednesdays,” which gives me a whole day to focus on whatever I need to without any distractions! 

2. What are some of the interesting challenges you face within this role?

As engineers, we’re always looking to work on projects that incorporate the latest technology — which allows us to continuously upgrade both the end product and our own skill sets. The type of challenges we face include:

  • Continuously learning new technology like upgrading stacks, adding new features, moving from Create React App to Next.js.
  • Working to meet the highest standards in security—given that our work in the digital asset space involves handling sensitive financial data.
  • We’re constantly updating both our technology and our stack to keep up to date with the latest libraries and tools. That work keeps me on my toes because crypto is an ever-evolving industry.
  • And a favorite challenge of mine: our team-wide offsites, where people come together to achieve a goal in a certain amount of time. Whether it's building a proof of concept or a prototype, these are times that I feel empowered by my team and unified to work towards a challenging but common goal.

3. What sets apart the work experience at Anchorage Digital for you?

Besides the interesting problems I get to work on, I feel very fortunate to have such wonderful people to work with. I am surrounded by such supportive team members and managers who make it so easy to grow and learn within the company. We have a flat team with no hierarchies and everyone gets a chance to lead projects and learn from each other. The helpfulness of the team inspires me to do that for others. 

4. As you know, our Head of Engineering, CJ Jouhal who I interviewed in 2023 is hyper-committed to the career growth of his team. Can you tell me about ways you’re encouraged to grow with your manager and how you see manager-engineer relationships across the company? 

I’ve been with my manager, Neel, since I joined the company around 2 years ago. He’s been essential in helping me grow as both an engineer and an individual. Goal-setting is an important value for me, so our regular GROWTH conversations are such a valuable resource for me.

Through talks with Neel, I’ve grown more comfortable speaking about projects I want—knowing he will support me and point me in the right direction. I see it as a space to be open about my career path, receive honest feedback and have productive discussions about what our team wants to accomplish.

Across the company, I think these growth conversations set us apart. Cultivating a strong manager-engineer relationship is so important, and everyone takes that very seriously here. Beyond that, our team has offsites once or twice a year–which lets us get together and bond in the same location!

5. You had an interesting decision-point when it came to deciding to study computer science rather than go another direction, how did you decide engineering was the right path for you?

I actually started out studying psychology while I was an undergraduate at UC Irvine. However, during my 3rd year of college, I decided to take an Intro to Computer Science course because I remembered how much I enjoyed creating Myspace and Neopets layouts for fun when I was younger. 

In that class, I realized what truly sparked my interests extended beyond just understanding human behavior to encompass the creative aspects of coding. There’s a certain joy I get from problem solving. I love building and designing user interfaces that have a real impact. So, I decided to make the switch to computer science. Even though it was daunting to change my major so late, I am so grateful I did.

6. Outside of professional growth, any new goals for 2024?

One goal I’ve set for myself this year is to do more things outside of my comfort zone. Running was something I was never good at so I’ve made it a goal for myself to run more and have even signed up for a half marathon. 

Another goal is to spend more time outside and be more active in general. As an engineer, I spend a lot of my time looking at a screen—so it’s nice to disconnect and give my eyes a break. I’ve picked up pickleball as a hobby recently, which has been a lot of fun and has replaced my time playing video games!

7. What have been some of your biggest growth moments, professionally? What advice would you give to other engineers at earlier stages of their careers? 

I’ve experienced my greatest growth moment when I am in a state of discomfort. I use the term discomfort to mean when I’m  stepping outside of my comfort zone and pushing myself to take on new challenges. When I feel comfortable with the projects I am working on, that’s when I know I have stepped into a new stage of growth and am ready for the next big challenge. 

My advice to anyone looking to grow in their career: Don’t be afraid to take on projects that seem ominous or unknown. Those are the greatest learning experiences and always trust the process. Your team is your greatest resource!

8. Last question, what advice would you give to someone considering applying for an engineering position with us?

I would say to go for it! If you’re interested in pioneering the next phase of crypto or want to be in an environment that really pushes your growth and knowledge in this space, then come to Anchorage Digital!

Interested in joining Jenny and the rest of our exceptional engineering team? Explore opportunities at Anchorage Digital Careers and join us in building the future of finance.

About Anchorage Digital

Anchorage Digital is a crypto platform that enables institutions to participate in digital assets through custody, staking, trading, governance, settlement, and the industry’s leading security infrastructure. Home to Anchorage Digital Bank N.A., the only federally chartered crypto bank in the U.S., Anchorage Digital also serves institutions through Anchorage Digital Singapore, Porto by Anchorage Digital, and other offerings. The company is funded by leading institutions including Andreessen Horowitz, GIC, Goldman Sachs, KKR, and Visa, with its Series D valuation over $3 billion. Founded in 2017 in San Francisco, California, Anchorage Digital has offices in New York, New York; Porto, Portugal; Singapore; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Learn more at anchorage.com, on X @Anchorage, and on LinkedIn.

This post is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities in Anchor Labs, Inc., or any of its subsidiaries, and should not be relied upon to make any investment decisions. Furthermore, nothing within this announcement is intended to provide tax, legal, or investment advice and its contents should not be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security or digital asset or to engage in any transaction therein.

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