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Work location: Jersey City, New Jersey, US
Major: Computer Information Systems (but previously Liberal Arts and Finance)
University: Baruch College, City University of New York
Favorite breakfast food: Overnight oats or eggs
Top travel destination: Spain and Japan
Languages spoken: English and Turkish
Favorite ice cream flavor: Strawberry and pistachio
Favorite coffee beverage: The classic old cold brew
Favorite book: The Missing README by Chris Riccomini and Dmitriy Ryaboy (recommended for all the new engineers out there!)
Favorite hobby: Cooking and hiking
Job in a nutshell: I’m a full stack developer working on a web application that serves product owners and users across the firm
Software Engineer, Global Technology
It took Ece Batmaz a while to find her path. In college, she changed majors three times—including a stint in finance—before choosing computer information systems. At first glance, CIS didn't seem a likely choice—at school, she only took two programming classes.
All of that makes her current career a little surprising: Not only does Ece work for a major international bank, but she's also a programmer! The key to her ultimate path was Tech Connect, a JPMorgan Chase program that hires people with different backgrounds and experiences to join the company. Participants go through a Java training course and then start their technology career at the firm. The idea behind the program is to bring fresh perspectives and ideas into the tech world, which means people with no programming experience are just what the program is looking for.
After finishing the Tech Connect bootcamp, Ece joined a team that has supported her growth for the past two years. She continues learning front end and back end processes for the applications, and is taking on some project and people management tasks as well. Today, with new experiences and opportunities constantly coming her way, she has no plans to leave.
What convinced you to choose JPMorgan Chase?
It was really the people. I had already applied to JPMorgan Chase, but hadn't heard back. At the Grace Hopper Celebration for women in technology, I walked up to the JPMorgan Chase booth and connected so well with every single person.
Everyone was super down to earth, welcoming and easy to talk to, and I had a moment of "Wow! These people are really inviting!" They invited me to happy hour and I got to talk with a lot of people, from engineers to senior leaders, and it just felt really good. Afterward, there was no question of going after something else.
When you came to work at JPMorgan Chase, what was your first impression?
It was my first year out of college and I was a little bit intimidated. I was having meetings with team members, executive directors, and managing directors, and it took me a while to get past that. But when we finally met in person, I got the impression that they were human beings, and it made the connection so much better. You feel their energy in the way they talk to you and the effort they make to understand you.
What is your favorite thing about interacting with your managers, co-workers or team?
It's liberating to be able to get to a trusting place with your management where you can say "this is what I want to be working on," and having your manager support you. So my favorite part is being fully myself.
The Software Engineering Program culture is extremely open. You could literally come and ask any question and you'll be connected with someone who can give you some direction. If you have any concerns, or you're interested in new technology or mobility, there's someone to talk to. I met a woman in UX Design, and she's moved with JPMorgan Chase to different countries three or four times. That was one thing that really stood out for me. I'm repeatedly surprised by the openness and how welcoming people are. Like me, my manager doesn't come from a tech background, but if you run into him, you'd think he was a tech whiz or something. He has a way of figuring out every bug and getting past the problems we run into. He's undefeatable. That always surprises me. I keep wondering when we're going to run into an issue that he can't figure out. He encourages me to keep going.
What do you think would surprise people about your job at JPMorgan Chase?
I'm not coding all day long! Although people assume that. There's a lot that goes into being a software engineer. Primarily validating things and making sure it's in a great state to actually go live in market. I don't code 9-5; I do a lot of other things.
What is one challenge you faced at work that really helped you grow?
We didn't have a product owner for a couple of months, and as an engineering team we were in charge of doing design, and considering exactly what users want. That gave me the opportunity to be on the product side, to really understand the business value of the features we're trying to roll out, and how that affects the users.
When you're coding, especially as a new engineer, it takes a while to understand the exact problem statement your product is trying to resolve. Once you get into the vision of the product, that's a whole different story. Not only are we now solving the problem, but we're asking what can we do better.
If you could talk to your younger self about their job search—and, especially, about going to work at JPMorgan Chase—what advice would you give?
I'd tell myself to just go for it. Believe in yourself. Often times we are held back by uncertainty or our fears. You won't overcome the "what if's" until you make things happen.