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Inside Atom Finance: Meet full stack engineer Harrison Qu

How Harrison explains his job to a kindergartner. Plus, his stance on the communal office candy dish.

APRIL 15, 2022   |   4 MIN READ

Professional headshot of Atom Finance employee Harrison Qu.

Tell us where you grew up without telling us where you grew up. 

For my fellow programmers: Import { Soybeans, Pork, Corn } from ‘./mysteryState’;

For my fellow nonprogrammers: Despite everyone calling this state Ohio, it isn’t actually Ohio. 

Fun facts: It’s 92% farmland and the hog to human ratio is 4:1.

What's your biggest pet peeve?

Either when people just stand in the bike lane or when people walking on the sidewalk suddenly brake check you (i.e., just stop walking).

As an employee, what are the most important qualities you look for in a company?

The first thing I look for is the culture and the people. These are the people you’ll be learning from, getting to know, and working with toward a common goal—and who knows, you may also make life-long friends. I also look at the company’s mission and product and how driven and passionate the team is.

What skill did you learn from your first job that you still use today? 

My first job was as a theater assistant for an improv show called “Comedy Sportz.” This job really helped me develop my soft skills, and I learned a lot about interpersonal communication. I think communication is one of the most important things (if not the most important thing) when working with a team.

Communal candy dish on your desk in the office. Yay or nay? 

Absolute yay! There was a time when I was obsessed with a new type of candy—Nerds Gummy Clusters. I brought a bag into the office to get everyone else addicted, and it was like Halloween in July.

How would you explain your job responsibilities to a kindergartener?

I write things that tell computers what to do. Sometimes it works. Oftentimes it doesn’t, but I just keep trying different things until the computer decides to listen.

What food did you hate as a child that you still hate as an adult?

Cottage cheese still gives me goose bumps.

Share an inspirational motto or quote that resonates with you.

Although I’m very bad at remembering quotes perfectly, there’s one quote that has stuck with me since high school. I actually have a sticker of it on my laptop: “‘Tis a lesson you should heed, Try, try again. If at first you don't succeed, Try, try again.”

I love this quote because it’s a great reminder that success doesn’t come easy, nor does it usually happen on the first attempt, but rather it’s a result of a hardwork and dedication.

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