Meet Chris Tang, Frontend Engineer and the very latest addition to the talented Disqus team. Chris joined last month to shore up our Engineering department and quickly demonstrated a knack for making a huge impact right out of the gates. Let's take a look at Chris' career journey so far and what he likes most about being a part of the Disqus team.
What was your journey to becoming a Frontend Engineer at Disqus?
My journey began at Humanities Technology at UCLA where I built and maintained a handful of department websites. After I left UCLA, I joined the tech accelerator OS Labs as a core contributor to ReacType, an open-source prototyping tool for React applications. And after OS Labs, I was recruited to join Zeta Global on the Disqus business unit, which is where I am today!
What first attracted you to Disqus?
The two things that first attracted me to Disqus were the engineering team and the product’s engineering challenges. In terms of the team, I remember the system design interview really standing out to me. I, like most people, don’t usually find interviews particularly fun (is there anyone who does?), but I actually found myself enjoying the process of building out the system and talking through the various technical challenges and speedbumps with the team. By the end of the interview, I felt like I could see myself being a part of the team, solving future problems together, and learning from the other brilliant engineers on the team. Aside from that, I found the technical challenge of thinking through and tackling problems that would affect and improve the experience of millions of Disqus users to be very attractive and appealing.
What is something you’re particularly proud of that you’ve achieved so far at Disqus?
I’m proud of the accessibility and safety improvements that I’ve had the opportunity to spearhead while I’ve been here at Disqus! I’m always thinking about the whole spectrum of end-users with every line of code that I write, so it’s particularly meaningful that my time here has been highlighted by changes that will have a high impact on everyone who uses our tool.
What is something unique about the team you are on?
Every engineer has their own specialty and strengths, and we balance that with a high degree of cohesion and cross-functionality. I love being able to learn from fellow engineers on the team, and it’s particularly motivating to me to have opportunities to contribute across the stack. I also appreciate that the greater Disqus team values our input as engineers for the product that we’re putting together, so it really feels like there is a high degree of ownership across the business unit.
What’s your personal mantra, and where did it come from?
“Progress over perfection.” I’m an enneagram type 2 with wing 3 tendencies, and one way that comes through is how I can be driven by a mixture of optimism and competitiveness. This means that I have a tendency to set the bar really high for myself, which on one hand pushes me towards excellence, but on the other hand sets me up for disappointment. This mantra reminds me to extend grace to myself when I fall short of expectations, stop for a moment to take accountability and learn from my mistakes, and continue to push forward and strive to be better.
What does Disqus’ mission mean to you?
The internet is a big and scary place with endless amounts of content. With modern search engines and matching algorithms, finding the content that we’re looking for is a relatively simple task, but finding a community to engage with around that content is much more difficult. That’s where I see the work that we do at Disqus come in. Our product provides the service that frees up publishers and commenters to focus their efforts on what they each do best: publish amazing content and discuss that content with the rest of the community.
If you could give a new Disqus employee one piece of advice, what would it be?
Lean into being new! Everyone on the Disqus team is super kind, friendly, non-judgmental, and happy to help with any issue or question that comes up. In the same vein, your teammates can’t help you if they don’t know that you’re struggling with something, so it’s always best to communicate any pain points so they can be addressed. And on a similar note, ask for feedback and don’t be afraid to give it as well. A valuable and unique quality of the Disqus business unit is that feedback is both encouraged and quickly acted upon. At the end of the day, we all share the same goal of putting out the best product possible, so it’s great to be in an environment where we are all striving towards that.
Looking to take the next leap forward in your career and start making an impact? Want to join a team that encourages you to innovate and make your voice heard every step of the way? If so, we'd love to talk to you. Apply to one of our open roles or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org today.