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Life at Toast Blog

Toaster Spotlight: Randy, Sr. Software Engineer Team Lead

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Kate C.
Program Manager, Employee Experience

 

Randy is a Senior Software Engineer Team Lead, who started at Toast in 2016. He recently wrapped up his sabbatical, which allows Toasters to take up to four weeks off – with full pay and benefits – after reaching their fifth employment anniversary. Meet Randy Song, our Toaster Spotlight of the Month.

 

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Can you describe your day-to-day work?

I work in Payments Digital Channels at Toast, creating application programming interfaces (APIs) so that anyone can accept digital payments. I coordinate with other engineering teams, prioritizing their needs with improvements my team is trying to make. I teach my teammates how our code base works, I review their code, help plan different projects and then, you know, in my spare time I'll write some code. 


What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I really like cooking. I enjoy food more than I enjoy cooking, but it’s a vehicle for eating. I like to rock climb, but I have not been doing a good job rock climbing recently, so I need to get back in the habit of it. I used to do a lot of running, another thing I want to get back into, it’s hard in the winter. I play a lot of video games, sometimes too much. I enjoy snowboarding as well.

 

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You started working at a restaurant during your time at Toast, correct? 

From 2017 to 2020, I worked one weekend a month at an udon shop. So the reason I decided to work there was because I was at Toast, at a restaurant point of sale company. I wanted to understand what our customers have to deal with day-to-day. I really love the food, that was half the reason I went, I just wanted to learn how to make the noodles.

 

What did you learn from it?

At that restaurant, every morning, we would state our goals for the day, and at the end of the day, you would reflect. “Did I accomplish my goals? Why didn't I? What can I do instead?” And you find all these little micro improvements that you can make around the kitchen.


And I started to go into my daily work at Toast thinking, “How can I be more effective at my job? What can I learn, whether it be how I communicate with coworkers, whether it be how I structure my documents, whether it be how I write my code or how I do my pull request reviews?” Just thinking about what little things I can change that can help improve my work.


How’d you spend your sabbatical?

On the weekends, I went on a snowboarding trip with some friends to Killington, Vermont and another in Utah, and that was my first snowboarding experience outside of the East Coast. And then my girlfriend and I went to visit one of her friends in Texas. During the week, I worked on a coding project I’ve been wanting to get to for a while, around organic content reviews of products.

 

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