How I got a job at Twitter

Tips from a successful Uni of York grad

Tom Brearley graduated from York with a BEng in Computer  Science, and now works  at Twitter Inc, California.

Tom Brearley
Tom Brearley

Tom works as a software engineer on Twitter’s revenue team and broadly builds and maintains current and new sites for Twitter.

Recently, his work has involved building infrastructure as part of the revenue team, working on projects like ads on Twitter and back-end tools for their advertising platform.

The Best things about my job

“I primarily enjoy my working environment, especially the team and people I work with. The range of expertise and experience in the industry cultivates an atmosphere which acts as a catalyst to my thinking and creativity in my role.”

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He highlights that what matters to the company is results. “As long as you’re not letting your team down, everyone is fairly relaxed with whichever working platform you establish and sometimes where you choose to work.

“Twitter also provides generous perks for its employees, such as free health insurance, free meals and a flexible approach to vacations.” But like any job, “there will be busy periods when deadlines creep” and the pressure on time becomes a challenge.

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Venice Beach, California

Skills and qualifications

Besides requiring a degree in order to get a visa to work in the United States, Tom built a skill set whilst developing the successful app Twitterfall with friend David Somers whilst studying his course.

Tom says, “The course content definitely attributed to my ability to develop and build Twitterfall.”

Tom also naturally picked up the skills and expertise Twitter was looking for due to his involvement and his familiarity with the Twittersphere.

Other skills that Tom feels helped his employability include general programming experience, sound technical knowledge and the ability to think through planning and projects, all skills he picked up during his degree.

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Some advice

Tom interviews graduates at Twitter, and he gives the following advice: “Stay sharp on your knowledge – you can very quickly mess up an interview if you don’t answer those questions strongly.

“Topics I covered in my degree are used in industry to solve broad computer science issues, so staying up to speed with those will serve you well in, and beyond, employment.”

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Rollerblading near Venice Beach, California

Career progression

At the moment, Tom wants to stay at Twitter, as he enjoys the environment and the people he works with.

At some point in the near future, he might think about progressing through their “tech ladder system”, gaining more responsibility and focused experience in specific parts of the business, “possibly working up to senior management in the future”.