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Carving A Career Path: Norman Truong

Introduce yourself. How long have you been working at Cash App? What team are you currently part of?

I’m Norman. I’ve been on Cash App since January 2019. I’m a Machine Learning Modeler on the Data Science team.

What I do, essentially, is use machine learning to precisely detect, prevent and block fraud from happening on our platform.

It’s a very cross-disciplinary and exciting place to be right now. I enjoy being here a lot!

You’re a bioengineer, with a PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. How did you end up doing what you do?

I’ve always been interested in science and the research that goes into developing products that can improve our quality of life, from a very quantitative perspective. A lot of work I did during my PhD was very experimentally driven, and what I enjoyed most was breaking down problems, then implementing quantitative solutions to address the most important or pressing aspects of these problems.

I wanted to focus more on the computational side of things, so I applied to a bootcamp program, and I was interviewed by Cash App.

It’s been an interesting journey, learning more about myself and my interests, trying to carve out a path towards the kind of work life I want.

Why did you choose Cash App?

At that time, Cash App was still very small; the Data Science team was eight or nine people. I felt that I could learn a lot from that startup-like environment, and there was ample opportunity to work on a wide range of interesting problems on a rapidly growing product.

The other thing was definitely the people! Everyone that I met was super friendly. I made connections with many of them during my interviews.

What’s one thing that makes Cash App a unique place to work?

The ability to work with several other teams in a very involving and engaging manner. To complete some projects, we need the full participation of several teams, so figuring out requirements together and understanding, respecting, and addressing divergent perspectives has been fulfilling.

The fact that we’re so distributed as a workforce makes it even more challenging, in a really good way. It teaches us to be more efficient at planning and aligning on perspectives, often asynchronously.

One of our main goals is to make Cash App a place where you can - and want to! - spend your entire career. How do you see this happening?

Cash App is very rapidly growing, and it’s only going to grow even more, so being able to experience this type of growth working on different teams and domains is very appealing, as a curious person.

I also enjoy working with my coworkers, and I’ve been learning a lot from them. That's a big part of what I value: healthy relationships.