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Lead Software Engineer Paying It Forward
John Poling, Lead Software Engineer
One of the things I like about working at T. Rowe is being immersed in this mindset of planning your financial goals for retirement. You get a discount on retiring here, that’s how I see it.

When John Poling applied for a job at T. Rowe Price in 2004, he was a college student sitting in a computer lab. 

“It was a data architect position, and I was totally unqualified for it, coming out of college,” he remembers with a laugh. “I got a call a few days later from a recruiter. In the nicest way possible, he said, ‘You’re not qualified, but we’d like you to interview for an entry-level tech position.’” 

That act of kindness nearly 20 years ago led John to land his first job at the firm. Today, he is a lead software engineer supporting the suite of digital experiences for Individual Investor clients enrolled in the firm’s advice solutions. 

Culture of Learning and Collaboration

In his early days at the firm, John remembers a particular colleague who took an interest in his career.

“I remember many times sitting in his cubicle with him. He’d explain fundamental concepts about being a programmer,” John says. “He was a very patient individual. He never made me feel stupid if I asked a dumb question.”

Those early mentoring experiences inspired John to take new technologists under his wing.

“Helping people: It’s human nature, it’s part of my nature,” he says.

Finding Deeper Purpose

Working on the team supporting Individual Investors client technology has also brought a sense of fulfillment and purpose to John’s work.

“I’m at the age where I see older people in my life—my parents, aunts, uncles—facing the same question: ‘Do I have enough money to retire?’ We built something to help people answer these questions, navigate that in their lives,” he says, referring to the Advice tools suite. 

Along the way in his career, an added benefit of working in tech in financial services has been building his own personal financial acumen, as well.

“One of the things I like about working at T. Rowe is being immersed in this mindset of planning your financial goals for retirement,” he says. “You get a discount on retiring here, that’s how I see it.”

Paying It Forward

Now, as a leader in a software development league, John is doing his part to continue the culture of collaboration and learning that he experienced as a young professional. 

Evan Orie, a software developer who was a contractor when he met John, was inspired by John’s helpful nature firsthand when he joined the firm.

“Every time I would approach him with a question, he was always eager to help. He is someone who will always go the extra mile to make sure you are in a good place. He would ask, ‘Did you think about this?’ He would ask follow-up questions,” Evan says. “I thought, ‘John is the kind of developer I want to be when I grow up.’”

Years later, Evan joined John as a tech lead in the Advice agile league.

“He’s not just able to give me some time, but happy to give me some time,” Evan says. “When I’m talking to him, he’s totally engaged. I try to emulate that in my time with the developers on my team.”

For John, paying it forward at T. Rowe Price happens in many forms: Helping colleagues to develop through mentoring, teaching, and solving tough tech problems together and developing technology solutions to help clients achieve their financial goals. 

Join Us

T. Rowe Price is hiring lead software engineers in our Individual Investors technology group, as we continue to modernize the way we serve our clients. We are transforming client-facing applications using cloud computing, lightweight microservices, single-page application front-ends, and serverless architecture. The client experience is paramount, and the new personalized, guided experiences will help us serve our clients better. 

Engineering leads bring specialized knowledge, expertise, and deep experience in the field of software engineering. They lead and are accountable for their own work and the work of others. They also set standards around which others operate. If you’re looking for a role that combines hands-on coding while coaching and leading a team, please consider applying!

John’s advice for anyone considering a technology role at the firm, particularly those who haven’t worked in the financial services space: “It’s fast-paced,” he says. “There are constant challenges and things to tackle. You’re not going to be bored.”

View technology jobs at the firm to see all opportunities.

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