Life at Playstation (SIE)

I’ve been working at Playstation (the company is actually named Sony Interactive Entertainment, what you see on a PS5 game loading screen) as a Software Engineer II for 1 year and 6 months (according to LinkedIn). I have had a lot of ups and downs here as it is not an easy job. I work on SIE’s own OAuth service, which provides a way for a user to have an identity on Sony’s online platform. What that means is that if you create an account with any Sony service, or Playstation or what not, you will have an ID that you can use to log in to any other site using our service. On a high level, it’s simple to explain what I do. I handle login for Playstation. But on the underlying level, there is a lot of work to be done.

I guess to start off this series of blogs of my Life at Playstation, let me talk about how I got here in the first place and how I ended up as a Software Engineer for the OAuth team.

Before working at Playstation, I was working at a start-up-ish company named Transcend Insights, who was owned by Humana at the time. There, I was a full-stack-mostly-backend engineer where I was building out brand new services for care providers to better serve their patients. One of the things I worked on while there was integrating our service with Microsoft’s identity platform. In using that, I had to learn all about what tokens are and what the implicit flow is, what JWTs are and everything about OAuth. Basically, documentation here is all I had to learn. I had also started looking for a new job, for possibly higher pay and more experience working with higher traffic systems and production engineering. My experience with OAuth, my desire to work on higher traffic systems and weeks of studying algorithm questions led me to obtaining a job at Playstation, where I am now an engineer for hundreds of thousands to millions of requests per day. If you ever had problems logging in to Playstation, or using their service, that was probably me haha. But we’re solid now, try hacking our service I dare ye.

While at Playstation, I have had the opportunity to meet many smart people, and experience many different aspects of software development. I have had to join war rooms when the service had gone down and triage throughout the night, I have had to learn AWS and how to deploy new instances, I have become familiar with tools like Splunk, Datadog, Load testing in production, and I have grown a deeper knowledge of OAuth (man what a pain it is, but it is so important with how the internet operates today and security).

I do feel like I have leveled up as an engineer, because the job requires me to be more patient and more precise with every aspect of the engineering lifecycle. The work I do affects millions, and if I mess up, there will be some long nights for many. I’ve learned not to leave any open ends for APIs that I develop. I’ve learned the importance of logging and not overlogging. I’ve learned the importance of the data with OAuth and how it can lead to safer and more secure systems, and why it might be important to track certain ethically-debatable security datapoints. But, I also know there is so much out there to learn, and what I do next, I must rely on my knowledge and more to be successful.

Overall, I appreciate the opportunity I have at Playstation and how I can affect the lives of so many without even knowing it. Life is good, and it can only get better as I push myself further along. I feel like I have so much more to write, but I think that can go into other posts on this blog. We’ll just have to see.

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