Looking for a new job in the sprawling tech industry can be a thrill. But it can also be a bit…overwhelming. Researching companies; matching mission statements to personal values, going through multiple rounds of interviews and rewriting cover letters can feel like a job itself – especially in the Lone Star State. During the pandemic alone, more than 150 companies either moved or expanded their base of operations within the city limits.
That boom means companies have to offer more than just a paycheck to draw in top employees and expect them to stay long term. Team culture, diversity and inclusion efforts, opportunities for continued education, and making real-world differences are all becoming vital parts of the package.
“I took three things into consideration before I accepted a job at Mothership: company culture, leadership and opportunity,” Rachel Ku, senior product manager at the logistics company, said.
“For me, staying up to date on my passion for pay-per-click marketing efforts has been a major focus in my career,” Paula Thompson, media director at Effective Spend, added.
Built In Austin caught up with 11 local tech pros to learn more about what drew them to their roles, what passion projects get them out of bed, and what made them stick around for the long haul.
Effective Spend is a digital marketing agency utilizing techniques to develop profitable campaigns for clients, allowing them to grow their business. The agency’s comprehensive approach combines paid search, paid social, display media, digital PR and SEO services.
An ongoing education: “I have been at Effective Spend over eight years now – which is incredibly long for an agency tenure,” Thompson said. “One of the main reasons I have continued to stay is the knowledge and skill set I am continuing to develop within my position. For me, staying up to date on my passion for pay-per-click marketing efforts has been a major focus in my career.”
Developing the future: “I started when the company was maybe six people at most, and now we are over 50 people with offices in Austin and Los Angeles. The majority of our clients are from referrals or word of mouth. In the future, I see us continuing to grow both in our client base as well as our personnel. My role in our growth will be to develop my team and other members of the agency to ensure we are delivering the best PPC efforts out there.”
Security software company Polychain Labs enables stakeholders to use their crypto in secure and novel ways. They provide research and recommendations so that holders can effectively manage their risks and rewards.
Breaking the industry mold: “Polychain Labs is the longest – and most fun – job I’ve had,” Witoff said. “The people are great, the technical challenges are enormous, and we have the time and expertise to hold a high technical bar that I’m proud of. This is hard at many startups where you’re chasing product-market fit. But we’ve run labs like a business and ensured we have both the revenues and partnerships that ensure we can do an industry-leading job.”
Daily innovation: “We’ve embraced the blistering, unpredictable pace of crypto and built a small senior team empowered to stay at the forefront of the industry. Networks like Polkadot are seeing new ideas and upgrades on a daily basis. We work closely with core devs to understand the risks associated with, for example, new parachains, parathreads and opportunities for collation, and are testing and contributing back to upgrades on a daily basis.”
Shipping platform Mothership creates improved access to scale to make freight shipping more efficient. Pooling freight and optimizing routes, reducing individual company footprints, and eliminating dead miles are some of the ways the company is helping businesses short term and the environment long term.
Finding the perfect fit: “I took three things into consideration before I accepted a job at Mothership: company culture, leadership, and opportunity,” Ku said. “As I assessed the company, I spoke with the CEO, engineering leads, and UX leads. The transparency, collaboration and a fanatical customer-centric mindset aligned with my personal working philosophy.”
“I am empowered to make decisions, and if I need guidance, I can always get it. Mothership encourages ownership, which creates opportunities for employees to grow. For example, the day after I joined, I was able to dive in and deliver a mission critical feature with the support of my team. I really appreciated getting to have an impact on my first week.”
Expanding impact: “I’m most excited by the growth we’re experiencing. As we expand into new markets at a breakneck pace, we find that our customers really love our product! So, we’re leaning in and focusing on delivering the highest quality product experience possible.”
“Currently, I am working with our engineering, UX, sales, and marketing teams to develop product loops to accelerate the growth we’re experiencing. We’re leveraging Brian Chesky’s 11-star experience framework to push ourselves to think big and derive growth the right way. Good products speak for themselves, and a great experience is the foundation of hypergrowth products.”
ThousandEyes helps enterprise companies better deal with network issues that slow down their app, website and service performance. The platform monitors the performance of cloud servers, internet providers and browsers, and alerts companies when there’s an issue that could affect the end user’s experience.
On the right track: “I decided to join ThousandEyes two years ago for the people, the culture and the high-growth trajectory that the company is on,” Hollingsworth said. “It’s been the most rewarding stop so far on my career journey to work alongside such talented, humble and hungry people. I enjoy being surrounded by people who are much smarter and more talented than I am.”
Asking the right questions: “What excites me the most about the future of ThousandEyes (now a part of Cisco) is how relevant our software is to solving real business problems. We give customers visibility into the networks that are outside of their control but have an impact on customer and employee experience, including solving for new problems presented during the pandemic and a growing remote workforce. Being a part of Cisco has given us additional resources and access to an immense global customer base that we can serve.”
“Specifically for my team, we continue to have a customer first attitude and a maniacal focus on enabling our customers to be successful. My team is constantly challenged and stretched to evolve in order to support a growing customer base. Plus, there’s never a dull moment, which makes the work exciting and rewarding!”
Dropbox is a leading provider of Cloud storage solutions with the capability to fulfill the storage needs of both individuals and enterprises alike. The company is dedicated to designing a more enlightened way of working, providing its users with secure file sharing, collaboration and storage solutions.
Comfort in confidence: “While other companies were only able to tell me what they might do, I was so impressed that Dropbox could tell me what they were doing!” Keenan said. “Dropbox announced back in October 2020 that as a company, they were going ‘Virtual First’ – meaning remote work would be the primary experience for all employees and at a later point, in-person collaboration would be available at their Dropbox Studios.”
“When I accepted my job, it was the most certain I had felt in the last year. I could finally plan for the future knowing that I wasn’t waiting on an ever-changing reopen date or to know if I’d be required back in an office. This showed me that Dropbox cared enough about their employees to give them answers as soon as possible, along with the resources needed to make work from home the best option.”
Freedom in flexibility: “Dropbox is perfectly positioned to help usher in this transition to remote work – after all, our company was founded to keep people connected…
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