Award-Winning Secrets to Success from Previous Best Manager Recipients

For the past few years, Tech in Motion Events has encouraged local tech communities to nominate top tech managers from all over North America and celebrated those leaders at the annual Timmy Awards. Thus far, 16 have claimed the trophy as their region’s Best Tech Manager with another 11 looking to hoist the hardware later this year. From bridging the gap between employee and employer to keeping energy levels high, the secrets that these managers shared aren’t just the keys to their success, but also to keeping their teams engaged, eager to constantly improve, and excited to come into work every single day.

Do you have a manager like this? Nominate him or her as a 2017 Timmy Award Best Tech Manager.

Strong management in the workplace impacts every employee within the company. For instance, in a 2015 survey on Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement from The Society for Human Resource Management, 55% of employees surveyed rated the trust between employees and senior management as “very important,” the fifth-highest rated of any aspect considered. For Andrew Santorelli, Senior Development Manager at KANETIX SaaS in Toronto, giving feedback is one thing he has always valued, even from his days as a junior employee. “I always felt like I was doing a good job, but I never knew my manager saw the same thing. It’s hard to know where to put your energy or how to meet expectations when you are not given any feedback.” With the goal of providing more transparency and thus, more trust, Santorelli has implemented various checkpoints throughout the year specifically for giving employees feedback: how they’re doing in the workplace, what areas they’re excelling in, and where they need to improve.

CTA2Of course, there needs to be a balance between work and play. In the survey mentioned above, 53% of employees also rated work/life balance as “very important” to their job satisfaction. However, it’s not just change that has to come from the top: “they always make fun of me because I want to play games or take them to the park,” reflects Eva Pagneux, Product Manager of Hexo+ by Squadrone Systems, based out of San Francisco. She knows that her energy keeps her team motivated even if they do poke fun at her for it.

One of the most important points stressed by multiple managers was finding a style of management that works not just for you, but for the team as well. “Leadership is about responsibility, not authority” says Seth Dobbs, VP of Engineering at HS2 Solutions. Coming from a previous role that included a servant-master relationship with a previous manager, Seth adopted a style of giving responsibility to his employees, so he could lead as a mentor rather than a boss. Empowering rather than directing your employees will help them develop in the long-run.

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And finally, for the advice they’d give all other managers? It’s simple: Venkat Rangasamy, Principal Software Architect at Equinix in San Jose, sums it up best when he says his managing style follows the mantra Do stuff, no bluff.” He suggests to be transparent and a part of the team rather than managing and directing from behind a closed office door. Understand your team members and their concerns, and focus on making others successful, because ultimately, their successes are your successes.

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Ultimately, 2017 will allow 10 regions to crown a new “Best Tech Manager,” one that promotes career growth, ensures a great team culture, inspires innovation, and has a clear and communicated vision to produce a great product. The managers quoted above have embodied what it means to be a great manager by leading their teams to success through their many projects and initiatives and continue to do so year-after-year. To learn more about what it takes to become a Timmy Award-winning manager or to nominate a certain special manager in your life, visit the Timmy Awards’ website here.

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The 2017 Timmy Awards: What to Expect

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Two years ago, Tech in Motion set out to recognize (and celebrate) the best employers for tech professionals in North America through the Timmy Awards. In 2016 alone, the Timmy’s saw more than 2,000 companies nominated and over 83,000 votes cast to name each city’s “Best Technology Manager,” “Best Tech Startup,” and “Best Tech Work Culture.” The Timmy Awards has featured national household names such as Dollar Shave Club, TripAdvisor, Instacart, and Venmo, as well as dozens of local heroes that make each community successful. In pursuit of the same level of success, this year, Tech in Motion is making a few changes to improve the entire award series from the nomination process all the way through to event night. To learn what these changes are, check out the 2017 Timmy Awards FAQ below!

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2017 TIMMY AWARDS FAQ
When will the 2017 Timmy Awards take place?

In the past, the Timmy Awards were spread throughout the year in 10 different regions. This year, the award ceremonies will all take place in the month of September, bringing together our cities in a unified effort to showcase the best employers for technical employees. Every one of the 10 cities will hold a Timmy Award ceremony within a few weeks of each other.

Who can attend? The Timmy Awards is still a free event that is open to the public, not only to attend, but also to submit nominations for. This award series is an amazing opportunity to gain exposure for any companies or individuals in the tech community, and in order to keep it in the local community, we want anyone who is invested in the future of tech in your city to attend, including tech professionals, managers, entrepreneurs, and founders.

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Which awards are presented?

Tech in Motion began with three award categories: Best Tech Manager, Best Tech Startup, and Best Tech Work Culture. This year, Tech in Motion decided to add an additional award category: the Best Tech Workplace for Diversity award. The goal of the original Timmy Awards categories was to recognize companies not just for their use or development of technology, but also for their investment in the people that make technology possible, which the new award category rewards.

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Below are the criteria by which each of the Timmy Awards winners are selected in each category:

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How will the nomination process run in 2017?

Nominations will be open from July 5th to August 14th for 10 regions (Toronto, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, Orange County, LA, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco). Nominations will be open to the public to nominate a company or person that creates the best work environment for technology professionals to work in 1 or all 4 award categories. Additionally, as previous years, nominations will continue to be a two-part process. To be eligible as a finalist for any category, it is required to fill out and complete Part 1 and 2 of the nomination forms. However, we are now automating this process, which means that once you complete Part 1 of the nomination form and are eligible to become a nominee, you should receive an automated email within 24 hours prompting you to complete Part 2.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the 2017 Timmy Awards, as a sponsor, MC, venue host, etc., please contact your local Tech in Motion chapter.

Read about the 2016 Timmy Awards held in various regions by clicking the links below:

What Your Tech Experience Says About How Much You Earn

Tech Salaries by Experience

Tech in Motion’s proud supporter, Workbridge Associates, recently published a report predicting the tech salaries for 2017. In this report, it is forecasted that in 2017, the average salary for a software engineer will increase by approximately 3%, compared to 2016, and reach a total of $107,745 a year. One of the biggest contributing factors of salary growth is experience, and the way that engineers can leverage their experience to get the best possible pay will make the up-most difference. After analyzing thousands of job placements across the US and Canada, we built a graph that demonstrates the growth of annual salaries by experience level in the tech industry.

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Looking for a job in the tech industry? Click here to check out our Online Job Board!

College Grads and Those Who Have Few Years of Experience in the Tech Industry.

You’re probably wondering why the above graph illustrates that having “0 years” or no years of experience in the tech industry can get you a higher paying salary than someone who has one or two years. Surprisingly, entry-level university or college graduates with little to no experience can actually negotiate a 4% higher salary than their peers who already have some experience in the industry. The reasons behind this are: (1) with a shortage of tech talent, there is fierce competition amongst big companies to attract engineers and tech graduates right out of school. (2) If the candidate has little experience, but is already searching for a new job, it’s a big indicator that something went wrong, such as termination of employment. It could also indicate that a person is looking for some type of career change (industry, company, technology, location, etc.) and would be willing to settle for a lower salary. (3) Once graduated, many young people try to find success as entrepreneurs. If that fails, a lot of them will then resort back to the job market, where their experience as entrepreneurs partially counts but their earnings at the time were little to none. Therefore, there is more leverage for an employer to offer less.

Want to get your foot in the door working for a big company? Join us at a Tech in Motion event to meet and network with other tech professionals and enthusiasts in your city! View our calendar here.

Tech Salary Growth Virtually Stops After 15 Years of Experience.

Based on the data we’ve found, below is a breakdown of salary growth after 5, 10, 15, and 30 years of work experience in the tech industry:

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As illustrated, someone with five to ten years of experience will see the biggest increase in salary. This is because there is a vast and apparent difference between, for example, a Java Developer with five years of experience and one with nine years of experience. Also, for many tech professionals, this period could be characterized by a big career move or change, such as relocating to a more pricey area, acquiring a senior or executive level role, learning a new technology, receiving an advanced degree, or switching from a small company to a big one or vice versa.

However, based on the data we’ve found, the growth in salary virtually disappears for tech professionals after 15 years of experience, and there are many reasons why it happens. One reason is that many experienced technologists are moving into higher level roles on the corporate ladder, turning into stakeholders or executives, or becoming independent business owners. Therefore, they are not considered “tech professionals” anymore and are no longer in the same salary bracket.

Another reason why salary growth diminishes for tech professionals after 15 years of experience or more is because it may be hard to keep up with new trends in technology and compete with new tech talent entering the workforce.

Also, it’s hard to convince your employer that your degree from 1990 and your 27 years of experience is better and deserves a higher pay than a person who graduated in 1996. In order to continue growing your salary in the long run, you need to continuously develop your skills and experience.

Contact a local Jobspring Partners or Workbridge Associates to help you in your job search!

Ensuring Steady Growth in Salary after 15 Years of Experience (Or Less):

We recently published an article titled “How to Earn $200K+ as a Software Engineer”, which provides some tips on how to increase your salary in the tech industry. This advice could also be applied to developing your skills and negotiating a higher pay. Here’s a brief overview of what this article has to say:

Want to read the entire article? Check it out here.

  • Consider relocating if you feel that higher paying jobs are limited in your country, region, or city. For example, based on our data, over 60% of tech professionals who make $200K or more live in the San Francisco / San Jose area; another 10% of professionals with salaries over $200K live in New York City.
  • Learn new technologies to be highly demanded or a “hot commodity”. Those who learn cloud computing, data engineering, iOS, Android, C++, DevOps, Java, Perl or UI/UX can expect anywhere from a 7% to 26% increase in salary.
  • Demonstrate that you are not only a developer who knows how to code, but also a leader who can make decisions, train, mentor, supervise, manage, and lead a team. It’s all about how big your impact is on an organization, which is why it is recommended to take additional classes in management and leadership, or even pursue a Master’s degree in engineering, computer science, management, finance, or business administration (MBA). A Master’s degree will help your negotiating power when pursuing a top level position.
  • Consider moving to a bigger or smaller company. For the most part, large companies have more resources and can provide higher salaries and growth opportunities. On the contrary, if you already work for a big organization, try to look around for a small startup, as your experience could be valued as a “treasure” and this company may be willing to pay you more for what you can offer.

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Tech the Halls with Boughs of Holly

Twas the eve of December 8th In 2016, Tech in Motion DC was seated, Timmys winners not yet seen.
The campaigns were all done, and the votes were all tallied. The races were tight, following a few last-minute rallies.
Before the winners could be announced, SHAWN DUBRAVAC took the stage to read them a poem and leave them amazed.
Half cultural zeitgeist, Half yearly retrospective, with only a mic in hand, some favorite moments were selected.
From 2016 and the year after too. With permission granted, we’re sharing it with you.
Whether you read it fast – Or choose to read it slow – we hope it enthralls you, please read it below:

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‘twas the night before Christmas
and in all through the house
there were computers a plenty
but not many a mouse

It’s the end of the year
Another one’s done
So light the yule log
And lets have some fun

2016 was an election year
we’ll surely remember
a flurry of tweets and attacks
until we finally reached November

Make America Great Again
Was a slogan for many
Red hats were adorned
And the memes were aplenty

We relied on online polls
that showed Clinton for the win
but when we woke the next day
the headlines left many, scratching their chin

from Ken Bone in his red sweater
who asked a simple question
to Beyonce who released Lemonade
With lyrics that showed little discretion

And Adele did carpool karaoke
To viral success
While fake news spread across the Internet
Leaving us all very depressed

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And sure smartphone sales are slowing
and tablets sales have fallen off
but 4K TVs continue to do well
while drones and VR are beginning to take off

In a back and forth battle
Apple took on the FBI
To ensure your data remains encrypted
and away from prying eyes

Apple also launched a new iPhone
Now available in matte black
But can someone tell me why oh why
they had to remove the old headphone jack?

We lost some of the greats
like Andy Grove and Prince
But we gained back Alec Baldwin
And have been laughing ever since

It was the year of the Olympics
And the year of Facebook live
Chewbacca Mom had us smiling
And she didn’t even have to try

Bumble, tinder, and others
Had us swiping left and right
But when it came to digital dating
Netflix and chill stole the night

Stranger Things had us rooting for L
While scared of the upside down
We all left craving frozen egos
And wandering why no one see

Vocal computing became all the rage
As Alexa moved in
And when it came to the Mannequin challenge
Those who held motionless would win

So let bygones be bygones
Its soon time to ring in the new year
Forget yesterday’s mistakes
And pull your loved ones near

2017 is looking bright
don’t be filled with remorse
if you didn’t win this year
there’s always next year of course

Do more and be better than you were in 16
shout in the streets and down the halls
a very Merry Merry
Merry Christmas to All!

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Well there you all have it, from all of us on the Tech in Motion team.
Happy holidays to all, we’re excited to ring in 2017.

Ring in 2017 with Tech in Motion in your city. Find an event to attend here.

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Top Tech Leaders in SF Announced at the 2nd Annual Timmys

After submitting 4,600 votes, the world’s biggest tech community selected the winners from the 30 notable finalists, including runner-ups Capital One, Metromile, and Minnie Ingersoll, Founder of Shift Technologies, to represent the best of technology work culture, management and startups in the region.

Join Tech in Motion San Francisco at their Transformation of Tech Mixer! 

“We are excited to celebrate the innovations and achievements of the city’s technology community through Tech in Motion’s Timmy Awards for a second year,” said Andrew Slepitza, Division Manager of Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates San Francisco. “Nominees, finalists and winners all embodied the ambitious spirit of growth and energy that makes the ever-growing and evolving technical talent of the Bay Area want to call San Francisco home.”

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The 2016 San Francisco Timmy Award Winners are:

  • Best Tech Manager – Joanne Pons, Senior Director of Software Engineering, from MyVest
  • Best Tech Startup – PagerDuty
  • Best Tech Work Culture – AppDynamics

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Stay tuned to check out the photos of the 2nd Annual SF Timmy Awards here!

“For our second year hosting the Timmys, the sheer variety of the 125 tech innovators nominated shows how the Bay Area continues to flourish as the biggest tech hub in the country,” said Betsy Martin, Regional Director of Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners SF. “We will continue to build relationships, connect the community, and develop the Timmy Awards to recognize the best workplaces for years to come.

The Timmy Awards are presented throughout the year in cities across North America, including Boston, LA, NYC, San Francisco and Chicago. Previous winners include innovators such as Jet.com, LearnVest, Venmo, Trip Advisor, Gilt, Constant Contact, Casper and Instacart.

Interested in speaking or sponsoring a Timmy Awards? Click here!

In addition to S.F., D.C.’s 2nd Annual Timmy Awards also took place Dec. 8. The next Timmys will take place in Boston and LA in April of 2017. Please visit techinmotionevents.com/awards for more information on the Timmys and to find out when you can attend a ceremony in your city.

More about the Timmy Awards:

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Why These 30 San Francisco Tech Leaders Are Timmy Award Nominees

On December 8th, Tech in Motion is proud to present their 2nd Annual San Francisco Timmy Awards, which will be held at the Autodesk Gallery (One Market St., 2nd Floor). The “Timmys” are hosted by Tech in Motion in tech hubs across North America, with the goal of acknowledging the local companies and individuals that strive to create the best places for technology professionals to work in. After all the votes are in, the finalists in each city come together for one celebratory evening where the winners are crowned as the best (1) technology manager, (2) technology work culture, and (3) tech startup. Here are San Francisco’s impressive finalists.

 

Best Tech Manager

Ayori SelassieAyori Selassie- Senior Solutions Engineer of Salesforce

“Solve big problems both inside the workplace as it relates to diversity and inclusion and outside the workplace by applying their top professional talent”

Ayori developed a framework to promote Work Life Integrity called the Life Model Canvas® and has been very integral at Salesforce in helping employees understand the difference between Work Life Integrity and Work Life Balance.  She developed and delivers workshops on Work Life Integrity where employees use the Life Model Canvas® and the Work Life Integrity Assessment tool to develop alignment of their personal life, family and career goals. Her workshops have been requested throughout the company and have been delivered to many employee groups at Salesforce beyond her own team including Employee Resource Groups, Lean In Circles, the Women’s Technology Leadership group, Business Development group, as well as external audiences at Dreamforce and the Computer History Museum.

Ayori is a standout thought leader for Work Life Integrity who encourages employees to solve big problems both inside the workplace as it relates to diversity and inclusion and outside the workplace by applying their top professional talent to end violence in America with #ThinkDontSqueeze.

Cassy RoweCassy Rowe- Head of UX of Scoop Technologies

“Ownership over work and support in career building”

At Scoop, career growth is one of Cassy’s main focuses for her team. She collaborates with employees to discover what their strengths are and where they want to grow. She then identifies which projects allow her employees to leverage their strengths and watches out for ones that target their desired areas of growth. Her goal is to set her team up for success while allowing them to try new things, step out of their comfort zone, and learn and grow with the support of her expertise.

Scoop leverages today’s advance technologies to create commute relationships between neighbors and co-workers.

Eva PagneuxEva Pagneux – Product Manager of Hexo+ by Squadrone Systems

“Common values and vision are key to success”

Eva focuses her energy on empowering her team to deliver smart devices that simplify people’s lives, setting product vision and supporting their needs. She recently used the design thinking methodology on a purpose exercise where each of team member listed what defines them, what drives them, what the world needs, and then led the exercise to realign together on key themes for their future developments. She also organizes a lot of events – team games, contests, etc. where they have the opportunity to play together and spark ideas.  Because they’re about creating the intelligent systems that do not exist yet, it’s part of her role to stimulate out of the box thinking.

Hexo+ is the first self-flying camera, following and filming you automatically while you focus your energy on the action. After a very successful Kickstarter raising $1.3million in June 2014, they managed to create and deliver 3000 units within a year.

Joanne PonsJoanne Pons – Senior Director, Software Engineering of MyVest

“All should share their opinions, whether they have been with the company for years or they are on day one.”

At MyVest, all team members are paired with a mentor, so they have the opportunity to learn from more experienced team members and  peers. MyVest provides a very generous professional development budget for all employees, and Joanne strongly encourages her team to take full advantage of outside learning and  development opportunities, such as conferences and technical workshops, to build their domain expertise.

MyVest helped an existing customer take advantage of the emerging robo-advisor trend to quickly build their own automated investing offering through their enterprise software platform.

Karl ThomsenKarl Thomsen – CSO of Infuse

“Discussing career growth openly, both formally and informally”

Karl promotes career growth  by arranging formal and informal check-ins with every Infuser. The room in these conversations for the discussion of career growth is infinite. It is up to the employee to decide how deep into the topic of career growth they want to go into with Karl. Karl is known to be extremely easy to talk to about anything, especially career advice. He wants every team member to succeed in their role and his or her  professional career.

One of the products Karl and his team have created for clover is Charity Checkout: Clover’s first and only charity app. This app enables merchants to accept $1 on top of each transaction to donate any of the 60,000+ charities in our database.

Mark TowfiqMark Towfiq – SVP, Product Engineering of UserTesting

“Always looking for ways to improve”

UserTesting’s Engineering Team is based in many different locations (Mountain View, San Francisco, Atlanta) and yet the team is consistently engaged and productive in the company.  Every week the Product and Engineering squads sit down and talk openly with each other. This fosters a culture of comfortable and candid communication.

UserTesting’s Product and Engineering Team are working on perfecting transcriptions of user behavior analytics videos.

Minnie IngersollMinnie Ingersoll – Founder of Shift Technologies

“Striving to be a  role model”  

Minnie created a “management rotation” program for associates one to two years out of school modeled off of Google’s APM program. She leads both the Shift surf trip to Pacifica before weekly All Hands meetings, and  Shift’s running club (while pushing a stroller).

Her team has made it easy to sell used cars from the press of a button. Shift has a sophisticated pricing algorithm that can instantly price cars simply by scanning a car’s VIN from an iphone app.

Prathibha DeshikacharPrathibha Deshikachar – Director, Engineering of AdRoll

“Dedicated and open to hearing likeminded and different minded contributors”

Prathibha leads career growth for the engineering and product team at AdRoll by encouraging outside activities within the Tech community. She is an active member of the internal Tech Ladies organization.  As the company grows she strives to continue improving and sharing.

Adroll’s platform specializes in retargeting customers and works with 15,000 advertisers around the world.

Sebastian TronSebastian Tron – CEO of Hopsy

“Contagious vision”

Sebastian promotes growth through his ecstatic attitude. He pusheshimself beyond the limits of what a manager does in the workplace, and supports personal growth by taking weekly meetings to develop strategies for each employee’s self-growth within the company. He is very attentive to personal needs. He listens to his employees and takes care of them through rewarding them and letting them take time off at any point.

Hopsy has created an intersection in tech and craft beer. Sebastian has created a company that not only supports fresh product, but one that supports the local community.

Susan MernitSusan Mernit – CEO of Hack the Hood

“A framework of innovation and social justice/racial justice”

Susan and Hack the Hood developed two processes that have been huge in creating a strong team culture: a power-sharing process where an elected member of the staff serves a six month rotation on the lead/senior team which ensures that the perspectives of grassroots staffers are heard, and a program called circling up, or clean talk, where staffers can meet in a safe space to talk openly about conflicts and issues as an entire team, without worrying about retaliation or censure. These processes have helped make Hack the Hood a place where people like coming to work and feel safe, seen, and valued.

Hack the Hood connects low-income young people of color and local small businesses through technology, in order to create opportunities for all the people who live in the Bay Area, and beyond, to take part in and lead the change that is happening around them. In 2016, they worked with 9 partners and served 220 youth around the region.

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Best Tech Work Culture

AppDynamics

“Promoting creative growth by maintaining skillsets”

AppDynamics offers a mentorship program that allows higher level employees to train and work with newer employees that are eager to gain professional insight. Their WiT (Women in Tech) initiatives  launched a program targeting  women excited about tech positions, allowing for discounted coding classes and promoting cross function from within.

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AppDynamics measures application performance management and IT Operations Analytics  for small to big enterprises.  Some clients include Microsoft, Salesforce, Glassdoor, and more.

Carbon Five

“A supportive, positive work environment which allows underrepresented groups to thrive in the company; namely women, LGBTQ and people of color”

Carbon Five hosts company summits twice a year featuring a “codeo” event.  At these events, team members are presented with a    theme or a set of projects from which to pick and then implement.  There is always a wide range of resulting projects, some of which are turned into real products. When team members are between projects, Carbon Five encourages its employees to make the most of their bench time, such as writing a blog post, working on an internal project, or researching new ideas .

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Carbon Five is a digital product development consultancy,  partnering with clients to create exceptional products and grow effective teams.

Capital One

“Experiment and try new things”

Capital One has several programs in place that foster innovation and creativity in technology: from a yearly technology wide innovation challenge, to numerous hackathons, and other forums to experiment and display new ideas.

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Capital One provides digital banking products that are continuously evolving and based on the latest technologies.  They were the first large national bank to start moving production workloads to the cloud.

Cooper

“Applying design to create innovative and inspiring work cultures and redefining entire industries”

Cooper is a company that fosters technical creativity through a number of outlets, including their commitment to pair design, thought leadership, and overall work culture. Their practice is founded on striking the balance between championing designer autonomy and pushing pair design to foster a truly innovative environment for technical creativity.

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Cooper is a design and business strategy consultancy, with the mission of helping organizations think big, create delight, and achieve success.

CrossInstall

“Embracing a positive work environment and a work to live philosophy”

Each of the developers at CrossInstall get to own and design their projects end to end, bringing their vision to the development, implementation, and design of the product. CrossInstall gives its employees the freedom and they support the need to tackle hard problems.

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Offering a holistic ad solution for mobile gaming companies, CrossInstall utilizes  PrePlay ads it creates with its programmatic, performance-based bidder to ensure that the ads hit the right target audience.

Stimulant

“Encouraging participation in a wide variety of emerging and creative technology learning opportunities.”

Stimulant’s environment is highly collaborative and creative. They hold daily company-wide “scrum” meetings where everyone is encouraged to share their feedback.  Each team member contributes creative ideas or technology solutions for all active projects. Aside from their daily meetings, they continually encourage open communication when it comes to technical creativity throughout the life cycles and in day to day activities in the studio.

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Stimulant uses emerging technologies to transform static physical spaces into dynamic interactive environments. They craft human-scale, site-specific digital experiences that tell stories in unique ways, drive face-to-face interaction, and create lasting memories.

Treasure Data

“Constantly looking for ways to be more creative”

Treasure Data’s whole company is based on technical creativity. Treasure Data constantly encourages feedback on how processes are being run and management is always available to answer one’s technical questions no matter how small or large.

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Treasure Data a cloud infrastructure for analytics at scale. They are able to collect data from most of a company’s inputs, store that data, and send it to a BI tool using SQL.

Trulia

“Innovation is core of culture”

Employees of Trulia are always working together to create and build the next big thing, and they have a lot of fun along the way. For instance, Trulia hosts a quarterly “Innovation Week” as dedicated time for all employees to experiment with new product ideas or work on projects they’re passionate about. They postpone regularly scheduled meetings and encourage participants to instead work on big ideas and with new technologies and teammates.

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Earlier this year, Trulia rolled out a brand new product for the online real estate industry, called Rent Near Transit. This new feature helps users find rental listings within a 15-minute walk of the transit stops.

WalkMe Inc.

“Fostering out-of-the-box thinking and crowdsourcing ideas”

At WalkMe technical creativity is highly valued. WalkMe has always promoted technical creativity, whether by hosting their annual hackathons or by encouraging collaboration between technical departments globally. They work to develop a customized solution using WalkMe in new ways to help clients improve their UX and reach their business objectives.

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WalkMe’s platform simplifies the online user experienceby driveing users to action with an online experience that is personalized, effortless, and error-free.

Winnie

“The importance of family and work-life balance is built into the culture.”

To get so much information at scale, Winnie engineers have had to be very creative — from building robots to collect some of this information to pulling in massive amounts of data from publicly available (but very inaccessible) data sources. Because Winnie is such a small startup, everyone is encouraged to understand and be involved with the entire stack. For example, the same person who works on the  website also works on infrastructure and backend. Winnie encourages employees to stretch and learn about new areas of the stack.

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With a database of information on over 1 million places, Winnie gives parents the information they need to travel, explore, or even just run errands with their kids.

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Best Tech Startup

applovinAppLovin

 “Freedom and flexibility to execute ideas”

The CEO and co-founders of AppLovin employ an open-door policy. Team members can address their concerns or talk about sports with the co-founders. Everyone is trained and stimulated to grow and have a voice in the product.

Applovin’s  marketing platform provides marketing automation and analytics for brands to reach consumers on mobile.

bluecartBlueCart

“An open door to discuss ideas and challenges”

The founders of BlueCart give credit to their strong, intelligent, and supportive team as one of their main reasons for success. In the land of high-tech, forward thinkers are essential to the development of the company. Every year, the three offices (SF, NYC, & DC) gather together to conjure up new strategies and innovative ideas to take BlueCart to the next level.

BlueCart digitizes the back of house process for the hospitality industry. That includes restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, country clubs with cafes, and more.

madefireMadefire

“By nurturing the creativity, employees can  realize their greatest strengths and discover common goals”

Madefire recently announced the launch of its virtual reality comics platform at the 2016 Comic-Con in New York. The revolutionary idea to leap into the third-dimension was born of the late-night musings and tinkering of one of the company’s engineers. Inspired by some of Ben’s panoramic illustrations, Diego Medina engineered a GearVR prototype of comic panels whizzing through the blackness of space. They immediately recognized the potential of VR to propel the medium. Madefire provides an end-to-end digital comics publishing platform that is available free to anyone with a web browser, an Internet connection and a story to tell.

metromileMetromile

“Create fiercely loyal employees”

The Metromile office is open, welcoming, and collaborative. The leadership fosters a work environment that is all about enabling the team. They provide context and coaching, including clear goals, defined roles, and expected metrics. Leaders are sources of knowledge, conduits for effective communication, and great coaches.

Metromile is a car insurance startup that offers pay-per-mile insurance and a driving app.


Monday and Motorbikes 2Monday Motorbike

 “Cross-department brainstorming.”

 Monday Motorbike utilizes open seating to facilitate cross-department brainstorming. This helps to increase the company’s efficiency and the implementation of new solutions across the entire company. Currently, Monday Engineers in collaboration with Intel are developing cloud connectivity that will enable riders to connect their phone directly to their bike to get instant riding metrics, remotely unlock the M-1, locate their M-1, program Geo-fencing, and performance.

The M-1 is the only e-bike with the feel of riding a motorcycle to create a bridge between bicycle and motorcycle riders. Not only is Monday Motorbikes including the newest technologies, but main parts are made in house and patented.

pagerdutyPagerDuty

“Show don’t tell attitude”

PagerDuty has a collaborative work environment with a “show don’t tell” attitude.  PagerDuty champions customer experience, and emphasizes depth in building markets, driving operational excellence, and cultivating high-performing teams.

PagerDuty is the enterprise incident resolution service that integrates with ITOps and DevOps monitoring stacks to improve operational reliability and agility. From enriching and aggregating events to correlating them into incidents, PagerDuty streamlines the incident management process by reducing alert noise and resolution times.

stitchlabsStitch Labs

“Six core values: be curious, own your impact, act with integrity, love your neighbor, grit – have it, and accelerate as one.”

One of the most important traits the Stitch Labs team looks for when interviewing prospective employees is curiosity. To be forward thinking, a person must be curious about how a product, team, or even industry could be different—and then think creatively and strategically about how to create change. The Stitch Labs team is constantly iterating and expanding their product offerings.  They’ve created an advisory panel from their  product and engineering teams to work with clients  to better understand the problems,  address them , and  drive their  product in the right direction.

By automating, centralizing, and streamlining multichannel inventory and operations into a single platform, Stitch Labs provides retailers with the visibility, control, collaboration, and insight needed to drive profitability and scale growth.

tradeshiftTradeshift

“Creating a foundational change in how business is done”

Tradeshift is  committed to transparency. Traditional all-hands meetings have been kicked to the curb. Instead, they have monthly “Big Syncs” that include a different set of executive speakers and last anywhere from one to two hours. Big Syncs are highly interactive. Forty-eight hours in advance of each one, a sheet is shared with the entire company for employees to post questions principally for the CEO, Christian Lanng, but he opens the floor for others to answer and discuss/debate.

Tradeshift is taking a fresh approach to buyer-supplier processes. They help companies transform their operations and rapidly adapt to the new digital reality that’s changing business worldwide.

uploadvrUploadVR

“Concentration, stimulation, and productivity”

The environment at the Upload Collective has the feel of working at your best friend’s loft – a vibe of relaxed concentration in a stimulating space that’s also extremely productive with access to the most cutting edge equipment available. Upload VR is the product of industry development vision and work that started well before most people were even aware that VR was finally becoming a viable technology.

UploadVR’s  product supports the entrepreneurs of the future with deep emphasis in immersive tech. The unique blend of hardware and software support they offer helps to ensure that the companies in their ecosystem succeed.

voicebaseVoiceBase

“A work environment that fosters the passion”

At VoiceBase, it doesn’t matter whether you work from the office or home, if you travel often or even the number of hours you work. VoiceBase team members are all available when needed and are expected to perform on individual goals as well as team and companywide goals.

VoiceBase is an API solution for speech recognition and speech analytics.

Startup

The Timmy Awards ceremony will celebrate the local technology community and also recognize not only the winners, but the entire San Francisco community for creating a great business environment to thrive in. The event itself will be a great opportunity to network with finalists and other members of the tech community.

RSVP here to attend the SF Timmy Awards and meet all the finalists  in person!

The Top 25 DC Tech Influencers Nominated for a Timmy

On December 8th, Tech in Motion is proud to present the 2nd Annual D.C. Timmy Awards, which will be held at 1776 Crystal City.  The “Timmys” are hosted by Tech in Motion in tech hubs across North America, with the goal of acknowledging the local companies and individuals that strive to create the best places for technology professionals to work in. After all the votes are in, the finalists in each city come together for one celebratory evening where the winners are crowned as the best (1) technology manager, (2) technology work culture, and (3) tech startup. Here are D.C.’s impressive finalists.

Best Tech Manager

Andrew WillisAndrew Willis – VP, eCommerce Technology of Customink

Andrew implements “blameless postmortems,” where the focus should be on the problem itself rather than the person who caused it. In addition, he supports the managers by having regular one-on-ones with the team and on a bi-weekly basis.  He also hosts a team meeting called “Gossip, Rumors, and Lies,” where employees can talk about anything in a safe place.

Andrew’s balanced look on innovation and pragmatism greatly impacted a rebuild of the Online Design Experience, using a modern stack of React w/ Redux.

 

David WolfandDavid Wolfand – VP, Engineering of United Income

Under David’s management, career growth is measured less by title and much more by the opportunity to learn new skill sets, hone existing abilities, and demonstrate an ability to kick ass. David has promoted the growth of his team through the use of continuous deployment of code, moving away from the typical two-week release cycle. The team is honing their Agile and Lean skills even further, delivering value to members the moment it is ready.

David and his team are developing a financial services web-based product that does not have any of its own servers, making it near-infinitely scalable (so long as Amazon has the servers) no matter the popularity of the application.

Matt HagopianMatt Hagopian – VP, Engineering of LiveSafe, Inc.

Matt is dedicated to providing growth and development opportunities for his team. He encourages employees to attend conferences, speak or present at local Meetups, and holds the team responsible to the individual goals that they set for themselves. He is also a vocal advocate for cross-team collaboration.

LiveSafe provides an enterprise-class mobile safety communications platform, comprised of a robust, cloud-based Command Dashboard and a user-friendly customizable mobile application to enable the community to engage on safety and security related issues directly on their smartphones.

Philip SchmitzPhilip Schmitz – CEO of CharityEngine

Philip has cultivated a culture of achievement recognition. Every Friday during lunch, the team reads nominations that coworkers have written based on individual successes during the week.  The individual with the most votes wins a gift card for their hard work. This has created a camaraderie across the entire CharityEngine team that encourages creative solutions, but also cross-disciplinary partnerships and appreciation.

CharityEngine was created by BIS Global as a way to help nonprofit clients by providing integrated customer relationship management email and website management, payment processing, and eCommerce tools.

Rami EssaidRami Essaid – CEO of Distil Networks

Rami is a believer in ensuring that the individual and cultural goals should always be in sync. He offers to help employees make the next step in their careers should they choose to leave Distil. He has also been instrumental in developing the company culture and works tirelessly to maintain a high company morale, whether through the implementation of unique company perks or a company trip to SXSW.

Distil Networks uses a bot detection product paired with a team of experienced security analysts to provide real-time threat monitoring, analysis, investigation and response, as well as post-incident reports and best practices to ensure a 24/7 managed security service customized to each user’s unique security policy.

Manager

Best Work Culture

AOL

Once a month, AOL engineers submit prototypes of cutting edge projects that provide a new service or application that benefits the technology teams. The project is assessed and if deemed viable, the submitter gets the opportunity to work on the project for a month to make it a reality. The engineer is even excused from dedicated project work while the prototype project is being completed.

aol

AOL offers new and exciting applications that help streamline, reduce costs, and provide quicker software solutions to the market

Aspire

Aspire’s product is built completely in-house, and consistently improved by their team. Every person is involved in product suggestions, design features, and testing. The product team spans sales, account management, and fundraising to truly solve the needs of every piece of the business. This transparency allows anyone to learn about product design and technical implementation.

aspire

Aspire’s easy-to-use platform and dedicated team of support staff lets one quickly coordinate events in their office, from catered lunches and happy hours to wellness programs.

Deloitte Digital

Deloitte Digital starts every week with a Monday Huddle, where 120+ employees gather together to share any relevant and interesting articles, short films, or other materials. In addition, they integrate themselves into the local DC design scene by hosting creative dev and front end technology meetups.

deloitte

Deloitte Digital brings human-centered design to the federal government through workshops with clients. This collaboration allows clients to fully integrate their ideas into their products and applications.

Leverege

The first rule in Leverege’s culture book is “Use your best judgement in all situations.” This approach encourages employees to take risks and approach problems in their own unique way. They further reinforce this mindset by holding a weekly Show-and-Tell where every team member shares the interesting projects they’ve been pursuing.

leverege

Leverege offers an IoT Platform that is the industry’s first fully-integrated product designed from the ground up. Their platform meets the needs of all business users from the C-suite executive focused on the corporate bottom line to the junior engineer charged with the day-to-day technical operations.

LiveSafe, Inc.

Every two weeks, LiveSafe lets the engineering team demo new features that they’ve created to the rest of the company, teaching them about the functionality and processes along the way. In addition, they explore new technologies as a team and regularly attend Washington, DC Meetups together.

livesafe

LiveSafe offers an enterprise-class mobile safety platform fueled by crowd-sourced intelligence, maps, analytics and other features. Their goal is to enable the community to engage on security and safety issues directly from smartphones.

MapBox

Not only is continued education encouraged, it’s expected at MapBox. Departments across the company actively engage and teach each other relevant information for the betterment of themselves. Along with this, MapBox pays ticket and travel expenses for any employee looking to go to a conference.  For example, a group of designers was sent to the NACIS Conference.

mapbox

Mapbox builds and offers a multitude of tools to developers to add location-based services to their apps and websites.

MobilePosse

MobilePosse recognizes that professional development is more than just schooling and training. Through shadowing and observing senior leads, junior level employees are able to learn in collaborative and personal ways. These collaborative and personal interactions allow employees to gain unique experiences first-hand.

mp2

Mobile Posse provides mobile carriers and OEMs a platform that delivers salient messages from the operator to the subscriber.  This provides an option for consumers to receive content they love to their smartphone’s home and lock screen.

Optoro

Optoro believes that fostering an environment of autonomy and creativity is crucial to reaching groundbreaking solutions. They promote a creative culture by hosting events intended to spark innovative thinking and encourage employees to question current processes. For example, they host an internal “Hackathon” day once a month where each person in the tech department chooses a challenge facing their company and codes an original solution. The winners receive additional funding in their Professional Development accounts, enabling them to access a wide variety of resources beyond Optoro.

optoro2

Optoro offers an end-to-end reverse logistics solution that helps retailers process, manage, and sell their returned and excess inventory.

SkyBitz

SkyBitz continually encourages its employees to take professional development courses, host trainers to come in, and they encourage employees to share their technical expertise and knowledge with each other. Most recently, they provided Azure Cloud Training to some of their engineering team members.

skysmall

SkyBitz offers SaaS-based solutions that provide rapidly deployable solutions for enterprise and local fleets, tank monitoring, and petroleum logistics.

Ventera Corporation

Hackathons are a great tradition at Ventera. They sponsor a variety of technology focused Hackathons called “Hack.Ventera.” Engineers also participate in similar events hosted by clients and other organizations. This gives employees an avenue to test new technologies and ideas while collaborating and innovating with people outside of current projects in a fun environment while delivering tangible proof of concepts and solutions to clients.

ventera 2

Ventera is a professional services organization that supports a variety of technology needs, such as Agile, plug and play automated testing, and AI-influenced predictive modeling across both Government and Commercial customers.

DCWC

Best Tech Startup



BigParserBigParser

BigParser’s team is headed up by a former Yahoo Engineering Manager. They stay focused on the goals for the day there and respect everyone else’s space and time.

BigParser is on a mission to connect the world’s data through its three main apps, Grids, Share, and Plug.

 

 

 

 

 

BrllntBrllnt

Brllnt’s goal has always been to build an open and collaborative culture inspired by thinkers and entrepreneurs. The Co-Founder, Chief Marketing Officer, and Director of Operations are focused on growing and supporting the local DC community.

Brllnt’s doesn’t just build platforms. The team collaborates to build brand strategies, identities, and marketing campaigns.

 

 

Gravy AnalyticsGravy Analytics

Gravy’s team is led by a serial entrepreneur and previous executives from AOL, Neustar and AT&T. They are focused on the goal of building an open-environment to foster interaction, collaboration, reward, and recognition in the workplace.

Gravy is a mobile, location-based customer intelligence platform.  Using verified attendances at local events and venues, it identifies and predicts segmentation and consumers’ preferences.

Innovators BoxInnovatorsBox

InnovatorsBox values long-term growth. With flexible hours and locations, they want their staff to constantly learn and craft their tangible and intangible skills as professionals such as how to best manage time and energy, and effectively balance multitasking.

InnovatorsBox teaches creativity, builds community, and raises public awareness of the importance of creative thinking for all individuals. By providing a supportive community and educational resources, everyone has the opportunity to integrate creative thinking into their lives and careers.

MetiStreamMetiStream

MetiStream’s leadership has founded the DC Area Apache Spark Interactive Meetup to foster community collaboration on Spark, which has since grown to 2,000+ members. The next project is to grow the DC/VA/MD Big Data Healthcare Meetup to spearhead innovation in healthcare.

MetiStream has developed a framework that integrates FHIR, a progressive API-enabled healthcare standard, with Apache Spark. This combination targets improvements in patient experience and uses genomics to provide personalized health recommendations.

NotionTheoryNotionTheory

NotionTheory only accepts those who are passionate. Every member of the team has either started their own venture, has former startup experience, or is mostly self-taught in their expertise. They choose their projects based on how well they will be able to leverage each team member’s expertise with the goal of making a truly collaborative effort.

NotionTheory creates custom Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for brands while also building in-house products. They spent one-and-a-half years building their own VR framework, which allows users to build virtual reality applications IN virtual reality.

 

RizeRize

Rize has always known that the company will succeed only if its customers are successful. By never losing sight of this very important truth, the work environment has never been driven by either seniority or the bottom line. Instead, each member is a consummate forward-thinker who focuses on knowing how the financial industry will evolve and unfold.

Rize’s online savings platform uses behavioral design and automation to help customers save an average of 10% of their income towards goals they care about. They help customers understand what they can achieve and provide the means and confidence to help customers reach their goals.

SensewareSenseware

Senseware has effortlessly created an open community of trust, transparency, respect, support, and laughs. Everyone works in one room and they aren’t afraid to question and challenge each other. Team members push each other and help each other grow.

Senseware is a Smart Building Solution that wireless monitors performance across all Mechanical, Electrical, Environmental, and Plumbing systems to run more cost-effectively. They’re building the one true smart-building.

United IncomeUnited Income

United Income runs Agile on two-week sprints. Every single person commits to work for the two week sprint and then demos what they accomplished to the entire company at Demo Day. They hold each other accountable across teams. They struggle together and they celebrate together. Everyone is responsible for their work, and everyone is responsible to the team.

United Income is building a financial technology solution to improve retirements. They offer a hybrid solution that combines web-based products and access to financial advisers to provide guidance to users and make it easy to stop worrying about finances and focus on the fun of the future.

 

Virgil SecurityVirgil Security

The team at Virgil Security has led multiple DARPA projects delivering next-gen technologies in cognitive radios, cross layer networking optimization, data fusion, distributed sensor networks, dynamic spectrum access, machine cognition, mobile ad hoc networks, and an array of foundational technologies.

Virgil Security is delivering software-based security building blocks to developers so that they can quickly and easily add security to their own products. Their goal is make every software developer an applied cryptologist.

DCStartup

The Timmy Awards ceremony will celebrate the local technology community and also recognize not only the winners, but the entire D.C. community for creating a great business environment to thrive in. The event itself will be a great opportunity to network with finalists and other members of the tech community.

Don’t miss out, RSVP for the 2nd Annual DC Timmy Awards here to meet the finalists in person.

How to Earn $200K+ as a Software Engineer

Over the last two years, Tech in Motion’s proud supporters, Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates, have worked with hundreds of thousands of engineers across the United States and Canada to find these tech professionals exciting positions. While the vast majority end up in positions that pay between $50,000 and $140,000, these agencies have also placed many engineers at the $200K-$300K+ range.

Many candidates wonder: “What qualifies an engineer for a $200K+ salary? And how can I get there?” Given the 27 years of experience that Jobspring and Workbridge have working within the technology industry, it is clear that there are some key factors that you should keep in mind before you go shooting for the stars. Here are the top four determinants that can help you map out your career as well as help you dream and achieve bigger:

Want to earn $200K working as a Software Engineer or check out other tech opportunities? Click here to view our Tech Job Board!

1. Location, Location, Location

You can be the greatest developer with a Ph.D. in Engineering, but a $200K position may not exist in the geographic region you live in. Are you willing to relocate? Most of the job openings in the $200K range that Jobspring and Workbridge often deal with are located in San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles. If you’re not open to relocating to a place where the pay is higher, you may be limiting yourself.

Graph 1 for Sergey's Blog

*Based on Jobspring and Workbridge Placements.

Check out what tech jobs are available in these US locations – click here!

 

2. Experience

Experience plays a critical role when it comes to salary negotiation. Over the last four years, there was only one person that these agencies placed at a just-under-$200K salary who had only two years of experience. (This person had some exceptional accomplishments and specialized in Front-End Development.) Most companies want to see at least seven years of experience before they even consider higher six-figure salaries. In fact, the majority of the agencies’ $200K placements were with candidates that had 11-28 years of experience.

 

3. Technology and Skills

Technology and skills are critical components to gaining a higher salary. Do you have the right skills? Do you need to learn a new programming language or move to a different field or niche? Your skills, and how you can sell yourself, are essential parts of getting the highest salary possible. Based on all of the placements done by Jobspring and Workbridge from 2013-2016, Java Developers were the leaders of the $200K club. Mobile, Network Security, Front End, Ruby on Rails, Product Management, and UI/UX were all among the top technologies when it came to highest salaries.

Graph 2 for Sergey's Blog

*Comparing Jobspring and Workbridge salaries by technology and experience with the average for Software Engineers.

 

4. Seniority and Leadership

The majority of people placed with a $200K+ salary are generally at a Senior Management or C-Level position working for a startup or Fortune 500 company. Often times, these people are placed with companies who were looking to hire “on the street” to fill their VP or C-Level positions. So if you think that a Ph.D. in Engineering and decades of experience will eventually guarantee you a big promotion to a Senior Executive level, think again. A lot of employers feel comfortable hiring experienced engineers working for other companies and don’t see the need to promote within the company.

As an engineer, you must prove that you are not only a talented coder, but also an effective manager who can lead others, take ownership, and make critical decisions. At the Senior Executive level, you need to demonstrate leadership acumen. An MBA (full-time, executive, online, or part-time) with a Master’s Degree in Engineering and a focus on Management, as well as courses and a certificate on Leadership, are all important aspects of becoming a candidate who can qualify for a higher six-figure compensation.

 

Start Your Future Today

Map out what experiences, technologies, stretch assignments, and leadership abilities you need to embody as you journey toward higher paying positions. An investment in yourself now is an investment in your future. Begin today and set yourself upon a course to earning your full potential.

Let us help you find your dream job! Contact a Jobspring Partners or Workbridge Associates in your city to kickstart the process.

You might also like: 

find a 200k tech job

OC Panel: What is the Future of DevOps?

DevOpsHeader

UCI Innovation Campus was buzzing with energy when the local Tech in Motion chapter hosted their event Tech Panel: DevOps | Driving Productivity and Efficiency on August 25.

The panel was moderated by Max Schnepper, Practice Manager of Workbridge Associates and a subject matter expert on the local DevOps market. The evening’s focus was in response to the community requesting more education-focused events and to provide a space for members of the numerous Orange County DevOps Meetup groups to gather.

Schnepper began with defining some key terms.

what is

DevOps is a framework for identifying and eliminating constraints, so processes such as software development and deployment run smoothly at a high level of efficiency. Panelist Matt Chung, a Systems Development Engineer with Amazon Web Services in Seattle and founder of the OC DevOps Group said, “DevOps is both technical and cultural. It involves making sure teams such as software developers and the people who administer the resulting systems are co-existing and working together. Technical productivity and efficiency are also part of it. The goal is to eliminate waste and add value to the company.”

important

“Software is a key battleground and winners and losers are being defined by the way they ship software and interact with customers and users. Shipping software when you need it is key. DevOps is the realization that existing IT systems are too slow. The ROI on DevOps is pretty clear. All organizations can benefit from automation and tooling. Just look at the data. Put the right data in the right environment and you can improve release timelines and gains across all faces of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle),” responded panelist Jedidiah Yueh, Founder of Delphix and Avamar (sold to EMC).

Panelist Spencer Seebald, Senior Field Technical Solutions Engineer with Puppet, Inc., added, “People are starting to see software, regardless of the industry, as a competitive advantage for business and a way to drive it forward. DevOps people can help move things along more quickly, and that is an advantage. Data shows companies that adopt DevOps move faster in a more reliable and controlled fashion.”

Future

The evening concluded with questions about the future of DevOps and how businesses at different stages can adopt this framework. Chris Ciborowski stated, “With DevOps practices outside of the US such as Europe as Australia; they are already working and running in the cloud, applying these strategies. As these markets see where improvements can still be made, they will also see where the trend moves.” Ciborowski added that, “You cannot buy or hire DevOps” and that businesses, whether they are a startup or enterprise, can benefit because DevOps encourages, “A real understanding of how your business is developing software and how the business maps into the process of future releases and testing. All of these processes go hand in hand.”

Original article  by Hai Truong, UCI Applied Innovation writer

DevOpsCTA

Related articles:

30 Tech Leaders of Orange County and San Diego

On October 19, Tech in Motion is proud to hold their second annual Orange County and San Diego Timmy Awards at UCI Applied Innovation (5141 California Ave, Suite 250).  The “Timmys” are hosted by Tech in Motion in tech hubs across North America, with the goal of acknowledging the local companies and individuals that strive to create the best places for technology professionals to work. After all the votes are in, the finalists in each city come together for one celebratory evening where the winners are crowned as the best (1) tech startup, (2) technology manager, and (3) technology work culture. Here are OC and San Diego’s 30 outstanding finalists.

Best Tech Manager

Aaron Gibson – VP of Engineering at SabioAaron Gibson

“Brings a comforting level of humanity”

Aaron is very highly respected and admired by those he leads. He often does code reviews as team conferences, not only as a way to have people comfortable with sharing their work, but also to demonstrate that everybody makes mistakes and there’s nothing wrong with doing so. He brings a comforting level of humanity that allows people to be themselves.

Sabio nurtures exceptional tech talent and produces developers who are ready to step into a junior full-stack web role at any company that uses Microsoft stack. They also produce web prototypes for entrepreneurs who are looking for an affordable way to get their product to market.

Adam Miller – Founder of Vibrant Software LLCAdam Miller

“He’s not just our manager, he’s our teacher and mentor”

Adam is immensely respected by his staff, thanks to the work environment he creates. He spends the majority of his time with the engineers, allowing them to explore different avenues of technology and avoid feel pigeonholed into one area of expertise. Every other week, Adam’s team has learning sessions where one team member presents a topic in their area of expertise, letting the entire group  learn from one another and strengthen their own skills.

Recently, Adam led a team to work with Hyundai Motor America to develop a custom software solution that allowed the OEM to order and allocate vehicles directly from their plants.

Caleb Bradley – CTO of TradivCaleb Bradley

“Drives productivity by understanding the work-life balance”

Every month, Caleb meets with his team to go over their individual career goals and to ensure that Tradiv is doing all that it can to help make those goals a reality. By providing a platform for meaningful discussion and complete transparency, Caleb gives his team the opportunity to challenge the norm in the company and, therefore, the norm in the industry.

Tradiv is the leading online wholesale cannabis distribution platform. They are striving to demonstrate to the rest of the country that cannabis business can be a healthy part of the community.

Carlos Anchia – VP of Engineering at DistilleryCarlos Anchia

“Defines a clear strategy for how engineers can grow”

Carlos dedicates his time and energy to define a clear strategy for how engineers can grow into team leaders and architects. He provides employees with career coaching to help them achieve their goals of growth and prosperity, as well as promotes a safe place for engineers to try and fail.

Carlos’ team is responsible for producing the highly successful Tumbleweed news app that was featured by Apple as one of the top news sources in 2015.

Greg Glenn – M.E. Manager at Freedom Innovations

“Demonstrates the technical ability, solution- oriented approach, and can do attitude that is infectious”

Greg works with his direct reports to plan out their career path and develops work assignments, trainings, and weekly feedback for fine tuning. He authored their Design for Excellence (DFX) guidelines. These guidelines are the result of manufacturing issues during the launch of new products and provide systematic solutions that ensure quality control.

Freedom Innovations is a medical device company that develops microprocessor controlled ankles and knees for amputees, along with the apps to program, monitor, and adjust the prosthetic by their users.

Hossein Eslambolchi – CEO of Cyberflow Analyticshossein

“Pragmatic visionary in an ever-changing technology landscape”

At Cyberflow Analytics, Dr. Hossein is a visionary for strategic ideas around big data analytics platform and machine learning algorithms with innovative visualization techniques. He cultivates open dialog within team members, promoting collaboration and innovation through motivation and empowerment.

Hossein is the principal visionary for a real-time analytics platform built to detect security attacks on enterprise networks and data centers before intellectual property or PII data is stolen.

Jim m squareJim Magner – COO of Eturi Corporation

“The silent hero behind OurPact’s success”

Every member of Eturi’s team is familiar with every facet of the company’s operation, and that’s all thanks to a leader who is willing to open lines of communication, think outside the box, and present opportunities for his team members to deviate from their given roles. Jim gives his employees freedom through a flexible schedule that allows everyone to come to work happier, healthier, and more focused.

Eturi’s flagship product, OurPact, enables parental control to limit children’s apps and internet access remotely using MDM (mobile device management).

Jim Plush – Senior Director of CrowdstrikeJim Plush

“A passionate innovator leading his team to deliver visionary technology”

Jim has created a unique multi-track career ladder that ensures engineers are able to follow the same career advancement as a Senior Vice President while still focusing on their engineering initiative. He’s led initiatives such as “No Meeting Thursday,” “Think Week,” and “CrowdFest,” which are all part of driving the team culture at CrowdStrike. Jim has also set the cloud engineering standard for quality and resiliency.

CrowdStrike has revolutionized endpoint protection by combining three crucial elements: next-generation AV, endpoint detection and response (EDR), and a 24/7 managed hunting service – all powered by intelligence and uniquely delivered via the cloud in a single integrated solution.

Keola Malone – CTO of Underground ElephantKeola Malone

“Play to your strengths while you strengthen your weaknesses”

Keola created a team culture where everyone is empowered to innovate and think creatively. He implemented a “shark tank” style of innovation leading to a wide diversity of software platforms and a rich arsenal of technologies to use. This created an environment where a technologist of any kind, or skill level, can learn and grow.

In 2016, Keola’s team built and launched the infrastructure that thrust Underground Elephant into the FinTech space, allowing consumers to connect with dozens of financial service providers at the same time.

Mike Selberis – CTO of Glidewell DentalMike Selberis

“His endless vision and authenticity inspires each member of the organization”

Mike makes it a point to set detailed career goals with all of his employees and regularly follow up to ensure that they’re on track to meet their goals. His vision for Glidewell and sense of humor are contagious and foster a fun and innovative atmosphere. He sponsors internal hackathons and other team building activities that engage the whole company to grow together.

Using Amazon Web Services, deep learning, and cutting edge infrastructure solutions, Glidewell has achieved a digital manufacturing workflow that proposes a custom-fit crown for each patient and simplifies the rest of the manufacturing workflow.

man

Best Tech Startup

AcornsAcorns_logo

“Breaking down barriers”

Father and son team Walter and Jeff Cruttenden founded Acorns in order to empower millennials with the tools of wealth-making – breaking down the barriers that have traditionally made it daunting for young people to start investing.

Acorns is the fastest-growing investment app in the United States, creating more than one million investment accounts in the past two years, and is specifically designed for the millennial audience.

AppletreeAppletree-Logo

“Work hard, play hard”

At Appletree, forward-thinking leaders have taken innovative ideas and teamwork to rebrand the company, shifting from BuzzMob to Appletree to appeal more personally to their target audience. They are now on a path to success while maintaining a fun, work had/play hard, and support your teammates type of environment.

Appletree exists to form a bond between school and home so that students succeed through a cross-platform communication tool teachers use to send class-wide updates and message parents directly on any of their synced devices.

Eturi-LogoEturi Corporation

“Driven by leaders”

Eturi empowers their employees to be leaders in his or her own way. An example of this is when their team created a brand new solution to a known mobile device management issue that eliminated scrambling, tremendously improving overall user satisfaction..

Eturi’s flagship product, OurPact, enables parental control to limit children’s apps and internet access remotely using MDM (mobile device management).

FoxTalesfox tales

“Non-traditional thinking and seasoned creativity”

The team at FoxTales includes seasoned creatives and leaders in the marketing, events, and communications space. They empower employee autonomy, promote non-traditional thinking, and host weekly cross-functional review sessions to ensure team collaboration and constructive feedback drive their business objectives.

FoxTales creates compelling custom visual experiences for brands such as Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft, GoPro, Nike, and many more. Their StoryStudio has the ability to act as a 360 degree movie studio set while integrated with GoPro to create their Burst GIF feature.

InsellerateInsellerate

“Brainstorm consistently”

This startup encourages its lead software architects to think outside the box by meeting every two weeks to reassess their application and determine the life expectancy of the current technology and structure. The team is encouraged to brainstorm with new ways of building the application with new technology or structure to increase the health of the application.

Insellerate’s product is the only CRM in the market that allows workflow customization, integration with other systems, a very easy user interface, extensive lead distribution engine, and a product that caters to the mortgage industry.

OSSIC-400OSSIC

“Pushing boundaries”

Seeing the market shifts in entertainment to more immersive and interactive media including virtual reality, augmented reality, and gaming, OSSIC knew it was time to introduce their technology. VR and AR need immersive audio to be successful and OSSIC X provides it.

Integrating sensors, beam folding array of eight audio drivers, and smart audio algorithms, the OSSIC X enables accurate and immersive 3D audio playback that instantly gets tailored to the unique anatomy of the listener.

PeopleSpace OCpeoplespace

“We, not I”

PeopleSpace OC offers free programs for the start-up tech community, including classes and workshops led by local entrepreneurs and professionals, free meet-up space, quarterly innovation speaker series, and training.

PeopleSpace offers a startup program, iLab, that is completely community based, and provides startups the opportunity to meet with advisors and investors throughout their startup journey.

SpringboardAuto.com, Inc.SpringBoardAuto.com_blue-2

“Find your inspiration”

SpringboardAuto.com, Inc. requires a great deal of creativity to solve their technical challenges. They encourage their engineers to collaborate, white board, and huddle in any area where the lightning strikes them. They also set aside part of their corporate budget for technical learning, which ensures that their engineers continue to grow and evolve in their roles.

SpringboardAuto.com wants to fundamentally change the auto lending experience through their platform that leverages advanced analytics and data to enhance the consumer experience.

underground elephantUnderground Elephant

“Collaboration and empowerment”

Central to the development process at Underground Elephant is the company’s open culture of collaboration and empowerment, which makes it possible for the team of 32 technologists to access and reset their creative thresholds in order to build better roads that lead to organic sales conversations for large enterprises. Underground Elephant’s collaborative team environment, renowned company outings, and robust benefits package have earned several awards and nominations.

Underground Elephant uses proprietary technology to automate the marketing process, enhancing the connection between large enterprises and their prospective clients by delivering a highly efficient route to organic sales conversions.

Urban WorkshopUrbanWorkshop-Clear-410x155

“The startup that creates startups”

Urban Workshop was created to provide tools and equipment for people to use on their own projects. Their community now includes more than 650 people with more than 200 small businesses operating fully out of Urban Workshop generating over $12M in revenue annually.

Urban Workshop provides more than $1M of current state-of-the-art tools and equipment along with hands-on training, allowing people to make virtually anything.

Startup

Best Tech Work Culture

AutoGravity

“One team, one dream”

The AutoGravity leadership team promotes the use of different types of technology in order to widen their employees’ skill set. Tech experts are regularly brought in to educate their team about specific problems so that they don’t have to face issues on their own. They also push for diversity on their team and respect family time by awarding flexible schedules, telecommuting, and employee children are encouraged to come to the office to do their homework.

autogravity

AutoGravity creates a user-friendly platform to help people finance their car-buying process right from their smartphone.

BIZX

“Changing the physics of business”

BIZX internally recognizes and rewards outstanding technical contributions. As a team, they attend several local tech camps and regularly host internal seminars where team members present their insight and best practices, fostering growth and collaboration.

Bitz office

BIZX develops an HTML5 broadband speed test that works on all devices and screen sizes without the need for any browser plug-in.

CIE Digital Labs

“Applying Startup Know-How to Your Business Challenges”

CIE Digital Labs has a fantastic web team that is consistently learning new things and making them part of their tool belt (Gulp, Bower, Node, SASS, and everything in between). They are rolling out a tuition reimbursement program to help those who decide to get a degree in a specific field, have partnered with the engineering program at UC Irvine, and intend to continue their partnerships with reputable college programs.

cie-digital-labs

CIE Digital Labs is a true, one-stop shop. They provide strategy, ideation, design, and execution in the realm of web development.

CrowdStrike Inc.

“We Stop Breaches”

In June 2016, CrowdStrike led the investigation and public disclosure of the high-profile breach of the DNC. With the unique CrowdStrike technology, their innovative tech team identified and attributed the intrusion to Russian intelligence agencies in less than two hours. This capability would have been simply impossible if it wasn’t for the unparalleled creativity, ambition, teamwork, and vision of the technical team.

crowdstrike small

CrowdStrike has revolutionized endpoint protection by combining three crucial elements: next-generation AV, endpoint detection and response (EDR), and a 24/7 managed hunting service – all powered by intelligence and uniquely delivered via the cloud in a single integrated solution.

Cylance

“Redefining the enterprise endpoint standard of security”

Cylance’s top talent produces and publishes numerous research projects at industry-leading events such as RSA and BlackHat. The team enjoys a flexible work-life balance, is motivated to learn and inspired to have fun all while creating some of their industry’s leading software.

cylance

By coupling sophisticated math and machine learning with a unique understanding of a hacker’s mentality, Cylance provides the technology and services that are predictive and preventive against advanced threats.

Dark Rift Entertainment

“Creating games that are engaging, dynamic, and most of all… awesome”

Dark Rift Entertainment is an advocate for technical exploration. If a team member has an idea for their project, even if it’s outlandish, Dark Rift harbors a space for them to test it. Recently, their team decided to upgrade to a new texture and material solution called Substance, a significantly more complex pipeline that requires their entire team to work together to solve both predicted and unforeseen issues along the way.

dark rift ent.

Dark Rift Entertainment is currently producing a revolutionary game, Embers of War, with radical new mechanics never before seen in the Tower Defense space.

GoPro

“Encourages employees to get out and pursue their passions”

GoPro prides itself in strongly confiding in their employers as they strive to be the leading innovator within the action camera industry. They have employed a “Live It, Eat It, Love It” program that encourages employees to take two hours every Thursday afternoon to get out and pursue their passions while capturing it all on GoPro and getting paid to do so.

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Recently GoPro has launched their best action performance camera yet, the HERO5 Black as well as their own Karma drone, which allows users to capture amazingly smooth footage in the air, handheld, or mounted to their favorite gear.

Hart

“Dreamers and innovators with a passion for changing the way people interact with their health”

Hart’s core values (craftsmanship, ingenuity, and change) revolve around fostering creativity. They encourage their employees to not be afraid to question the current technology in place or even to build their own. Hart takes monthly field trips to visit other companies and get new ideas to incorporate into their company culture. They’ve also created Hart University, which hosts three classes a week on pressing topics and engineering challenges.

hart

Hart is a medical software company with an open API platform, HartOS, used to solve many of today’s healthcare challenges. It allows consumers to access their health data from their doctors’ EMR, schedule appointments, send direct messages to their doctor, and soon also share data with family.

Surfline / Wavetrak

“Surfline champions the balance of life and work”

Surfline’s headquarters are located on the beach and employees are encouraged to take time to surf and get outdoors. Their products serve surfers, fishermen, and mariners, and their employees actually spend the time participating in these recreations in order to build great technical solutions to user problems.

surfline

Their technology is at the forefront of marine weather modeling and forecasting by combining complex weather models with human curation to provide the most accurate forecasts for ocean-related activities including surfing, offshores fishing, sailing, offshore cruising, and more.

Technossus

“Thank God it’s Monday!”

Technossus promotes technical creativity by applying a number of strategies throughout the organizational chart. Frequent new hires bring in energy and enthusiasm to seasoned veterans who, in turn, mentor and educate them. They also challenge their team to leverage the cutting edge tools they use daily to compete in hackathons all over the world to continuously hone their skills and master new technologies.

technossus-office

They pride themselves on providing a cutting-edge set of technology solution services that sit precisely in the sweet spot in the continuum between “obsolete” and “bleeding edge.”

culture

Your votes will decide who takes home the Timmy Awards on October 9th. In 2015, Sheim Edelbrock, CTO of the Control Group won Best Tech Manager, Parentsware won the Best Tech Start Up, and Tickets.com took home the Timmy Award for Best Work Culture. Who will win this year? You decide!

Winners will be revealed on October 19th in front of a live audience. RSVP now to attend the celebration!