On May 7th, PowerToFly hosted a live webinar with the women tech leaders at DigitalOcean.
We're sorry that we weren't able to address all of your questions during the event (with over 180 attendees asking great questions, it gets tough!), but the DigitalOcean panelists graciously took the time to write responses to all of the questions we couldn't get to.
So if you attended the event and your question wasn't answered, take a look at the Q&A below to find your question and read the panelists' response! Still not seeing the information you're looking for? You can reach out to Limor directly with your question.
What kind of information do you need? Jump to the section you're looking for:
- Career Advice + Panelists' Personal Work Experiences
- Applying to DigitalOcean
- Working at DigitalOcean
- Webinar-Specific Questions & Feedback
- Engineering/Cloud-Computing-Specific Question
Career Advice + Panelists' Personal Work Experiences
1. Early in your career, how did you navigate the technical interview process in terms of preparation?
Jenni: I'm not sure I did much differently then than I do now. Which is to say, find out what you can about the company and what they're looking for. Lookup anything in the job listing you're unfamiliar with, and then be honest during your interview that you did that, but it goes a long way to being able to talk about what they are looking for and your willingness to learn. I never pretend to know things I don't, but I do offer educated guesses.
Sneha: One of the most important things for me is talking to individuals at the company (and those who might be in a similar role). I'd also agree with Jenni in that this is something I still do and something I did earlier in my career as well! I typically reach out to people at the company via Twitter and ask how the interview process is, what I might need to prep, etc. I also like checking Glassdoor
2. How do you build a network in your early career?
Limor: I built my network mainly though LinkedIn. When I moved to the US I had no connections and did not know anybody. I grew my network and improved, and it really paid off, as this is how DigitalOcean found me.
I also recommend attending local meetups, that can help you as well in expanding your network.
Sneha: So for me, I actually rarely use LinkedIn! After graduating, I started going to a lot of tech meetups, conferences, and reaching out to individuals at companies that I found interesting and asking if they'd like to grab coffee. I also leveraged the alumni network at my company. And one other thing is Twitter! Tech twitter - especially in the infrastructure space, can be quite friendly and helpful. I've met people who I pair program with, individuals who've suggested I apply to jobs, and others who've even suggested interesting conferences I attend via the platform.
3. What advice would you give to a new grad who is interested in tech but doesn't have that much experience?
Volunteer, contribute to open source, do your own side projects and put them on Github.
4. If You Have Been In Technology Sales/Account Management But Are Ready To Grow Within Marketing, Product Management, Channel Management. Do You Have Any Recommendations To Better Qualify For Those Positions?
The best way to get into roles such as Product Management, is to start building qualifications related to those roles. As an example, for Product Management, one can start by talking to customers and users, understand how they use the product, understanding where they feel the gaps, and then communicating those with Product decision makers. Another thing to do is to read up on product related topics -- there are a plethora of blogs, articles and books on the subject. And finally, talk to the Product Managers at your organization, and let them know of your intentions, and they will be in the best position to guide you.
5. How do you manage the job search process? In terms of dealing with failure and bouncing back
My advice to you is never take it personally, many times you might have been a good fit, but there was someone slightly better than you. I also recommend trying to get feedback from the recruiter what were the reasons for rejection and if there is anything you can improve on.
6. Being A Recent Boot Camp Full Stack Web Developer Graduate, Do You Recommend Remote Work Or Should I Work On Site First? Thoughts?
In general, we recommend engineers that are at the beginning of their careers to work out of an office that makes it easier to start their career journey. But it is specific to the team and the hiring manager. We try not to have strict rules and leave this up to the individual. (this is a personal thing, do they feel like they need colleagues around? do they feel like they can be productive in their home (or in an non-office environment)? do they feel like they can have the level of social engagement on their own that they may miss outside of an office? And just like a programming language or framework, working remotely is a set of skills you develop and improve over time and DigitalOcean really works hard to support its remote workers.
7. How Did The Individual Panelist Find Their Way To DO? Were They Recruited From Outside Firms? Did They Submit Resumes? Did They Have Contacts From Within DO?
Limor: I was contacted by Digital Ocean
Jenni: I randomly submitted a resume based on seeing a job listing on stackoverflow. I had never heard of DigitalOcean before and had to ask around to make sure it was legit. :-)
Sneha: I had been a long-time customer of DigitalOcean but hadn't thought of applying. An old engineering director/friend of mine suggested I talk to her friend who worked here; she was convinced it would be an environment I'd really enjoy. After speaking to her friend and visiting the office, I was hooked! I then submitted my resume via referral and the rest is history.
8. What Are Pain Points About Working Remotely?
Limor: It is very personal; I love working remotely and do not have any pain points
Jenni: It depends a lot on the person. Given the fact that the majority of people I work with are also remote, the actual ability to be productive and communicate with coworkers is not an issue at all. You're more likely to run into life-work balance things like not turning off work when you should, going stir crazy being in your house too much, or just turning into a hermit. There are lots of ways to counteract these as long as you know yourself.
Sneha: I agree with Jenni. I've found that I'm actually more productive working from home than when I was in the office due to fewer interrupts. I also still do pair program frequently so don't necessarily lose out on anything by working remotely. The bigger concern is the fact that a) it is very easy to turn into a hermit, b) often it is hard to put down work at the end of the day!
9. What are some good questions to ask when interviewing to make sure the culture is a right fit?
At DO we look for people who will add to our culture rather than fit in! Ask questions about a company's values, and what it takes to be successful. Ask your interviewers about what they like most about their jobs and their company.
10. What are some symptoms you have personally seen or experienced of someone who is poorly handling remote work life?
Typically lack of communication and lack of transparency about what they are working on.
11. What type of experience did you have when you first started engineering?
Jenni: It's been over 15 years, but I went a relatively traditional route. I got a degree in computer engineering from UofIL (so not computer science), but my first jobs were on a test team, then a tier3 support team, a software build team, and finally into development. When I first graduated, the only software development courses I'd had in school were an intro to programming class in java, some c++ from a data structures class, and x86 assembly.
Sneha: I actually didn't study computer science in school. I was an electrical engineering and economics double major...but in my senior year, I did some neural networks projects that required some very basic programming. Upon graduating, however, I realized that a) I was very interested in startups. b) I didn't want to work in silicon fabrication or embedded systems at the time. I ended up discovering a startup that allowed me to apply the math and stats I learned as an EE while writing C++ for casino games. I ended up working for a few more startups as a software engineer and learned a lot more on the job, by working on side projects, studying some traditional compsci textbooks, and finding mentors who pair programmed with me.
Applying to Digital Ocean
1. Are Interviews Also Done Remotely?
Yes, in fact the majority of the interviews are done remotely
2. Are The Posted Positions Super Strict On Requirements?
Depends on the position, we typically do not expect that a candidate will have all of the required skills, it is a wish list and we make compromises.
3. Is It Ok To Apply If I Have A More Varied Background That Reaches Into Different Areas, E.G., A Front-end/Web Dev That Also Has Marketing Experience, As Well As Programming Experience In A Language Other Than The One Required (Rails)?
I will say it is always better to apply than to not apply, worst case, we will tell you you are not a fit for what we are looking for. If you have specific questions, you can feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Are There Any Positions For Recent Graduates?
Look at our careers page for current open positions. We do have summer internship program which is a great way to start at DO, we have hired several of our interns.
5. Are There Opportunities For Technical Writers?
In general yes, look at our careers page for current openings.
6. Are You Looking For UX Designers?
Yes, look at the current job description for a designer.
7. Are There Positions Available With Digital Ocean That Takes Experience Into Consideration Even If You Do Not Have A Typical College Degree?
It is hard to answer that question generally, but I can tell you that we do have some engineers without a college degree
8. Digital Ocean Technologies Are Infrastructure Cloud Storage. How Does Someone With Software Engineering Background Fit In The Organization?
Absolutely! We have multiple software engineering positions. Take a look at our careers page.
9. Do designers also work remotely? We have hired designers to work remotely. Our career page is the best place to look for open roles in Product Design or Web Design.
10. Do You Have Any Opportunities In "Sales" Department?
11. Do You Have Any Part Time-freelance Opportunities In Design/Graphics Or Entry Level Product Manager?
We don't hire part time designers at this time. Look at our careers page for current openings on our Product Team.
12. Do You Have Tech Support Jobs Here Too?
We have several tech support positions at our careers
13. Does DO sponsor work visas for people who are in USA?
If you have applied to a position and need immigration assistance, please discuss with your recruiter. For specific questions about your particular visa needs, email email@example.com .
14. Does DigitalOcean offer any internships or mentor programs?
We do have summer internships every summer.
15. Does DO recognize and consider employing parents who have been out of job market due to parenting etc.?
16. Does DO Provide Training For Their Open Positions?
I am not sure what training you refer to specifically. Every new hire is going through an on-boarding for their specific team. The team provides all the guidance and information the new hire needs in order to be successful at their job.13.
17. How Much Experience Does One Need To Have In Open Source And Linux Environments To Be A Do Customer Success Manager?
DigitalOcean's Customer Success team has a wide range of technical experience. Generally speaking, our Customer Success Managers are primarily responsible for understanding the ecosystem and being able to pull in the right people across the organization to help customers overcome their challenges. Direct experience working with open source or Linux itself is not necessarily a requirement, but you should be able to work very closely with people who are passionate about both these things, and willing to learn!"
18. I Am Canadian, Planning To Apply For Remote Jobs In The Near Future, Including For Companies Based In The Us. Not Sure Of About The Jurisdiction. I Was Wondering What Are Your Policies Regarding Non-American Workers.
We do have a legal entity in Canada, and our Canadian employees are employed by the Canadian entity.
19. I Am Nearing The End Of My Career, Hoping To Work For Another 6-7 Years Before I Retire. I Have Worked In The Same Industry For 35 Years. My Skills Are Dated But I Am Enthusiastic About Learning Something New And Contributing In Some Fashion. I Have Started Learning Python... Does D.O. Have Positions For Displaced Workers Who Feel They Can Still Contribute?
It is hard for me to answer; we do not have something official for displaced workers. You can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help.
20. I Noticed That Most Of The Posted Positions Are Technical. Do You Hire Functional Pms (Pmo)? Those That Generally Work In Concert W/The Technical Pm Doing Resourcing, Earned Value, Scheduling, Budgets/Forecasting, Metrics, Reporting, Etc.?
Not that I am aware of. You can look at our careers page for all open positions.
21. I See A Lot Of Engineer Positions. Do You Have To Know Actual Coding?
Each open position list the set of requirements from a candidate. Typically an engineer position would require to know actual coding.
22. I'm Making A Career Shift From A Very Different Industry, But Have Transferable Skills. Is DO Looking More At The Specific Skills Vs. The Industry?
It is hard for me to answer that genetically because that is depending on the specific team and what the hiring manager think his/her team needs.
You can contact me directly at email@example.com and I can try to help.
23. I Have Only One Year Programming Experience And That Was Over 3 Years Ago As I Did Not Work Because I Was Raising My Kids. I Am Looking For Remote Job. What Advice Or Tips Can You Give On How To Land A Job Digital Ocean. Overall I Have 9 Years Of Experience In It.
Depending on which specific area you are interested in.
Volunteer, contribute to open source, do your own side projects and put them on Github.
24. Interested In Hearing About What DO Is Looking For In Terms Of Coming In With Experience In Their Specific Tools Vs Training
Typically we do not look for knowledge in specific tools or a specific programming language we are using and we expect a learning curve.
25. My Experience Is Mis, Finance, And Project Management. I Do Not Currently Hold An Engineering Degree, However, I Am Interested In Several Other Positions, Such As The Associate Customer Success Account Manager Position.
I recommend you apply directly. If you need any help or advice, email firstname.lastname@example.org and a recruiter will respond to you!
26. What types of side projects would DO be interested in seeing by potential candidates?
It very much depends on the team.
27. What key qualities does DO look for in employees?
"We want people to have opinions and to express them, however we are looking for humility, ability to listen to others and consider that you might not always be right." - Limor
"I look for someone who is passionate about what they work on and get excited about new technical challenges." - Alexis
Working at Digital Ocean
1. Are all of the positions at DigitalOcean remote?
No, not of our jobs are remote. If you look at our careers page you will see location information listed under each job title. While the majority of our positions are open to remote applicants, some are specific to a particular office location. DigitalOcean headquarters is located in NYC in the heart of Soho. We also have offices in Cambridge, MA and Palo Alto, CA.
2. What are the typical/expected working hours at Digital Ocean? Do you need to be available at certain times/in a particular timezone? How Do You Handle Balance Between Work And Life, Especially For People Who Have Children?
We are pretty flexible, we do not have a specific time frame in a day you have to be working, however we do want to make sure every team member gets face time with the team on a daily basis, so as long as there is daily overlap we are good.
We do have a lot of flexibility with the working hours. Therefore, if I need to pick up my kids from school, take them to the dr. or anything else that pops up, I make sure to either block my calendar or notify my teammates.
3. What Support Do You Receive From Digital Ocean To Make Sure You Are Able To Work Remotely In A Successful Manner?
We each get a workstation sent to our home that includes a monitor, mouse and keyboard.
We have the right tools we need to get the job done and keep the communication channel, some of the tools we use extensively are slack and google suite. In our offices each meeting room is equipped with a TV and a chrome box so you can connect to the google meet from the office as well.
4. Are There Any DigitalOcean Employees Who Work Remotely Outside Of The Us?
Yes, we have employees around the world, mostly in the US and Canada, but also in Europe and India.
5. Does The Company Have A "Slack Code Of Conduct"? Haha For Example: Only Use @Channel If Something Is On Fire.
We do not have a Slack Code Of Conduct. Best practices are using @channel for emergencies.
6. How About Career Tracks? Do You Have An Engineer Track That Takes You To Staff Or One For Managers?
We do have Individual Contributor vs Management career tracks. Also we do allow a move from one career track to another.
7. How Are New Remote Employees Trained? Describe Your On-boarding Process. What Kind Of Mentorship Does DO Provide? ....What does the on-boarding, training, and integration of new people look like?
New hire on-boarding sessions are held every Tuesdays at our HQ in NYC. New hires spend their first week in NY learning about how to navigate DigitalOcean. After general on-boarding, new hires begin team specific on-boarding. Checkout my article on DO's employee experience.
Each team has their own on-boarding process, we have a lot of documentation for each team to make it easier for a new hire to get up to speed. In addition to that each team will make sure the new hire is paired by someone from the team to help him/her getting up to speed quickly.
8. How Do Engineers Work Together Remotely? Do They Pair Program Or Mostly Work Independently?
It depends on the team. We do use slack quite intensively for daily communications. Teams meets via google meet on a daily or weekly basis depending on the team. And there are ad-hoc google meet depending on the need.
9. How Does Digital Ocean Determine If A Position Should Be Remote Or Not? I See A Data Scientist Position Listed As Not Remote But A Data Engineering As Remote. Is That Team Specific Or Does Any Listing Have The Opportunity To Be Remote?
It depends on the team and their needs. It is a decision the hiring manager makes.
10. How Does Engineering Work With Creatives, Product Designers?
For each project we have a designer assigned and the designer is working closely with the engineering team as well as with the product team.
11. How Does The Friday Chat accommodate Different Time Zones?
The Friday chat we have in Compute is mostly accommodating US time zone, as it is happening typically Friday afternoons.
12. How many employees does DigitalOcean have?
We have just reached 500!
13. Is it harder to assimilate into a company when working 100% remotely? What are some tips you have for someone going into a remote role for the first time?
I personally do not think so. You can read an article I wrote where I provide tips for working remotely.
14. Is remote work an option for early career <5 years for engineering? Or do you prefer experienced people for remote work?
Absolutely possible. If you do not have any experience at all, it will be easier for you to start working from an office than starting to work remotely.
15. Is Digital Ocean remote worldwide or just US based?
We hire remotely in the United States and Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.
16. Many Companies That Are All Remote Or Have A Significant Number Of Remote Positions Have An Annual Retreat For Everyone To Get Together In Person. Does Do Have Anything Like That?
Yes, we do have an annual all company event called "Shark Week" when the entire company meets for a week. We also have team offsite meetings from time to time where teams meet up in NY or other locations to collaborate, plan and create.
17. Specifically how does everyone set-up times that work for everyone to work together at specific hours? Or do you work by yourself most of the time?
We trust our people to manage their time, we do not micromanage working hours. The only thing that is important for us is that there will overlap with the team.
The question about working by yourself most of the time depends on the position.
Someone at a leadership role will have more interactions than an individual contributor. Although we do have a lot of engagement between team members and no one works completely by themselves.
18. The current company I work for (remotely) 200-250 hours a month, what is a typical amount of work time a month?
Generally speaking, we don't have a typical amount of work time per month but most of my colleagues work around 45 - 50 hours per week.
19. What about training programs or courses? Are there learning resources available? What about tuition reimbursement?
We do support learning and career growth. We do have an education budget for training, conferences and higher education.
20. What do you love best about the company products and vision of the company since you've been there for +3yrs?
I love our engagement with the developer community and the passion about helping developers and shipping products which make their life simpler.
21. What is the male/female ratio...roles wise? Equal distribution on the teams...with the same roles? 50\50 engineers on a team?
We wish we had 50% representation in terms of gender diversity in engineering and across the company! We are still very much a work in progress when it comes to increasing representation from all under-represented groups.
22. What is the ratio of remote workers to office workers for DO as a whole?
Almost 50% of our employees are remote.
23. What is the turnover rate at DO?
We don't publicly disclose our attrition rate but it's consistent with other tech companies of our size and age!
24. What kind of clients do you have?
Our customers vary from single developers, such as students, hobbyists, indie developers, to startups and SMBs, and development teams in larger enterprises and Fortune 500 companies.
25. What resources do you get for setting up your home work environment?
We have a workstation program which includes a monitor, keyboard and mouse of your choice sent to your home, we also have a headphone program, you can purchase headphones of your choice and expense up to $100
Webinar-Specific Questions & Responses to Feedback
1. Are All Of The Panelists From Strictly Engineering/Programming Backgrounds?
Specifically, for this webinar all the panelists were from engineering background
2. Will Any Follow Ups Be Made to Invite Webinar Attendees to Apply or Interview for Roles?
We received the list of webinar attendees from PowerToFly and our recruiting team will look at the list and contact any attendees they find relevant to our open positions. In addition to that, feel free to contact us directly. You can reach out to me also at email@example.com
3. Can YouShow An Example Of What The Client Side Sees As A Product Of Ui Ux, Or How We Deal With The Client Side Protocols As Far As Product Base And What It Particularly Does?
I am not sure I understand the question. Feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help
4. Do.Co/Candidates Has Lots Of Resources For How We Evaluate Candidates, How To Prepare For Interviews At Do, And More. Not Tech Specific But A Good Resource Nonetheless!
I am not sure exactly what you are looking for, feel free to reach out to me directly at email@example.com
5. Does Digital Ocean Have A Returning Mom Program? I Was an IT Manager For A Trading Firm And Took A Break For Some Time And Thinking Of Returning Back To Work. There Are Lot Of Companies That Have This Program, But Looking For Something Remote.
We do not currently have a specific program for returning mom, you can look at our careers page and if there is any open position that you feel like can be a fit for you, please reach out to us. Feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Excellent And Impressive Information, Overview, Panelists. What Are The Top 3 Open Remote Non-tech/Non-engineering Positions At DigitalOcean?
Look at our careers page for details on all of our open positions.
7. Good Morning Beautiful Sisters ~ Great Information! What About Project Management Positions?
Look at our careers page for details on all of our open positions.
8. Hearing From These Ladies Have Sparked My Interest In The Company. I Appreciate Their Time And Candor.
Thank you for your feedback, we appreciate your participation at the webinar.
9. Hi! I'm A Quantitative Researcher And Analyst Who Is Looking To Transition From A More Academic Context To A Business Context. I See That DO Says They Hire For Potential And Raw Talent. How Are Things Like Career Transitions Or Shifts From Academia Handled At Do?
It is hard for me to answer without specific information about you, feel free to reach out to me directly at email@example.com and I will try to help you.
10. How Did You Know The Abuse Blacklist That Was Faulty Handle The Client That Was Not Really Abusive And Blacklisted
I am not sure I understand what's being asked here. Feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to get your questions answered by our security team.
Sneha: Was this in reference to the tech-talk?
11. I Can Imagine How Big The Blessing Is If You Have Infant And You Can Work Remote
12. I Have Worked Remotely For 2 Years At A Non-remote Friendly Company. Hearing This Is Refreshing.
We are happy to hear that!
13. Is the reason the tech talk was about monitoring, is this the type of roles do is currently looking for?
There was no specific reason, we felt it is an interesting topic that the audience will be interested in hearing about.
Sneha: Yep! I thought this is simply an interesting topic given the sheer volume of services we have powering the cloud.
Engineering/Cloud Computing Specific Questions
1. Does DigitalOcean's Observability Team Offer A Federated Logging Product? (For Example, If A Company Is Sitting On DigitalOcean Products For Infrastructure, Is There A Place To Access A Global Log That Contains Everyone's Logging Across All Applications And Apis? :) If Not, Do You Think You Will See Such A Product In The Pipeline?
We do not offer a logging product.
2. Does The Load Balancer Consider Types Of Users Or It Is User Agnostic?
Load Balancer is user agnostic.
3. How Do Your Products Differ From AWS Offerings?
AWS offerings dozens of IaaS and PaaS offerings, and DigitalOcean offers a subset of those, primarily - Droplets (VMs) and related storage, networking offerings, Spaces (object storage), DBaaS PostgreSQL, Kubernetes, etc. The primary differentiator DigitalOcean provides is the simplicity of its packaging and pricing, ease of use (both UI and APIs), supported by a strong community of tutorials, articles and excellent support.
4. I Know The Company Is Still Relatively Young, But Have Any Of Your Teams Experienced An Aging Tech Stack? How Have You Seen The Organization Respond To How Quickly Tech Changes. (I.E. New Front End Frameworks Every Few Years)
As in any company, we do have technical debt which we are constantly working on improving. We do have some "legacy" code in production that has served us for many years. In recent years we have made a pretty aggressive transition from ruby/rails monolith to a Golang microservice approach. And now we're also looking at our frontend tech stack and evaluating what our next steps will be to modernize how we deliver client experiences. As we already have such an established (and large) product we are not planning a big rewrite but will continue to extract and update functionality where it makes sense and deliver our new product experiences using modern tools and tech. I think the key is to create architectures that enable us to bring along the "legacy" as we move forward with the new.
5. Internally Does The Company Itself Use Its Own Observability Products?
Internal observability is not handed by customer facing products. We have four main internal observability systems that cover metrics, logging, distributed tracing and error management. Three of these services (metrics, logging, and error management) are a combination of open source software and internally developed software. Distributed tracing is a combination of in house developed software and a third-party service (Lightstep).
6. Is agile methodology followed in the software development process at DigitalOcean?
Yes, Agile is the primary development methodology used at DigitalOcean, although there is variance from team to team as to the maturity of the implementation/usage.
7. What's the advantage/difference of DigitalOcean Droplet & Virtual Machine if any?
DigitalOcean Droplets have multiple advantages over competing IaaS providers. DigitalOcean is well known for its ease of use, with a simple UI and easy to understand pricing and packaging of its offerings, excellent documentation and an extremely large supporting set of tutorials and community articles. Additionally, DigitalOcean Droplets all comes with SSD storage as standard, and in various 3rd party benchmark testing, they achieve industry leading price-performance in many categories (CPU-Memory performance, read speeds, etc.)
Yun Freund considers her background to form the “typical immigrant story” — but sitting down with the SVP of Platform and Product at Equinix, it’s clear she’s made it her own.
“I came to the United States about 30 years ago with $80 in my pocket. I earned a CS degree from a Beijing university when computer science was new. I was good at math, so that’s what I studied,” explains Yun.
Fast forward a few decades, and Yun is now running one of the largest organizations at Equinix, a Fortune 500 digital infrastructure company focused on providing an interconnected platform to its global 10k customers. While focusing on external growth — the business has grown nearly 40% since her arrival — Yun has also invested in internal progress, especially when it comes to Equinix’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) goals.
“I know first-hand how hard it is, as an Asian and a woman, to be able to survive and excel at a workplace, and I’m proud of how Equinix has grown to be an amazing workplace where employees feel that they are safe, belong, and matter,” says Yun.
That’s not just her opinion. Glassdoor confirms this, having given the company a “best place to work” distinction in 2021, and a special award for best places to work for LGBTQ+ equality list by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
We were excited to learn more about Yun’s strategies for empowering her team — including her belief that making room for failure is just as important as celebrating success.
The Intersection of Technological Innovation and People Management
Yun first heard about Equinix through a recruiter. Decades into her career in tech leadership, she was looking for a role where she could drive innovation in both technology and people management.
“After many rounds of discussion with our executives, I realized Equinix is a company that’s full of potential. It was doing a lot of innovation on interconnected SaaS products and networking products, and I thought I could really help drive, from a culture and process perspective, the company's digital transformation journey,” reflects Yun.
Her first order of business? Building a strategy for scaling product development. Yun had long worked at the intersection of engineering and people management, and she embraced the challenge to scale a talent strategy as well as changing the culture.
That resulted in clear growth — not just for Yun’s career, as in promotions and new responsibilities, but also in what the company was able to do.
“Helping to cultivate a DevOps culture, move products to the Cloud for high reliability and availability, and build operational excellence for our customers is contributing to us fulfilling our purpose, which is to be the platform where the world comes together, enabling the innovations that enrich our work, life and planet,” says Yun.
Diverse Ways of Measuring Impact
Yun doesn’t manage her team by the balance sheet alone.
“Improving the bottom line, or operating more efficiently, is just as important as improving the top line, or driving more revenue and more customer adoption,” she says. “Sometimes it’s not about how we get new products and services out the door, but how we run things more efficiently.”
For Equinix, says Yun, that includes committing to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030.
“We’re a company that really touches life every day, from online shopping, to sending emails and streaming movies, to smart cars,” says Yun. “We want to be doing that sustainably. For example, by using AI and machine learning to lower our power consumption and using green sources of energy.”
Yun knows that to drive the most impact, Equinix needs a diverse team. She has partnered with other senior leaders and employee connection groups and started driving a more coherent DIB strategy across the company. She is excited to see the progress and wants to continue the effort in building a diverse and safe workplace for everyone — including by leading through her own example.
3 Key Ways to Empower Your Team
When Yun says that it’s important to empower your team, she doesn’t mean that you simply transfer the responsibility to your team and call it done. Here’s what she does mean:
- Embrace failure. “It’s easy to say, ‘Ah, empowerment. Here’s the purpose, go drive impact.’ But sometimes it’s not all rosy,” she says. “The road to empowerment can sometimes be a failure. How do you support your employees along the way? When they fail, you should not blame them. You should be there, on their side, to help them do a retrospective and learn from it.”
- Show trust via delegation. “Giving your team the opportunity to make their own decisions helps give them a purpose. It shows them they can make a difference. Accountability and ownership will help drive your team to have deeper engagement and commitments, and ultimately deliver results.”
- Tie individual responsibilities to company OKRs (Objectives, Key Results). “I always communicate to my team that every engineer and individual contributor’s work will have an impact on the business, no matter how small that is,” says Yun. For example, if an engineer is working on a new digital experience component for the customers, their work will contribute to some kind of business outcome such as, hours saved from many customer support calls or customer satisfaction score improvement, and that in turn drives operational efficiency and customer experience improvement for the whole business. “When employees realize their impact on the business, it elevates their motivation as well as their state of mind.”
We all have our favorite websites– the ones we frequent, bookmark, and recommend to others. You might even enjoy some website features so much that you’ve found yourself wondering why they aren’t more popular. Or maybe you’ve experienced times where you were frustrated with a website and wished you could add features or even design your own!
If you’ve ever found yourself intrigued at the prospect of designing and developing your own websites, then a career as a web developer might be just for you!
As a web developer you would be responsible for coding, designing, optimizing, and maintaining websites. Today, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world and, in turn, the demand for web developers is on the rise. In order to figure out what kind of web development work best suits you let’s start with an introduction to the three main roles in web development that you can choose from.
The Three Types of Web Development Jobs
Front-End Web Development: The Creative Side
In addition to programming skills, front-end developers need to be detail oriented, creative, willing to keep up with the latest trends in web development, cyber security conscious, and geared toward user-friendly designs. The median salary for a front-end developer can reach well into the $90,000 to $100,000 range.
Back-End Web Development: The Logical Counterpart
While a house can be beautifully decorated, it’s incomplete without a solid foundation and efficient infrastructure. Similarly, a well-designed website depends on logical and functional code to power the features of that website. Back-end web development is code-heavy and focused on the specifics of how a website works. If you enjoy the analytical challenge of creating the behind-the-scenes code that powers a website, then back-end development is for you.
Full-Stack Web Development: A Little Bit of Everything
A full-stack developer is essentially the Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades in web development. Full-stack developers need to be knowledgeable about both front-end and back-end roles. This does not necessarily imply that you would need to be an expert in both roles, but you should fully understand the different applications and synergies they each imply. In order to work in this position, you will need to know the programming languages used by front-end and back-end developers. In addition to these languages, full-stack developers also specialize in databases, storage, HTTP, REST, and web architecture.
Full-stack developers are often required to act as liaisons between front-end and back-end developers. Full-stack developers need to be both problem solvers and great communicators. The end goal for a full-stack developer is to ensure that the user’s experience is seamless, both on the front-end and on the back-end. In return, you can expect to earn a median salary of $100,000 – $115,000 a year for this role.
Taking the Next Step
Web development is both in-demand and lucrative! All three roles described above contribute to specific aspects of web development and the scope of each one can be customized to the industries and positions you feel best suit you. Regardless of which role you choose, all of them need a foundation in programming.
To gain the programming skills needed in each role, you can enroll in courses or learn independently. Coding bootcamps are a great way to boost your skillset quickly and efficiently.
Click here for some of our highly rated programming bootcamp options! Make sure to check out the discounts available to PowerToFly members.
💎For a successful job search you need to be very strategic, focused, and intentional about your career. Watch the video to the end to get advice on how to achieve it!
📼Be successful in your job search by identifying the career goals you’d like to achieve over the next 12 to 18 months. LaMont Price, Senior Recruiter, and Meg Fronckowiak, Senior Talent Acquisition Recruiter at Tenable, share with you the benefits of having a short-term career development plan and understanding your unique value proposition.
📼A successful job search requires you to take a deep dive into the job description. Look at your resume and try to match the skills and the qualifications and highlight that on your resume, so it stands out. Secondly, do your research. You want to make sure that you've taken a look at the company website. You've looked at the leadership of the company, the size of the company, and the culture of the company. And to go one step further, look at the interviewer. Look them up on LinkedIn, and take a look at their background. Recruiters always look for people who have great insightful questions that show the level of research the person did.
📼You’ll be successful in a job search if you know how to face the interview process. Every interview includes some don’ts. Don't be late. There's nothing worse than showing up late for an interview. Dress Professionally. Try to be in a quiet place so that you're not distracted. Get through the interview process, show that you're engaged, and have good body language. At the end of the interview, you always want to ask if there's any question that maybe you weren't able to answer. And always ask about the interview process to get a good understanding of the timeline.
A Successful Job Search Requires Research - Learn About A Company’s Values!
Recruiters need to know if you are aligned with the company’s culture. If you want to apply to Tenable, you should know that its core values are diversity, equity, and inclusion. They work together and they win together, and this is an idea that resonates throughout the entire organization. Tenable celebrates all of its employees. This allows them to focus on the equal representation of women and minorities in technical roles, sales roles, and leadership roles. The company provides training for all of its employees in diversity, equity, and inclusion. This helps employees to understand how their behaviors can impact others. Make sure to show that you are aligned with these values during your interview!
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining Tenable? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get to Know LaMont Price and Meg Fronckowiak
Over the last 25+ years, LaMont Price has researched, analyzed, and optimized services and products by exploiting the latest tools and tactics aligned with the strategic goal via Attention, Differentiation, Trust, and Memorability. Meg Fronckowiak has been working in the recruiting and talent attraction since 2003 and she spent the majority of her career working across all disciplines including, Building out GTM Teams, Accounting & Finance, Marketing, Operations, and Sales Leadership. If interested in a career at Tenable, you can connect with LaMont and Meg on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Tenable
Tenable empowers all organizations to understand and reduce their cybersecurity risk. Over 30,000 organizations, more than 50% being fortune 500 companies worldwide, rely on Tenable to help them understand and reduce cybersecurity risk. The company has some of the greatest minds. That’s because they bring people who come from diverse backgrounds and give them the resources and support to partner together to bring new ideas to life.
Monica Arias has long been interested in the new and the next. That interest is what drove her to work in national security after 9/11, and in the cryptocurrency space after learning about modern-day crimes committed on the blockchain.
One thing she has noticed every time she’s been somewhere new: the importance of having a diverse early team to shape it.
“We need minorities to be willing to take a chance and apply to firms like ours and other tech firms,” says Monica, who is currently a Federal Business Development Lead at Chainalysis, a blockchain data platform. “As these companies grow rapidly, we need diverse candidates who can offer diverse thoughts and approaches to problems.”
Monica currently works closely with the Chainalysis federal government team to pursue opportunities to support customers that are in need of Chainalysis data to track blockchain criminals and bring them to justice. She was well-prepared for some parts of the job after holding various roles but had to come up the curve on technical skills — which is why she’s sure that other candidates like her, from non-technical, underrepresented backgrounds, will be able to do so, too.
We sat down with Monica to hear more about how marginalized people can break into crypto and best position themselves for success in the field.
Connecting to a Bigger Mission
Growing up around DC, Monica got early exposure to federal service. From a young age, she knew she wanted to help represent and advocate for people.
She went to law school, thinking that would be the best path to fulfilling her goals. But living through 9/11 inspired her to support national security missions more actively. That’s how she got her first exposure to her now-employer — she brought in Chainalysis for a demo to learn how to on leverage their blockchain analysis tools.
“I’ve always wanted to be a part of something that had a bigger mission,” says Monica. “And the crypto space had that.”
It wasn’t just any crypto company that interested Monica, though. She particularly liked the company’s innovative culture and fast growth.
“Chainalysis is a very open and encouraging place,” says Monica, who came in to interview at the startup having studied up on crypto, but never having worked in the field or with blockchain technology.
“The culture is very much about learning, and they’ve created an environment where they enable you to do so. The underlying foundation is ongoing learning, and soliciting ideas on how to evolve and expand.”
Leveraging a Non-Technical Background
Monica gets what it’s like to not want to apply to an opportunity because you feel underqualified — that’s what happened to her.
“In some conversations, the feedback I received was that I didn’t have enough of a technical background and that therefore it would be challenging to go and join a tech firm,” she says. “It’s a big deterrent for so many people. And it also compounds things. Because if you’re a minority or from an underrepresented group, you’re already less likely to apply. And if you have no technical background, you’re even less likely to do so.”
How did Monica break through that? She got creative.
“I had to take a step back and say, ‘You know, I have skills. How can I transfer those into a non-technical role supporting a tech firm?” she says.
We asked her to share more about what that process was like, and here’s what she said:
5 Tips as You Gear Up to Be Competitive in the Tech Industry
- Find firms that are in fields you find interesting. Since you’re going to have to do a lot of learning, find a tech firm that is involved in a field you are excited about. Monica found her interest - crypto! She’s excited to continuously be learning about the rapidly changing crypto landscape. She added, “the tech industry can be demanding so you need to stay motivated about the work you’re doing and believe in the company you’re with.”
- Find firms that are open-minded, too. Interviewing at Chainalysis even without technical skills on her resume didn’t pose a problem for Monica. That’s because they were willing to look at her in her entirety. “It’s not just, ‘Do you fit A, B, and C,’ but ‘Do you have the overall skills and ability to learn and grow in this type of field?’”
- Recognize your transferable skills. Monica coaches other people with non-technical backgrounds like hers to start by acknowledging their accomplishments in their own fields. “What have you done? Is it people managing? Because these firms manage people in one way or another. Those and other skills can be leveraged and transferred,” says Monica. “Literally, make a list and identify those skills, then highlight those skills throughout your resume.”
- Remember that most people are in the same boat. “You won’t come across too many candidates who have 10 years of crypto experience, because this field is new,” says Monica. “The perfect candidate who meets every single qualification listed in a job ad may not exist so instead recruiters — especially those who are good at their jobs - spend time getting to know candidates. But they can't get to know you if you are deterred from applying by thinking you don't meet all the qualifications.”
- Study up. Monica follows crypto influencers, keeps up with crypto companies on LinkedIn, follows government statements on crypto, and reads reports put out by her firm and others. “If this is your focus, you need to read, talk, and network — just be curious,” she says.