Better Companies

Inside Amazon, As Told By Top Women Developers

When PowerToFly's Seattle community spent the evening at Amazon's Seattle campus.

Most of us spend time on each week, ordering household goods or watching streaming shows (I highly recommend Catastrophe btw). We all know the experience is seamless, especially if you have an Echo. I mean, you don't even need to lift your hands to to make orders. Yeah, it's all pretty magical and futuristic - a future that is happening now thanks to a few of the brilliant female and male engineers who talked to the PowerToFly community at an event we held with Amazon on June 28th on their Seattle campus.

With the goal of introducing women in tech to the female and male developers in the room who are running engineering teams for Amazon Restaurants, Machine Learning for Ads, and the Amazon Tickets platform, the PowerToFly community in Seattle was able to ask about what it's like to work at Amazon as they got an inside look into what the company is building.

In that spirit, Rachel Valdez, PowerToFly's Chief Dream Maverick and the MC for the event, started us off with a behind the scenes demo from Uma Boddeti, the Software Development Manager for Amazon Restaurants. Uma explained the challenges of building applications for on-demand food delivery - from coordinating the in-restaurant ordering process to ensuring that the drivers who make the deliveries go to the right house. After Uma's presentation, the audience asked her questions about the product, but they also took the opportunity to understand how Uma balances being a tech leader while raising two children. Her answer: I ask for flexibility when I need it and I get my work done. She used an example from that day to illustrate her experiences. Uma said she was planned on leaving the office early to take her son to the dentist. It wasn't a problem because her team knew she was would make up for any lost time and productivity. Uma made it clear that family matters came first on her team, as long as goals are being met.

Uma Boddeti, the Software Development Manager for Amazon Restaurants answers questions about work-life integration and the products she's building.

To cap off the event we held a similar discussion with Alice Zheng, who is a Senior Software Development Manager for Advertising platforms at Amazon. Alice is also the author of "Mastering Feature Engineering" and "Evaluating Machine Learning Models". The PowerToFly members in the audience particularly wanted to know how Alice manages her time, especially if she's feeling overwhelmed. Alice advised the women in the room to sit down with their managers and go over their task lists to prioritize when things are due. She reiterated advice she received early on from a woman executive at Amazon: focus on "running a marathon" and not a sprint. At PowerToFly we give that same advice to our team members - it's all about training and preparing for a long steady pace. Too many sprints knock people out of the game and are unsustainable, especially at high-growth companies like Amazon.

After discussing how we can better manage ourselves and talk to our managers, Alice briefly discussed what she found different and useful about the hiring process at Amazon. She touched on the set of values Amazon asks candidates to match their experiences to in the interview process. In Alice's opinion, these core values allow candidates to measure themselves against a universal company framework. If you do end up joining Amazon then you know exactly what the company expects from you and your colleagues on day one.

Alice Zheng and Katharine Zaleski, PowerToFly's Co-Founder and President take questions from the audience.

Want to come to events like these? Sign up for and we'll send you exclusive invitations for events where we connect you to executives and hiring managers at companies that care about creating gender diverse and inclusive environments. And if you're interested in working at Amazon, check out their page on

Remote Work Round-Up

By now we all know that working remotely can boost productivity, but how exactly can you do that? It can be difficult to make the shift from office to home, but Fast Company recently published an article detailing how to make the transition that much easier.

Basically, it all comes down to boundaries. It's about cultivating a space that won't distract you with the comforts of home, but is comfortable enough to help you be productive.

Fast Company cites a few ways remote workers can get into their groove. To start, do some prep work the night before. Collect your documents, both physical and digital, and organize them so they're prepared for meetings for the next day.

Next, make sure your workspace is clear and free of distractions. That means tidying up and decluttering your surroundings. And, if you decide to work from a cafe, make sure the environment is meshes with your working style.

Once you've done that, it's important to remember to not break from the morning you would normally have if you commuted into work. Sure it'll be less stress to make the train or beat traffic, but sticking to your morning routine will help set the tone for the day.

Finally, it's important to be around people and keep resting areas separate. Remote life can get lonely, so make sure to socialize yourself. And while tempting, it's probably not wise to take all of your calls from bed. Not only will it not keep you at your best, you might also start associating work stress with areas of your home that should be comforting.

So, if you're interested in working remotely, try these tips out for size and apply to the remote jobs below!

Zapier, Inc. - Product Manager, Growth Marketing - (Remote)

Octane AI - Freelance Writer - (Remote)

Women Who Code - Software Engineer - (Remote)

General Assembly - Drupal Developer - (Remote)

General Assembly - Senior Software Engineer - (Remote)

GitLab - Account Executive - West -(Remote)

GitLab - Product Marketing Manager - (Remote)

Complex Networks - Freelance Designer & Animator, Marketing - (Remote)

RebelMouse - Javascript / React Developer - Fluid Role - (Remote)

Shopify Inc - Database Engineer - Data Stores Engineering - (Remote)

Better Jobs with Companies That Care

Yes, tragedy and disaster have been top of mind as of late, but while it's imperative for us to lend a helping hand to those in need, it's just as important to look on the bright side. As the sage Prince once noted - we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. But are we gonna let the elevator get us down? Oh, no. Oh, no. So join us on the celebration-side as we peel the onion layers back and go beyond the grin-and-bear it stage. We've all much to be thankful for, so let's embrace that, and each other.

Companies That Care


Travel and adventure abound at HomeAway, and so do their perks: parental leave, volunteer days, and coveted stand-up desks! No more fighting with your manager over whether it's medically necessary to be in a position other than sitting all day, because the answer at HomeAway is: if you need it, or even if you just want it, it's yours.

Check out these other great jobs too!

Addepar - Digital Marketing Manager - New York, NY

AdMass - Backend Engineer - New York, NY

Avant - Software Engineer, Platform - Chicago, IL

Bloomberg L.P. - Developer Experience Hosted Services Engineer - New York, NY

Casper - Software Engineer - New York, NY

Dow Jones & Company - Application Developer - New York, NY

Goldman, Sachs, & Co. - Frontend Web Developer - Multiple Locations

Hearst Newspapers - Frontend Developer - New York, NY

Itavio - Systems Developer - Remote

Karat, Inc. - Software Engineer - Seattle, WA

Sephora - Director, PMO - Delivery & Governance - San Francisco, CA

Shopify - Social Media Data Analyst - Toronto, Canada

Time, Inc. - Sr. Developer (SDE II), Brand Engineering - New York, NY

Viacom, Inc. - Software Test Engineer - New York, NY

5 Things We Love - In Tech and Digital - This Week! 9/15/17

I'm back with a brand new batch of amazing people, places, and things in the tech and digital world. This week's list is filled with badasses who launched web apps, started podcasts and are all around jills-of-all-trades. I wouldn't want to spoil too much, though. Check out who we've got below!

How We Built Our First Full-Stack JavaScript Web App In Three Weeks

Sure, completing coding bootcamp is cool, but nothing beats building your first product. Enter Sophia Ciocca. In this piece, she outlines the entire process of building her first app, from ideation to deployment. If you're looking for a clear and organized approached to app building with a tangible example, this is for you!

Hellbent Podcast

It seems that a podcast always makes its way to this list. That's because they're soo good. Seriously, get with it. Hellbent was inspired by the presidential election and features two friends' hot takes on politics and current events with a feminist twist. Subscribe!

Girl Vow Mentoring

Is there such a thing as too much mentorship and advocacy? I don't think so. And Girl Vow Mentoring isn't just another mentoring org. They're truly changing the lives of young girls by educating them on things like how to plan their careers and paths through academia. Their resources give the girls the much needed confidence to go out and conquer the world, which is always a good thing. Check them out and sign up to be a mentor while you're at it!

Why women can't just 'get over it

Thanks to the Google Memo, gender diversity and inclusion conversations are more important than ever. In this piece, Wanda Pratt breaks down why women won't take their discrimination lying down. Filled with anecdotes and much needed context, this is a great piece to ground readers in why the fight to end the gender gap is just getting started and why we need each other to end it.

Sarah Drasner

Her Twitter bio reads, "Award-winning speaker. Sr. Developer Advocate @Microsoft. Writer @Real_CSS_Tricks. Cofounder," I know what you're thinking, "how many hats can one person wear?" But seriously, sometimes you stumble across someone who is so awesome that you have to recognize them. Oh, if you have time check out her site and sift through her writing, speeches, and design work.

Did I miss something? Let me know via email: or on Twitter: @powertofly

Companies That Care

Better Jobs with Companies That Care

September 13, 2017

The devastating images plastered all over the news between Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have undoubtedly affected us all, and in some cases, have actually impacted members of our community. Though the worst seems to be behind us (fingers crossed), now the hard part begins: rebuilding. PowerToFly members come from a diverse array of backgrounds and have unique talents, and while we are all busy with our own lives, now is the time to put our hearts on display and help any way we can - and especially offering assistance to those who matter to us most, the women of those communities affected. So, whether you can spare a dollar or two or have the capability to get involved in a different way, it's ultimately beneficial to help however you find meaningful. Not only will others thank you, you'll thank yourself as well.


Sure, Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. It's also so much more than that, with a diverse crew, competitive compensation and benefits and a plethora of training, development and mentorship programs. But Goldman Sachs also offers their employees the stage to make real change, either through your day-to-day or their array of community service programs, where they partner with over 900 non-profit organizations. Want to make a change? So does Goldman Sachs.

For more choice opportunities with companies that care, see below. And you can peruse even more open roles on our Jobs page.

Addepar - Digital Marketing Manager (New York, NY)

AdMass - Chief Technology Officer (New York, NY)

Avant - Software Engineer, Platform (Chicago, IL)

Bloomberg L.P. - Developer Experience Hosted Services Engineer (New York, NY)

Casper - Software Engineer (New York, NY)

Dow Jones & Company - Application Developer (New York, NY)

DuckDuckGo - Senior Designer (Remote)

HomeAway - Software Engineer, Backend, Java (Bellevue, WA)

Itavio - Mobile Application Developer (Remote)

Karat, Inc. - Operations Support Specialist (Remote)

Sephora - Director, PMO, Delivery & Governance (San Francisco, CA)

Shopify - Senior Product Analyst (Toronto, ON, Canada)

Time Inc. - Senior Developer (SDE II), Brand Engineering (New York, NY)

Viacom - Software Test Engineer (New York, NY)

Viacom Inc.

This Viacom Vice President Cares About Community

This Viacom Vice President Cares About Community

How does Viacom, the media conglomerate and home to pop-culture mainstays such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures, remain at the top of the entertainment industry? According to Jennifer Cardella, Vice President overseeing Viacom's technology Project and Strategic Vendor Management department, they heavily rely on agile methodology to respond to the needs of their fans and the market. Being agile is one of the cornerstones to the success of her team, as well as to Viacom on the whole.

As Jennifer explains, "As the old adage goes 'the only constant is change' and for a company like Viacom, which needs to be responsive to a very dynamic market, that's certainly the case. We pride ourselves on being able to select the right methodology and approach for each situation. We're not in the business of process for process sake. Our next opportunity to innovate and create something awesome is always just around the corner. We need to be able to keep pace, and deliver at scale"

Jennifer's team and their ability to adapt to those frequent shifts is due, in no small part, to the community she has built. Jennifer is in charge of many moving parts such as streamlining and optimizing tools, working closely with critical external partners and establishing coaching groups to ensure processes are followed correctly. When she started in her current role, she was influential in creating a council to foster community-focused best practices. Viacom's "fail-fast" mentality means team members aren't penalized for making mistakes, but rather, this mindset helps make the team more successful in the long run.

She says, "Don't be afraid to fail fast because it's not about the failures. It's the learning experience that goes along with it. This also helps promote a culture where taking a calculated risk is seen as a positive rather than a negative."

Community and solid communication techniques make the team great, agile processes underpin this and promote timely sharing of information in a structured manner. Technical skills are a necessity, however soft skills such as humility and openness to new perspectives, while frequently overlooked, are what continue to move them forward. Jennifer points out, "The relationships you build, both within Viacom and outside are critical to being an effective leader. Viacom's fast paced and innovative culture require a lot of socialization and relationship management." As changes come from the bottom-up and top-down, knowing that there is an open line of communication allows for the team to respond and act as needed, when needed.

Certainly, Viacom's culture bolsters that sense of community. Viacom's commitment to a diverse workforce is a source of pride for Jennifer. "Everyone brings something different. I'm one of the women who works with the Girls Who Code program. I love the fact that we get to share our culture and work with these young women and support them. It's good to know that Viacom sees diversity as something important."

It's by design that community and communication are a vital part of the way Jennifer's team operate. Their success and that of the wider organization depend on them.

For more information on Viacom and their open roles, learn more here.

Remote Work Round-Up

Looking for more flexibility at work? Making your own hours means working when you're most productive and are at your best. But did you know working remotely can also increase your productivity? According to a recent Forbes article, the nature of remote work has a positive effect on our work output.

The five reasons? You save time commuting, take breaks at your leisure, make your own routine, feel less distracted, and create your own perfect work environment. The perks of being your own boss, right?

Even if you aren't working for yourself, these benefits still apply. Remote work is all about freedom and autonomy.

So if you're interested in working remotely, check out these jobs below.

Zapier - Product Designer, Growth - (Remote) - Technical Support Superstar - (Remote)

Etsy - Senior Software Engineer - iOS (Brooklyn or Remote)

Pedago, LLC - Content Developer - (Remote)

DuckDuckGo - Social Media Strategist - (Remote)

Redox, Inc. - Full Stack Engineer - (Remote)

GitLab - Director of Product Marketing - (Remote)

L3 Technologies, Inc. - Supplier Quality Engineer (East Coast Regional Field Supplier Engineer)

- (Remote)

Zendesk - Apps Developer - (Remote)

JOOR, Inc. - Senior Software Engineer - (Remote)

Companies That Care

Better Jobs with Companies That Care

September 6, 2017

Another labor day has come and gone, and while normally, this future-forward happening would fill us with dread, this time around, it's filled with freedom. Why? The kids are off to school, of course! For those of us who are mothers or caregivers, this means we can get back to the business of ME. Sure, children can certainly remain the center of attention regardless of season, and lazy summer days don't necessarily apply to the parental units (and if they do for you, please instruct us on how you've accomplished this). But now the spawn (angel? devil?) are off bothering other adults and we can get back to business. So let's roll up our sleeves and DO THIS, and gladly!


Karat was founded on the premise that the interview process is the gateway to innovation. And who better to innovate in hiring engineers for tech companies than actual engineers? Karat also allows for loads of flexibility and remote opportunities, perfect, well, for anybody. On-the-job training, off-site retreats and a chance to really help talented people from all walks of life round out the reasons why Karat is a company that cares for sure.

For more choice opportunities with companies that care, see below. And you can peruse even more open roles on our Jobs page.

Addepar - Digital Marketing Manager (New York, NY)

AdMass - Chief Technology Officer (New York, NY)

Avant - Software Engineer, Platform (Chicago, IL)

Bloomberg L.P. - Developer Experience Hosted Services Engineer (New York, NY)

Casper - Software Engineer (New York, NY)

Cisco Meraki - Software Engineer, Automation (San Francisco, CA)

Dow Jones & Company - Application Developer (New York, NY)

Goldman, Sachs & Co. - Frontend Web Developer (NY, IL, UT, TX)

Hearst Newspapers - Frontend Developer (New York, NY)

HomeAway - Creative Director (Austin, TX)

Itavio - Systems Developer (Remote)

Oscar Insurance Corp. - Software Engineer, Data/Systems (Culver City, CA)

Sephora - Senior Manager, Mobile Application Development (San Francisco, CA)

Time Inc. - Senior Developer (SDE II), Brand Engineering (New York, NY)

The Upside Travel Company LLC - Director, Customer Experience Engagement (Washington, D.C.)

Viacom - Software Test Engineer (New York, NY)

Talent Sourcing Trends

How To Create A Truly Inclusive Tech Conference

We've all seen it. An established conference opens up its registration, allowing attendees to buy passes, en masse, to a three day extravaganza filled with speeches by the industry's emerging thought leaders, networking, and parties. All seems good and well until you notice a couple of things. Number one? The speaker lineup is pretty homogenous. Secondly, the price to attend - far too much for someone in your tax bracket. So what can conferences do to make sure they include the attendees who need and want to attend their events? Ultimately, it comes down to three things: access, diversity, and specificity.

Make Your Conference Accessible

The price to register at a conference can often be in the thousands. And that registration fee doesn't include travel, food, or accommodations. All together, the costs can take a huge chunk out of your savings. There are a few ways to remedy this, however. Conferences like Tech Inclusion live stream their keynote speakers for attendees all over the world and upload them to YouTube. And the Grace Hopper Celebration uses sponsorship money from companies to support women to attend the conference. Another great way to make your conference accessible is to tier registration fees. In the case of Grade Hopper, students pay a reduced fee to attend.

Make Your Conference Diverse

Tech conferences that don't highlight diversity in both their speaker lineup and subject matter will be hard pressed to find a diverse audience. There are a wealth of thought leaders in tech on diversity alone. Take Ellen K. Pao, Leanne Pittsford, Y-Vonne Hutchinson, or Megan Smith -- the list goes on. The thing is, diversity and inclusion go hand in hand. So to create inclusive environments, you need to have diverse spaces that reflect the people you want to attract.

Make Your Conference Specific

Another crucial component of inclusivity is specificity. It's not enough to build it and hope they will come. People need to know their interests and identities are important to conference creators. That's why conferences like Grace Hopper and Lesbians Who Tech are so important and successful. They recognize the need for specificity and meet it.

So I know you're probably thinking, "These are great tips, but what conferences are doing this already?" Don't worry. I've got you covered.

Here are a list of tech conference who are getting diversity and inclusion right:

Grace Hopper Celebration

Lesbians Who Tech

Tech Inclusion

Blavity AfroTech

Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit

Culture Shift Labs


The Lead Dev Conference

Write Speak Code

Are there any conferences you love? I'd love to hear from you! Let us know at or on Twitter : @powertofly

Remote Work Round-Up

August 31, 2017

A recent survey reports that only 7% of U.S. workers find themselves productive while at the office during normal work hours, according to Forbes contributor Iris Leung, whereas 66% of all respondents believed they'd be more productive if allowed to work remotely.

They state reasons such as:

  • fewer interruptions from colleagues (76%)
  • reducing the stress that comes with commuting (70%)
  • office politics (69%)
  • Quieter (62%)
  • More comfortable clothes (54%)
Also interesting, about 35% of those surveyed identified as working parents.

But while telecommuting has grown 115% over the past decade, it looks like pajamas and flip flops may not be in the cards for many remote workers, or at least not on a daily basis.

The writer states, "The future of work will definitely be more flexible, but the key thing for employers to realize is that this trend doesn't mean they'll need to send all their workers home to work remotely. The vast majority of remote and flexible work arrangements are a hybrid model where people work in the office some of the time, and at home some of the time."

You can hasten the majority rules yoga pants schedule by taking a look below at some of our open remote or flexible opportunities. For even more available roles, head over to our Jobs page.

This week's curated list of jobs from the PowerToFly platform include:

Akili Interactive - Director, Product Management (Flexible/Larkspur, CA or Boston, MA)

BetterUp - Chief of Staff (Flexible/San Francisco, CA)

Buzzfeed - Senior Manager of Product Management (Flexible/New York, NY)

Casper - Engineering Manager (Flexible/New York, NY)

DuckDuckGo - Business Development Manager (Remote)

Pedago, LLC - Content Developer, Data Science (Remote)

Rubica - Backend Software Engineer (Flexible/San Francisco, CA)

Shopify - Database Engineer, Data Stores Engineering (Remote)

Shopify Plus - Merchant Success Manager (Flexible/Ontario, Canada)

Zapier, Inc. - Senior Recruiter (Remote)

"Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it." ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Companies That Care

Better Jobs With Companies That Care

August 30, 2017

It's hard to believe summer is nearly (unofficially) over - especially as we currently sit and stare out onto a gray Manhattan landscape, only 65 degrees in what's supposed to amount to stifling, humid dog days. We're here to tell you that while there is truth to the statement that the dog days are over (WHOA!), they needn't be. Summer is a state of mind, filled with the flutter of excitement you'd get when the last refrains of that final, clanging bell reverberated through the school hallway, that first lick of a cool, creamy soft ice cream cone as seasonal customs come alive, the liberating feeling of the air hitting your cold-weather-suffering toes. In one word, it's freedom. It's the freedom of enjoying life AND working hard. It's not just a summer thing, it's a life thing. Be sure to carry it over come September and beyond.


Apple, the company that makes the very products you probably use every day, is hiring. When it comes to their practices and benefits, Apple exemplifies what we look for in companies that care. They hire inclusively, and they do more than believe in pay equity — they've actually achieved it: Women earn one dollar for every dollar male employees earn in the United States for similar roles and performance. And whether it's maternity leave, new parent leave, adoption assistance, backup care, student loan refinancing, or product discounts, Apple has benefits that fit your lifestyle and then some.

For more choice opportunities with companies that care, see below. And you can peruse even more open roles on our Jobs page.

Addepar - Data Operations Analyst (Salt Lake City, UT)

AdMass - Data Engineer (New York, NY)

Avant - Software Engineer, Platform (Chicago, IL)

Casper - Software Engineer (New York, NY)

Cisco Meraki - Hardware Program Manager (San Francisco, CA)

Dow Jones & Company - Application Developer (New York, NY)

Goldman, Sachs & Co. - Software Developer - Java, C++ or Python (NY, TX, UT, IL)

Hearst Newspapers - Frontend Developer (New York, NY)

HomeAway - Director, Global Editorial (Austin, TX)

Itavio - Systems Developer (Remote)

Karat, Inc. - Product Engineer (Seattle, WA)

Oscar Insurance Corp. - Software Engineer, Data/Systems (Culver City, CA)

Sephora - Senior Manager, Mobile Application Development (San Francisco, CA)

Time Inc. - Senior Developer (SDE II), Brand Engineering (New York, NY)

The Upside Travel Company LLC - Director, Customer Experience Engagement (Washington, D.C.)

Viacom - Product Manager (New York, NY)