Companies That Care

This VP of Software Engineering Strives to Make Things Better

Jan. 8th 2018

The reasons why a person embarks on a journey to become a software engineer are ample: unlimited employment opportunities, generous salaries and benefits, pursuing passion. But for Sha Ma, the VP of Software Engineering at SendGrid, what initially drew her to be a software engineer is the ability to make things better. Sha elaborates "Collaboration and working in teams are crucial aspects of engineering. Being able to effectively communicate is a huge part of our day to day."

Managing and facilitating effective communication across teams within the workplace is no simple feat. Sha and her colleagues at SendGrid take it a step further to actively promote a sense of well-being and community amongst its employees. "SendGrid focuses heavily on creating ways for our employees to connect with one another and to make an impact within our local communities. Whether it's our new office space layout or twice a year alignment offsites or interest groups, we provide employee opportunities to meet and to connect in informal settings as we continue to grow. SendGrid is also forefront in local community involvement. We are heavily involved in tech meetups, startup mentorship, giving back to the community and women in tech events."

One way SendGrid accomplishes its goals of open communication is by permeating a "4H" culture: happy, honest, humble and hungry. "Every employee lives and breathes these values. We've incorporated them deeply into our everyday vocabulary, where people are comfortable giving each other feedback by saying 'Honest H…'. We place a high emphasis on culture during our recruiting and hiring process, where each 'H' is vetted carefully during the interview process. Culture is one of the most difficult things to scale in a fast growing organization, and we work hard on keeping true to these values. I've never been at another company where the culture is so apparent in everything we do," Sha clarifies.

Although culture is an important part of any successful and rapidly growing environment, Sha's day-to-day duties consist of leading the software development organization at SendGrid, building and scaling their world-class email Infrastructure, delivering over 36 billion emails on a monthly basis. Sha is also responsible for continuously developing new products and features to create better experiences for SendGrid's customers.

Sha joined SendGrid as a Senior Director in 2015. Her journey from an individual contributor to a people leader has been a fortuitous and gratifying one. Sha says, "I'm an Engineer at heart, and am always interested in solving problems and making an impact. Becoming a people leader allows me to solve bigger problems than I can as an individual contributor. Enabling people to achieve their full potential has been a super rewarding experience; and being a people leader has challenged me to learn new skills and to become a multiplier for my teams. Growing from IC to Director to VP, my role transitioned from being able to execute, to tactical cross functional planning and providing strategic direction to my teams. At SendGrid, we are focused on growing the next generation of managers and leaders to continue empowering our teams to accomplish more."

Making things better both in and out of the workplace is a lofty goal for any software engineer. But Sha's drive coupled with SendGrid's support and values has made all that possible.

PwC

What makes us, us

Life at PwC

This video illustrates how the people of PwC engage the more than 220,000 people across 157 countries in the PwC network on delivering our shared purpose (to build trust in society and solve important problems). It's why they do what they do. And how they do it is by living the same core values (they act with integrity, make a difference, care, work together and reimagine the possible) - they make us #teampwc.

Click here to see all available opportunities at PwC, and don't forget to press follow!

Remote Hiring

Everything You Need to Know About How to Get a Remote Job

Partner Content

A version of this article previously appeared on Skillcrush, an online education program for creatives, thinkers, and makers that gives total tech newbies the tools to make major career changes.

Cameron Chapman, Skillcrush

A decade ago, I had a traditional office job working for a magazine publisher. It was a great job, no doubt. But it also came with a long—and in the winter sometimes treacherous—commute every day. My 8+ hour workday quickly turned to 10+ hours when you tacked on the hour drive on either end.

Let's just say that when the opportunity came along to cut the commute (and work in my pajamas when I felt like it), I jumped at it.

But I was lucky. I sort of fell into remote working, through freelancing as a copy editor, blogger, and designer, before coming on board here at Skillcrush as a more "typical" remote worker.

Not everyone gets to have the same kind of natural transition into remote working, though. If you're reading this, you're probably wondering how you can purposely start working remotely.

Everything you need to know about how to get started working remotely is included in the completely updated Ultimate Guide to Getting a Remote Job You Love.

If you're not sure if working remotely is right for you, check out these amazing reasons:

Work From Anywhere

Home office, front porch, kitchen table, coffee shop, coworking space, RV traveling across America, an exotic beach somewhere, camping in the woods (thank you, 4G hotspot!), or pretty much anywhere else you can connect to the Internet.

Set Your Own Schedule

Not every remote job allows for this, but a lot of them offer at least some flexibility around when you work. That means if you find you're most productive from 5am to 9am (or midnight to 4am, or in the middle of the afternoon), you can roll with it. It also means you can live in another timezone without working in the middle of the night! Unless you want to of course.

Save Money

You won't need an entire work wardrobe if you're working from home every day (at most you might need a few nice shirts for video meetings). And you'll save a lot by not commuting every day (plus that's good for the environment). You can also avoid the costs of the big city and choose to settle where the cost of living is lower, and your paycheck goes further.

Make More Money

If you live somewhere with a low cost of living and median income, but work for a company based in an area with high wages, you may get paid based on where the company is, not where you are. That means you can live in the middle of nowhere but make the kind of salary you'd make in NYC. (Some companies scale salary based on where you live, so keep that in mind!)

Psst! Want to know all the ways you can make more money with tech skills? Check out the free Ultimate Guide to Making More Money in Tech for details.

Be More Efficient

This one might come as a surprise, but meetings done via Google Hangouts or Skype always seem to stay on task and operate more efficiently than those that happen in person. Plus—here's a dirty little remote work secret—you can multitask during a lot of meetings (especially if you're only needed for one small part).

Earning more, spending less, flexibility…That all sounds pretty awesome, right?

Spoiler alert: The #1 best way to get the freedom that comes along with working remotely is to learn tech skills.

The best paying remote jobs are almost all at least somewhat related to tech, whether it's content marketing (design and basic HTML & CSS skills come in super handy there) or web development (which requires, you know, coding skills), tech knowledge makes you way more hireable as a remote worker.

Get the free guide now to find out all the other things you need to know to land that amazing remote job.

Slack

Why taking time out for team offsites is worth it

Slack teams share their most memorable, momentum-building events

Below is an article originally written by Lima Al-Azzeh of PowerToFly Partner Slack, and published via Medium on August 31, 2017. Go to Slack's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

It's important for a team's happiness and performance to take some focused time to align on goals, check in on morale, and celebrate a job well done. It's also important to have a little fun — whether that means escaping from your usual surroundings or rallying everyone around a creative challenge.

But try not to think of fun as frivolous, advises Dawn Sharifan, who leads People Operations at Slack. The right atmosphere makes important information more memorable, inspires team members to be more intrepid in exploring new ideas and solutions, and helps teams develop a shared vocabulary that heightens their understanding of one another and how each person works best.

From talent shows to volunteer work and more, several Slack teams have gotten creative with their offsites and seen great results. Here are a few ideas for activities (both fun and productive) for your next gathering.

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Audible

Employee Culture at Audible

They want you on their team!

Audible employees love what they do - and more importantly, love where they work. Hear from some of the employees who are changing the way we listen, and why they love working for the Amazon company, Audible.

Do you want to join their team? Click here to follow Audible on PowerToFly, and receive job alerts, exclusive event invites, and more!

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