Below is a post originally written by PowerToFly Partner RapidSOS, and published on January 9, 2019. Go to RapidSOS' page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Government Technology News named RapidSOS to the GovTech 100, a list of companies making a difference for agencies around the country!
We're honored to provide thousands of public safety agencies nationwide with life-saving emergency data.
Below is an article originally written by Ramon Alvarez at PowerToFly Partner RapidSOS, and published on October 18, 2018. Go to RapidSOS' page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Wondering what it's like to be on the Engineering team of a rapidly growing start-up? Lauren Javaly shares why she wanted to work at RapidSOS, her passion for her job, and what it is like to be a woman in tech.
Q: Why did you want to work at RapidSOS?
A: I was really attracted to RapidSOS' mission and everything we're doing and can continue to do to help save lives. So much of what tech is used for right now doesn't contribute to any serious change and I liked the idea of working on a practical solution to a real problem.
Q: What motivates you?
A: The team. The engineering team as a whole is made up of really smart and hard-working people. There is a shared focus within our group of collaborating and growing as a team and a company. Learning is my passion and I've learned a huge amount since joining.
Q: How did you find yourself on the engineering team?
A: So I didn't study computer science in school—double majored in philosophy and biology, actually—but I happened to take a programming class as an elective and immediately realized that it was what I wanted to do. From there I got a job at a small tech startup and eventually transitioned into engineering. Fortunately, this is an industry where people respect being self-taught and joining RapidSOS gave me the opportunity to really dive in.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: Getting the opportunity to work on interesting and innovative products and tools. As engineers, we have a lot of freedom to choose how we approach various projects to reach company goals. It has been refreshing to have the ability to make decisions.
Q: What has been the most exciting project you have worked on?
A: Our internal API and dashboard for the public safety team to use out in the field. It started as part of larger structural changes we were making at the time, and we had to enable members of the public safety team to interact with certain parts of our backend. The dashboard is a collaborative bridge between the public safety team and the engineers, so that was an interesting challenge.
Q: Can you describe what it is like working on the engineering team?
A: The team leaders like to tout the fact that we are all self-managed. You're given a lot of freedom to decide what should be improved and how to solve any issues that come up. On the other hand, we are also a very collaborative group and as a team we all work together as equals so individual input is taken seriously.
Q: As a woman in tech, how has RapidSOS helped you reach your goals?
A: I would say there is a challenge recruiting other women in tech, but RapidSOS has a clear focus on doing so. For example, a couple of us recently attended the annual Grace Hopper conference where about 25,000 women attended. Lots of people at the company have come up to me to ask me how they can do more to recruit other female engineers. I definitely feel like it's not just my own prerogative but the whole team's.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in the coming months at RapidSOS?
A: I'm looking forward to watching how we grow as an organization. It's amazing to be at this inflection point where we are partnering with some of the largest tech companies around and handling way more traffic than before. It's been a great learning experience to see how, from a technical perspective, we've had to really grow up to support that.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I read a lot, right now I'm in the middle of Swing Time by Zadie Smith which I'm really enjoying. I also go to a lot of concerts—I live in Brooklyn so there are always cool shows going on!
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Below is an article originally written by Michelle Cahn at PowerToFly Partner RapidSOS, and published on January 2, 2018. Go to RapidSOS's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Today we are excited to welcome Karin Marquez to our Public Safety team! Karin has spent 20+ years working in public safety and will contribute invaluable knowledge and expertise to RapidSOS as we work to expand our NG911 Clearinghouse integrations to get precise location into 9-1-1 systems nationwide.
Read on to learn more about Karin's experience, what led her to RapidSOS, and what she is most excited for in the months to come.
Q: What led you to RapidSOS?
A: This whole process was quite unplanned, but when I had the chance to interview I was so excited. I have known about this company since they started and was one of those 9-1-1 professionals that gave them the "what-for" on the Haven app. Over the years, I've watched RapidSOS work in the public safety industry – learning, listening and working with industry experts with a clear passion for making a positive change in 9-1-1.
The RapidSOS team is so welcoming and encouraging and just talking to each of them felt right. By talking to the team, I was able to learn how RapidSOS started because of personal experiences with the challenges locating mobile 9-1-1 calls. This made me feel like the mission and goal of this company is something I can get behind and feel good about the work I'm doing.
Q: Why did you decide to work in Public Safety?
A: Funny story actually, my sister was a dispatcher in a 1 man dispatch center and I had just graduated from high school. I would call her every now and then and see if she needed food or a coffee and stop by and visit with her. If she had to go to the bathroom, she would have to call an officer in from the road... well with 2-3 officers there wasn't always someone to come in and relieve her. Since I was there she would say, just answer the phone, write everything down and if an officer talks, answer them and write it down. She'd run and come back as soon as she could and I had it all handled. I ended up getting a job as a records tech at the County jail and one day she said why don't you apply, we're hiring. I applied, got the job, had 3 weeks of training and have now dispatched for just under 21 years.
Q: What is the coolest job you have ever had?
A: Honestly, dispatching has been the coolest job I have ever had. Nothing compares to the adrenaline rush you get while handling emergencies. Not everyone has the opportunity to be there for someone in crisis – during loss of a family member, for an officer during a chase, or with Fire/EMS on a working structure fire. Not every day or every call is like that, but for so many years I got to be on the other end, the one giving instructions, advice, a shoulder, and the one sending help when they needed it most.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in the coming months at RapidSOS?
A: I am so excited to learn and grow and be challenged in a new area. I learned as a supervisor for 14 years that I love technology and love to learn how things work. I'm fascinated with understanding how the 9-1-1 call travels through the network and now with NextGen and more data available, I am excited to be involved with implementations through various integrations. I'm thrilled to bring my experience to RapidSOS and help citizens, dispatchers and responders in a whole new way!
Q: When you have free time, what are you doing?
A: The family and I are generally out trying a new restaurant somewhere. I'm kind of a foodie and love trying new places (and drinking coffee!). My husband and I also love Salsa dancing and going to salsa events, and on Sundays you can generally find me greeting people coming into church.