Bonded by Love for Product
We are on a mission to power a fair and inclusive financial system for the world.
Nova Credit believes that every person must be allowed a fair chance to improve their economic condition and that access to credit is a critical tool in accelerating that improvement. When unexpected circumstances arise, credit can put food on tables, roofs over heads, education into impressionable minds, and support critical healthcare needs. Credit can allow newcomers to unlock the goods and services they need to live a more prosperous life.
For many of us, this mission is deeply personal – a majority of Novans are first or second generation immigrants, so we’ve experienced these same challenges and are ready to help solve them. In fact, Nova Credit was born when our co-founders met at Stanford and as immigrants themselves, had a hard time building credit or signing a lease.
We’re solving a problem that has been felt by generations, and it’s a thorny one. It’s this passion to make the global financial system more accessible and inclusive that bonds us. We’re excited to be creative and innovate in order to help our consumers. To that end, we’re constantly working to learn more about the people we’re helping and their pain points. We read their feedback and stories during our company-wide all-hands meetings and do extensive user research to understand who we’re building for and how we can make their lives better.
The transparency our leaders have with the rest of the company about board meetings (they always share slides and documents presented), timelines, and dissenting opinions creates a culture where Novans feel comfortable speaking up, which is why one of our core values is 'Challenge Without Ego'. At the end of every all-hands, there’s the opportunity for anyone to ask questions live, via zoom chat, or our #questionsforallhands channel. New Novans are often surprised when they’re called on to “challenge without ego” starting their first week or two on the job – we value their fresh eyes!
Almost all of the work we do requires cross-functional expertise and teamwork, which is why we rely on open communication about details, requirements, deadlines, and processes. We are heavily biased toward giving too much information rather than not enough.
An example of this is our blameless and cross-functional postmortem process. Incidents are unfortunately inevitable, but they are great opportunities to learn as a team. We use PMs as a tool for documenting incidents, analyzing root causes and outcomes, and identifying action items to prevent the incident from occurring again.
You’ll start with product brainstorming with cross-functional team members, eventually deploy your work to prod, and do everything in between.
Engineers not only get the opportunity to fully own our work, but also are expected to. We value engineers who want ownership and step up, no matter how small or large the task. Many projects are cross-functional in nature (with stakeholders in legal & compliance, biz dev, and/or customer success), so engineers need to be proactive in facilitating discussions so that our projects succeed. Rylan is a great example – she dove into product analytics and worked closely with our Data Engineering team (among many others) to integrate the new Eventing Platform into our products and to make sure it met our analytics requirements. Today, she’s known as the go-to for product analytics thanks to her hard work.
Similarly, when Cameron first started, he worked on a tight-knit team owning the design, build, and roll out of an entirely new application that we call “Ellis” aka the consumer dashboard. Ellis allows immigrants to view their credit history from their home countries, get credit and financial product recommendations, and more. From implementing design specs to spinning up a new database and organizing a bug bash before rollout, Cameron worked closely with our legal, QA, and customer success team to ensure this huge project was a success. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and take ownership to help problem-solve, you’ll fit right in!
Wears Many Hats
Engineers at Nova are full-stack and have their hands on more than just code.
When you join Nova Credit, you won’t be pigeonholed. You’ll have the option to fluidly move across our stack (and even do non-engineering tasks if you want). Because we're a small company trying to accomplish big things, we take every opportunity to "tie each other's shoes," (another one of our company core values) even if it means taking on projects outside of our day-to-day responsibilities. There are various engineering and company-wide initiatives that welcome new ideas and members. You can join or participate in our inclusion committee, help plan our next offsite, sit in on BD meetings, or contribute to sourcing and recruiting efforts.
Committed to Personal Growth
The growth of the company is directly correlated with every Novan’s growth.
Novans can leverage their professional development budget for personal, long-term career growth. For example, James used a part of his budget to attend JSConf in Hawaii and Dave, Jinting, and Rafa are in a tech book club together. Nova also invests in monthly manager trainings, professional events, tools, and resources. You can tap into your network of colleagues on a deeper level by having matched 1:1s with peers and mentors or joining community events, where we've met new friends, accelerated our professional growth, and discussed hot topics.
In the spirit of being an international company serving an international community, Nova encourages employees to take a vacation and explore the world with our anniversary gift. On your Nova anniversary, you’ll get a roundtrip ticket subsidized to anywhere in the world; we believe traveling can be one of the best ways to grow as a person, (emotionally, spiritually, and professionally) through being exposed to how different people in the world live and seeing things. People have used their anniversary flights to visit the Maldives, Thailand, New Zealand, France, and Greece, just to name a few destinations!
You can see a full list of our benefits here.
Team is Diverse
Inclusion is part of our company strategy because we truly want to enable a world where everyone can be their best selves.
Financial inclusion is one of the main parts of our mission, and we similarly see supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion as a critical way to make the best product for the people we serve. We have Novans in 7 countries, and over a quarter of our U.S. Novans identify as first-generation immigrants themselves. We hold space for different communities at Nova Credit and have several ERGs, such as NovAzns, ColorConnect, Borderless (for LGBTQ Novans), and Conencted@Nova, which serves our fully remote population.
Folks come from all walks of life – some are new parents (we offer 16 weeks of paid parental leave) – while others are just starting their careers. Every year, we survey the entire company to make sure our benefits cater to what our team members need. We genuinely want everyone at the company to feel like they belong at Nova, and we’re committed to providing equal opportunities to succeed for everyone, regardless of who they are. Ultimately, by fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, we’ll be able to better serve our diverse customer base.
To get to know one another better, we’ll lovingly put you in the “hot seat” from time to time (if you agree to it, of course). It’s a fun opportunity to answer silly questions like “What type of influencer would you want to be?” or ”If you were a talking doll, what would you say?” New hires are encouraged to ask questions in our #onboarding-eng Slack channel and you’ll also find friends in #skincare, #tv-club, #doggos, #build_memes_not_walls, #foot, and #nova_minis to name a few.
We prioritize speed while keeping our quality bar high.
Research shows that traditional lending data doesn’t give an accurate picture of a consumer’s creditworthiness, which is why a majority of lenders are now incorporating alternative data. The lending industry is on the precipice of major change and we’re helping some of the top banks and creditors in the world access new data to improve predictability, reach new customers, and grow even in the face of economic uncertainty. As a fast-moving startup in this space, we pride ourselves on having a bias for action. For example, in response to feedback from a well-known financial institution, we quickly developed a task force to help them better understand and leverage the data we were providing. After learning more about their systems, we identified and quickly addressed gaps in our documentation to enable the customer to launch successfully. Having and maintaining this fast response to the customer feedback cycle helps us develop the highest-impact items at any given time.
While we deploy daily, we also put a premium on quality, since the code we ship has real-world implications. This means we also have a fast culture around mediation and any issues involving integrations with external dependencies are fixed within 1-2 days.
If you’re interested in learning more about our team or talking to one of us, we’d love to hear from you! You can apply to jobs here or message any one of us on LinkedIn.
One of our company values is “Tie your neighbor’s shoes.”
Everything we do is a team effort and our culture is centered around collaboration. One great example of this is our Technical Docs process. Before starting a new project, engineers are encouraged to write up their project plan. This includes any required architectural changes, pros/cons of various options, and the rollout strategy. The project plan is then shared across the entire Engineering org to encourage cross-team feedback and knowledge sharing.
We value intellectual humility and acknowledge the limits of our own perspectives, which is why we welcome both positive and constructive feedback with open arms. We host feedback training regularly to provide each employee with the tools to have productive conversations. Because another one of our core values is ‘Challenge Without Ego,’ it's important for us to give feedback to one another in a way that is professional and respectful, keeping team interests top of mind instead of our own.
Finally, we make it a priority to acknowledge and thank people for their contributions and for going above and beyond. Our #thanks Slack channel is very active with shoutouts and we end our weekly all-hands meeting with a few folks giving a “Nova Credit” to someone for demonstrating one of our company values.