I think most people would be happier if they had more flexibility to choose when and where they work. Sometimes that just means coming in late or leaving early without the hassle or guilt. For some, it means being able to work remotely for short periods of times.
In tech, it's common for companies to support flexible work arrangements, but it's definitely a spectrum. From flexible start times to fully remote companies, see how different engineering teams have built their culture around flexible working arrangements.
We have recently redefined our engineering career ladder to better support both management and individual contributor (IC) tracks, both of which go up to the director level. It’s common for engineers at other companies to equate career advancement and management, but we don’t see it that way. We don’t want people to think about a move into management as a promotion. At Stitch Fix, we see it as a lateral move and people on the management track should be genuinely interested in managing. We’ve taken our time to define a robust IC track that does not require you to be a manager, but still provides opportunities to climb up to a VP equivalent, which is as high up as out management track goes without being the CTO).
Both of our career paths highlight resourcefulness. We want engineers at Stitch Fix to be motivated and self-guided, which is why so many have been promoted during their time at the company. While there are many individuals we’d love to highlight, Rachel Bobbins is a great example of someone who has leveraged her skills to take on new challenges. We will not hand you a set of tasks and a backlog at Stitch Fix, but we will definitely provide ample support and opportunities for you to develop your career in the way that best suits you.
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For strong individual contributors, this means demonstrating technical leadership by example, and providing invaluable coaching in pull request reviews. For developers on the people management track, this can mean having direct reports or being a squad lead for a couple sprints.
Ali Dinani was a co-op student intern who has risen to be our Director of Growth. During this journey, he finished school while working part-time at CareGuide, and then joined as a full-time engineer. In the last two years, he has taken on more responsibility and leadership. Charing Wong is currently our Director of Product, but started as an engineer shipping features, all while demonstrating mastery of product management. Lakhveer Jajj started with us right out of university, growing his technical skills, rising to be a Senior Engineer, and is now leading us through significant technical challenges as a Director of Engineering.
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Making sure our employees continue to grow is important to us. It’s an ongoing conversation you will have with your managers and something we don’t take lightly. We make sure each person has a personalized set of long-term goals for their career path and work with them to make them happen. As we grow, you will grow alongside us. At WineDirect you can start as a Junior Developer and make your way up into a leading role or management position. We look for passion in what you do and the initiative to get things done well.Inspiring innovation in other members of the team is also looked upon very highly. We have also seen front-end developers transition into back-end developers, and customer support reps into project managers. We are open to change and the needs of our employees.
You are a plank-holder in this company. And your legacy will be left in those who come behind you. You start with us - you grow with us. Our ideal candidates are as passionate about self awareness and personal growth. We want to work with great people who want to continually improve both in their personal and professional lives. We want to work with good people and want to grow our business with good people.
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We take risks on people, because we know that as an employee, you are taking a huge risk on us, too. This is why we welcome hires from non-traditional backgrounds, and why we’re open to contract-to-hire arrangements. We don’t believe job descriptions are dogma. If you’re excited about what we’re building but think only a few items in a job description apply to you, we encourage you to apply. Amanda, one of our co-founders, adds, “I want to emphasize this, especially to any women who are considering applying for a role. Study after study shows that women will wait until they feel 100% qualified for a position before applying. Please don’t do that with us.”
We’ve cemented our belief in promoting from within at past companies, where we’ve helped interns and junior hires take on more responsibilities and grow into more senior roles. We want new members of our team to believe they can grow at Compound.
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Most ideas and initiatives drive from the ground up, and we regularly promote and empower those who exemplify our values.
Take Yan for example, who joined Flexport as a junior engineer on the Network team. Their goal is to construct the social graph of global trade, so her initial project included de-duplicating addresses across all the locations that our clients move cargo through. This resulted in cleaner data and smoother operations.
She later designed and implemented the ability to "promote" a Flexport client's entered connections into proper companies in the system so that new clients could onboard more easily. As she continued to deliver, the complexity of her projects grew. Recently she built an enterprise-grade, rule-based subscription engine that lets users define custom rules to subscribe to only shipment events that they care about. Needless to say, Yan was promoted and recognized for her great work!
When Will joined the engineering team in January 2016, he saw that despite all the cargo we were moving around the world, we had no carbon offset program. Together with Susy Schöneberg from the business side, he drove Flexport's partnership with the Carbonfund.org Foundation. They built carbon emissions reporting, and provided a way for our customers to sign up.
After that, he made it possible for Flexport to model and coordinate the allocation of cargo onto carrier ships. He wrote detailed design docs, mentored his teammates, and acted as the glue between product, business and engineering. Since then he has been promoted to staff engineer, and is tech lead for the ocean automation team.
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When a company is growing fast, new space is constantly created for you to grow your career. At John and Sanjit’s previous company, Meraki, they had numerous team lead positions open up as they grew from 20 to 100 developers within four years. Members of the team ranging from new grads to experienced engineers were promoted within just a year or two of joining. We’ve brought the same mindset to Samsara, where we fundamentally believe in the importance of a diverse engineering leadership team, including diversity of age. We have a great culture that takes career growth seriously, and we actively promote engineers from within the company.
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Top performers are rewarded with increased responsibility, compensation, and promotions. Our Director of Analytics started out as a junior developer on our team. Our VP of Technology was previously our Director of Technology, and before that, a senior front-end developer on our team. We also promoted a front-end developer to become a designer and front-end lead.
There are many examples of internal promotions at Dev.xyz, and we take great pride in being able support individual growth alongside team growth. We don’t believe in monitoring the number of lines of code you write or number of tickets you completed. Instead, we involve our developers from project start to finish. By allowing our team members to estimate how long tasks will take, and reviewing the product and timeline of development we are able to help developers hone their communication and estimation skills. Frequent code reviews, feedback sessions, and annual reviews all help guide employees through their career.
Meet our dev.xyz team here!
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Our founder highly values folks who can start from the ground up and wants to help others level-up their careers. Once we feel you are a great fit in your role and have a solid track record within the company, we prefer to promote from within. This gives our employees a quick path to leadership roles without all of the large company bureaucracy that often makes it hard to reach the top. For example, Joy started as the 3rd financial trainer in the company. She raised her hand to take on new projects and initiatives and was rewarded for her hard work — she’s now the Head of Trainer Development. As she puts it, “it’s often a myth that there’s a meritocracy in the workplace, but we really do have that here.”
And she’s not alone — Alicia’s career grew to Chief Operating Officer while Caitlin is on her way to Head of Marketing. Similarly, we’re hiring engineers who will grow into leadership positions. We want them to have the freedom and responsibility of shaping the engineering team from the bottom-up. There’s a huge opportunity for creative, self-starters who want to own set the trajectory for their career growth.
Julia, our product manager, signed up to financial coaching training program. While this is not required for engineers, we are happy to put you through this if you believe it would be valuable for your role. This is a 2-week bootcamp where they give the basics of what financial fitness is. Saving schools, debt management, expense management, how to deal w/ clients. EQ training that includes case studies, looking at real clients, role playing, and breaking down the different tactics they’ve tried to help previous clients get to financial fitness.
While we are currently act as engineers, product managers, designers, or sales people, we view everyone, including our new hires, as potential team leaders, directors, VPs, or even CTO. The opportunities will be there as we grow and we are intentionally hiring people who can be future leaders. We strongly believe it's often better to promote from within versus bring in external hires. We want leaders that have grown up in our company’s culture and understand it better than any outsider can.
One of our absolute favorite things is when an employee joins Wove, identifies some whitespace, and then reaches out to grab it. A good example is when Armaan joined our team as a Software Engineer. At the time, we had no PMs or formal product owner of any kind, so he immediately took this role for himself. Armaan took ownership of our product roadmap and started making decisions about how our product should evolve over time. He also made himself an indispensable resource for the rest of the engineering team by helping us be organized, keeping projects on track, and constantly challenging our assumptions. Less than a year after joining the company as an engineer, he was promoted to VP of Product & Engineering.
Our hope for every new hire is that they'll impress us with their level of ownership and execution. One of the most important responsibilities of our management team is to recognize these people, and acknowledge their contributions through promotions, raises, bonuses, equity bumps, and beyond.
These individuals have the most relevant experience, and frankly deserve to advance if they want. This philosophy is in-line with our other value of being “Committed to personal growth.”
We hire team members with tremendous potential for growth, and present them with the opportunity to advance their careers without any speed limits. It doesn’t make sense that you have to wait 4 years to be considered “senior”. If you can achieve the same level of expertise and experience in 2 years, even more reason why you deserve to take on responsibilities of a senior engineer.
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