How to Get In at 3 Seattle Tech Companies Hiring
In 1986, Microsoft moved its headquarters to the Seattle area. By 2000, the company had created 10,000 millionaires in Washington state.
The largest city in the Pacific Northwest had been home to famous companies like Starbucks and Nordstrom for some time before Microsoft’s rise. But at the turn of the 21st century, Seattle entered its era as a tech hub. More than two decades later, that pace has only quickened.
Seattle’s tech sector employment has grown 34 percent in the last 10 years. And tech employees make up nearly 11 percent of Washington’s workforce, according to the state’s Department of Commerce.
And while tech giants like Amazon stand tall, startups also abound. There are roughly 20 tech unicorns based in the city, and Startup Genome ranked Seattle’s startup ecosystem as ninth in the world. Companies like Vendia, Bittrex and Outreach are just three of the more than 600 startups that are based in the Emerald City — and they’re hiring. Built In Seattle sat down with team members from all three to find out the characteristics that candidates need to thrive.
Vendia is a real-time data cloud company. It helps its customers free data that’s stuck in applications, data stores, cloud service providers and other silos so they can share it safely and build new products. Plus, its solutions combine serverless blockchains, ledgers, access control, smart APIs and more to deliver governance and compliance.
The skills needed for success: “In a startup, you need a high level of fortitude to avoid the many potential distractions that will come and go. Having the inner strength to stay focused on what really matters is key,” Gimourginas said. Whether it concerns early-stage technical sales calls, solutioning or long-term customer success, it’s important for his team to resolve questions or concerns quickly, efficiently and completely.
Vendia’s founders and solution architecture and customer success team members have worked at major tech companies. And the creative, disruptive cultures they come from inform Vendia’s ways of working as well as its values. “We’re resolute in addressing a challenge and setting and maintaining high standards for each other,” Gimourginas said. “Individually and as a team, we ensure defects aren’t sent down the line. Problems are fixed so they stay fixed. Our teammates have the tenacity to see a solution through to the end.”
A vision for scale: In 2023, Vendia will launch new customer solutions that span industries, including financial services, manufacturing, automotive, and travel and hospitality. They’ll also span use cases, including real-time settlement, multi-partner data sharing, track-and-trace, automated regulatory compliance and more. But the biggest project for the SA and CS team next year is scaling efficiently and effectively.
“We have formed close relationships with our customers. We want to continue to provide the same level of partnership, responsiveness, and commitment as our existing customer relationships grow and as new customers onboard,” Gimourginas said. “Our vision for continued customer satisfaction will only be possible if we can scale ourselves effectively. That means hiring great people, providing them with the best environment in which they can operate, and not being afraid to place a large amount of trust and responsibility in each other.”
Circling back: Gimourginas describes the tech team culture as a Venn Diagram with three overlapping circles. The first circle is Vendia itself. The company’s name references the way a Venn Diagram layers its technologies to create its product. “It’s a choice that’s grounded in our identity,” Gimourginas said. The second circle is the tech team culture, which emanates from an engineering team that has brought together technologists from well-known serverless, web, database, and event-driven platforms and products.
The third circle is the SA and CS team members, who come from a range of previous roles, titles, employers and technical expertise. “We are definitely a sum greater than our parts. That’s true about the SA and CS team as well as the company,” Gimourginas said.
The Venn Diagram he’s described lives within a larger circle that’s shaped by Vendia’s Kind Humans Policy and values. “We know we can only do our best work if we show up with kindness and respect for one another, our customers, and our larger tech and business communities,” Gimourginas said.
At Vendia, Kind Humans Abound
Bittrex aims to advance the blockchain industry with solutions that go beyond crypto. The company fosters innovation and incubates new and emerging tech, all to drive change.
Make it work: Team members on Bittrex’s software development team need to be eager to solve new problems. “Whether it be incorporating the latest patterns in UX, figuring out how to integrate the newest coin technology, or improving our product by integrating our services with third parties, we are constantly faced with new problems to solve — ones that many of us have never seen before,” Crystal said. “We need people who can take on these challenges and who are excited to figure out how to not just make them work, but make them work well.”
Product improvements: Though Crystal can’t get into specifics, in 2023, she and her team will introduce major changes to Bittrex’s platform that will take the product a layer deeper and improve the customer experience.
Ready for more: Crystal’s team is hungry. “We all want more: more learning, more challenges, and more features,” she said. “For us, that equates to more fun.”
Outreach is a sales-engagement platform that uses machine learning and AI to automate customer touchpoints, which helps its customers increase revenue, productivity, innovation and growth.
Dedication to the field: To succeed at Outreach, Raghav said team members need “an almost irrational passion for pursuing excellence in the craft of engineering.”
A foundation to build on: Three years ago, Raghav and his team started to re-architect and rewrite Outreach’s entire system. Their goal was to lay a foundation for a decade of growth. “With that foundation beneath us, we are going to define an entirely new category of product that enables salespeople to serve their prospects and customers better and empowers organizations to deliver efficient and predictable acceleration,” Raghav said.
In the coming year, Raghav and his team will focus on using natural language understanding as well as video and speech analysis to deliver assistance and insights to sales reps and managers. They’ll apply machine learning techniques, like sequential process optimization, to improve sales playbooks and build a real-time analytics stack so that sales teams have performant, easy-to-use and up-to-the-minute data to get insights and drive improvements. Beyond that, “we plan to meet the requirements of the most stringent enterprises around the world,” Raghav said. “And, our team will investigate novel indexing techniques for databases to enable highly-specialized governance use cases.”
Motivated to grow: Raghav only needs one word to describe his team: “Driven.”