After living in Mexico, traveling in the United States of America and of course, visiting home while freelancing for CNature remotely during that time period, I decided to look for a new challenge. I knew that this challenge has to be interesting and different, so I looked for a few key topics:
- New location - Mainly focused on Berlin, a bit on London and even for a moment I considered Barcelona.
- Startup environment - I googled the most interesting startups in Berlin for 2014\15 and started digging in.
- Different role - Eventually the ideal would be to include team leading and management.
Together with a good friend of mine, I have made a Google Spreadsheet and listed all the startup companies that were looking for a senior software engineer and started emailing them my CV along with different cover letters. This process was very tiring and maybe worth mentioning in a future post.
I had a lot of different interviews, some were great, some good and some not so great. Although I am skipping a lot of the job hunting process, I want to focus on 2 things: Business and Deployment System.
Working as a software engineer, marketing, sales or in any other position still requires you to know the business. In my experience, I have learnt that many employees don't know nor care about how the business produces its revenues and how he\she are making their salary. Still to this day I ask myself: "How does it make sense?".
Focusing on the business helps a lot. It does not mean that you have to understand everything from day 1, it just means that the business is your real mission; while coding, emailing or talking to people is just a tool that helps you achieve a greater goal than you are used to. That is why I believe that even if you are not going to be part of management, you should still ask questions. Obviously, you should do your research before, try to get the right information about the company, it's employees, founders, investors and anything else that can help you in achieving this goal.
If you are a software engineer -This will improve your code.
If you work in marketing -This will improve growth.
If you are a salesperson -This will help you bring more or sustain current customers.
I know, some of it is obvious for some people, but from my experience, you would be surprised to know how many people don't even think about these things.
To be honest, as I am writing this post, I am still considering if this section should appear here or be addressed in a different blog post. For some people, it might be weird or unclear why I am mentioning deployment here before talking about technology stack, roles or some other related topics. The main point is that the deployment system reflects a lot of, if not most of, the business requirements.
When I got my turn to ask questions in different interviews, I wasn't sure what I can possibly ask more than the common questions, but for some reason, in one interview, I raised the following question:
Do you have a deployment system?
When the answer was "No" I was worried. What does it actually mean about the business? What if there is a need to deploy daily? Or on demand, which most likely ends with 20-50 times a day? Unless the business exists in a closed environment, such as banks or the military, then there is no reason for that to happen.
Come to think of it I should expand more about deployment in a near future post.