Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What do you enjoy doing?
I fall into the category of person who really does enjoy the process of engineering and software development. So that’s not just work for me; it’s a part of how I think about myself in terms of “what do I do”.
Outside of that, I play guitar and sing. I’ve been letting that slip a lot lately, and I’d like to get back to doing it more. I also like visiting new places, and there are a lot of places around Bucharest on the lakeside that I love. I love the kind of places where you might go to drink and hang out with friends.
What made you choose Clipboard?
A lot of small things, really. When I was looking at the job description, it mentioned that the CEO calls the customers for feedback. In the interview process I found out that this really happens, that she’s actually regularly talking to the user base. A lot of people say this happens, but to find the CEO spending significant amounts of time doing this so she can know what the user needs told me things I liked about the company.
I think customer-centric businesses that take their direction in large part from the users end up being better learning environments for an engineer, because you move in directions you might not expect, and do interesting things you might not have thought of yourself. It helped me think of Clipboard as a longer-term job where I could develop more compared to the other options I was seeing.
Beyond that, it was the people. I had a lot of good conversations as I went through the interview process. That matters. I think like anyone else, I want to work with people I like and who do good work.
Tell me about your skillset - what do you do now? What new skills are you trying to pick up?
I like to think of myself as a problem solver. I’ve mostly done backend work in the past, often as a mercenary engineer who would come in and fix tough problems. I like being handed tough issues and solving them. It’s satisfying for me, and Clipboard moves quickly so there’s always a new problem to solve.
In the past, I haven’t worked on a lot of front-end stuff, but here I’ve had the flexibility to work on more of it and I’ve found I like it. I also have some experience in sysadmin and networking. I’ve found having some versatility is very useful here, because there’s so much happening at any time, and it’s not always what you’d expect. When I signed on I wasn’t fully aware of how much we use machine learning, so I had a certain amount I needed to adapt. The same goes for becoming more familiar with a few dev-ops tools. It’s exactly what I wanted - I came here to grow - but being an all-rounder has made it easier.
Everybody moves around a lot at Clipboard. How do you see your job developing or changing over the next few years?
There are new projects and new efforts going on all the time. We often build new teams for new projects. That means my job changes a lot over time; It’s built into the position. Besides that natural project-to-project kind of change, I expect that my team will get bigger and we will be working with more teams overall in the future.
What’s your working environment like? What do you like about your team?
Because it’s a fully remote job, there are a lot of times when I’m working alone. But there has been a lot of effort to make sure that everyone communicates and that those opportunities to make connections with your coworkers happen. The social element is the big challenge for any remote company.
Clipboard is remote-first, so there has always been a lot of emphasis on optimizing that social element.
What’s the biggest difference in philosophy between Clipboard and other places you’ve worked?
The sense of urgency and the speed of work. And from an engineering perspective, there’s a huge amount of opportunity for ownership. You can find something, take it over, do your work without having to jump through a lot of hoops. It lets you move very quickly and smoothly.
In a previous job I was in an earlier-stage start-up with the same kind of speed, but less structure. Clipboard is continuing to build out more and more structure, but with a heavy emphasis on maintaining that early-stage startup speed. If you are blocked and need someone to unblock you, there’s an expectation that everyone does what they can to support everyone else’s work. It makes for very few bottlenecks.
Where do you see the company going over the next few years? What opportunities do you see coming?
I think pricing optimization is one of the bigger changes. It makes our service do more for both nurses and healthcare facilities and helps us fill more shifts more consistently.
It’s already happening, but I think both the product and the size of our team are going to grow a huge amount in the next year. There’s still so much we can do for our users, and we are actively working on finding the right kind of talent to make that happen.