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Landing your Dream Job in Tech

Landing your Dream Job in Tech



GirlDevelopIt class in Philadelphia

GirlDevelopIt class in Philadelphia



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  • Who knows what this is?Comcast technology and innovation center 59-story
  • Startup world is serendipitousNetworking is not about small talk and finger food, it is about talking about projects you are excited about

Landing your Dream Job in Tech Landing your Dream Job in Tech Presentation Transcript

  • LANDING YOUR DREAM JOB IN TECH Marina Rakhlin for Girl Develop It, Philadelphia marinan@gmail.com @Marina_Rakhlin
  • Agenda  Why work in tech?  What are my options: corporate, vs startup vs my own? What’s a startup? ◦ Startup lifecycle ◦ Is startup life right for me?  The journey of getting hired  Interview  The Terms ◦ Educate yourself: cash vs stock 2
  • Meet Ashley Ashley was an administrative assistant at video distribution network Poptent and is now a web developer at Conshohocken website optimization company Monetate http://technical.ly/philly/2014/01/21/girl-develop-it-philly-tech-jobs/ 3
  • WHY WORK IN TECHNOLOGY? • Work on challenging projects, shaping the future • Seeing your work come to life • High-tech job growth is three times faster than other areas of the private sector • $$$ According to CNN Money in April 2013, IT sector has the highest 1year pay growth (5.1%) and median pay of $70, 900 • Perks: the treadmill desk at EventBrite offices in San Francisco • Work from home • Flexible schedule http://money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/jobs/2013/04/09/pay-raises/ http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/dec/06/technology-sector-growing-faster-economy http://www.sfgate.com/business/networth/article/Tech-social-media-employers-offer-perks-aplenty-4929078.php#photo-5370701
  • WHY WORK IN TECHNOLOGY? • Women represent only 25% of tech industry Worldwide Developers Conference, SF 2013 http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/ridiculously-long-mens-room-lines-at-tech-conferences-a-photoessay/276721/
  • PHILLY IS THE PLACE TO BE • Tech community is pretty compact • A lot of tech companies but we are very low on tech talent • Community is very tight knit and supportive • Ecosystem: from tech giants like Comcast to small startups that are sprouting up in incubators
  • WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS? Starting your own Joining a startup Corporate job You have an idea and a It is in the same niche vision for execution as the product/service you wanted to start. Treat this opportunity as market research Stable schedule, salary High risk tolerance Risk and $$ depend on the stage of the startup Low risk tolerance You have a co-founder You can be blazing your own trail or join a team of passionate individuals Interested in steady career growth You are so passionate about the idea you can not fathom spending a minute doing something else! You feel that you need to learn more about how to run a business before starting your own. Treat this as a bootcamp on how to Many companies have objectives of adding more diversity, women to their IT
  • Is startup life right for me? The upside • Challenging work environment • Increased sense of ownership • Flat hierarchy • Personal and professional growth • Possibility of a large financial gain after an exit event 9
  • Is startup life right for me? The upside The downside • Challenging work environment  Lower than market rate salary • Increased sense of ownership  Lack of structure • Flat hierarchy  Long hours • Personal and professional growth  Uncertain benefits and job security • Possibility of a large financial gain after an exit event  Lack of mentorship, guidance  Small team dynamics, personalities clash http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22565197/squares-harassment-scandal-shows-dangers-startup-cultureexperts 10
  • Startup Lifecycle Idea Stage (bootstrap) Seed Round Angel Round People: co-founders and mostly contractors, 1-2 hires, work out of incubator Up to 5 early hires, some contractors Up to 20 early hires, some contractors <$50K FFF round <$100 K <$1M, Angel investors and early stage venture funds Pay vs Equity: .5-4% you get more equity if join early, low salary, no benefits Pay vs Equity: up to 1%, still a good chance to get hefty equity, guaranteed salary but lower than market rate Pay vs Equity: less than 1% Market rate salary better benefits Skills: be a generalist, being able to help with any aspect of the business Skills: excel at your role as generalist, become a leader to train early hires Skills: once promises to investors are made, execution becomes key 11
  • Startup Lifecycle STARTUP VALLEY OF DEATH 12
  • Startup Lifecycle Series A, B, C…. People: >20 hires $$$: $1-10M mainly from VC firms and PE investors Pay vs Equity: less than 0.5%. Market rate salary, good benefits Skills required: Now the company knows exactly what each position entails, need people willing to work hard and bring well-defined skillset. 13
  • Do your homework • Before you start your job hunt, familiarize yourself with startup terminology • Become familiar with the latest news in the startup and tech universe, most influential players in the VC industry. For example, almost any startup that is building a mobile app will be affected by software changes when Apple releases a new iOS. TechCrunch PandoDaily www. Hacker News by Y Combinator 14 Fast Company
  • Step 1: Finding the right fit 15
  • Network • Attend events where you can meet like-minded people • Talk about projects you are working on! Go to Meetups • Philly Tech Meetup • Philly Startup Leaders • Girl Geek Dinners • Founder Factory • Barcamp Philly • Ignite Philly • Philly Geek Awards • Hackathons • Startup Weekends 16
  • Explore • Review websites of local VCs and see who is in their portfolio. Those companies are most likely hiring if they just got some cash 17
  • Focus • Create a list of companies you would like to target • Comb through your LinkedIn to see if you have any personal connection to people who work there • Go to events where you are likely to bump into people who work at your target companies • Read company blog, follow them on Twitter, show you are engaged • Every startup is unique. Find a niche and focus on a specific startup, looking for “a startup job” will come across as your lack of focus. • Leverage your network: a lot of hiring in startups is referral based 18
  • Get a mentor or, at least, a cheerleader! • Someone to answer your tech-related questions • Mentorship can be formal or informal • Someone to push you out of your comfort zone “I realized that searching for a mentor has become the professional equivalent of waiting for Prince Charming. “ 19
  • Work on side projects • Build out websites that you are passionate about • Start a blog • Do work for your favorite non profits (every non- for-profit can use some help with their website) • Segway into light web dev contracting work • Create a network of people who can recommend you 20
  • Managing your online presence • Google yourself, you might be surprised what comes up! • Complete your LinkedIn profile highlighting your skills and experiences relevant to the industry and company size you are targeting • Work on your Twitter presence, provide relevant content and follow/interact with startups you are interested in • Think about starting a blog where people interested in you can learn about your opinion about the industry, work experiences, industry events you attend and get to know you as a person. • Make sure your social presence is interconnected! 21
  • Your checklist  Are your incentives aligned with those of the founders?  Is your spouse on board?  Are you financially comfortable with taking the plunge?  Make a list of what you want to get out of the startup experience  This is a long-term investment, are you ready to wait 5-10 years before the potential payoff? 22
  • Step 2: Interview 23
  • Advice from the founders “The problem is that the vast majority of people approach startups in the exact same way: "I'm someone who likes everything and can do anything." That is the crappiest way to get a job at a startup. Well, at least our startup. Simply put, in an effort to not limit one's options, a person has transferred the burden to me to figure out what to do with them. I want people with a strong point of view - I can do X, Y, and Z really really well.” ~ Apu Gupta, Curalate 24
  • Startup interview Dos • Show your passion for industry, product and people • What is the biggest problem the company has in your opinion? How will your experience and skillset help solve this • Be humble! Offer to do a project or an internship as oppose to ask for a job • Give examples of being a team player. In a 5-person startup no one has time to deal with egos • Be flexible: I will fill the role you need me to fill • “Get stuff done” attitude • Show that you can thrive in less structured environments • Make sure you have a personality fit, what do founders stand for? What are the values of this organization? 25
  • Startup interview Don’ts • Don’t approach this as a corporate interview • Don’t be surprised if the founder has not read your resume • Don’t expect a structured interview: you might be meeting for coffee but the founder is assessing you • Don’t come with high demands or play hard to get 26
  • Tech Hire • Be visible in the community, if you are hired through a recruiter, startups will be more skeptical of you • Apply your skill to solving the company’s problem in a prototype, small project • Be open to doing contract to hire • Let your work speak for you • Be ready to take ownership of the product • Demonstrate experience/willingness to work with remote/distributed team • Be a team player, communication skills are extremely important in a small company! • Brace yourself to deal with some messy code 27
  • Advice from the founders “Every three or four days send your ideas, ask for a data set, take their existing design and work on it. “ ~Rohan Deuskar, Stylitics 28
  • After the interview • Keep reaching out and reminding them of yourself • Read relevant news, reach out with ideas • Show initiative: put together an analysis, marketing plan or design proposal • Treat each interview as an opportunity to get feedback 29
  • Step 3: Negotiate Hard! 30
  • Would you take a salary of $70K and 1% in stock or a salary of $55K and 1.5% in stock? 25
  • What is stock? Stock is a form of compensation that employees and contractors can receive when they are working for a startup. IF startup makes it big, stock can become very valuable and outweigh any salary earned in that period. Investors: • • • • Preferred stock Investment High stock price Senior rights (voting, board meetings, etc) Startup Stock Founders, Employees: • • • • Common stock Compensatory Low stock price Residual rights 22
  • The terms Common Stock Preferred Stock Vesting Schedule This is what most of us will get. This is an option to buy out your stock once you become eligible either based on time lapsed or reaching a certain target Usually given to VC investors. Senior to common stock. Often Preferred stock has antidilution protection. Common stock rarely does. This means you will have to wait a certain period of time before you can exercise your stock. Exercising Options Your vesting schedule dictates when you can pay your strike price to buy out the stock portion of stock options that have vested. Restricted stock grants Common stock (not stock purchase rights like a stock option) that is actually issued with release/vesting restrictions Exit Event Aka “liquidity event”. Two options: either the company is acquired or the company goes public. Time horizon: anywhere from 3 to 10 years 23
  • The terms Stock Option Grants The right to purchase a fixed number of shares of common stock for a fixed price for a prescribed period of time  Evidenced by a stock option agreement  No stock issued until exercise price is paid, only then will you get a stock certificate confirming ownership  Stock options do you are To make sure you get whatnot voteexpecting out of the startup experience, consult a lawyer before signing the contract and an accountant before exercising/selling your shares. 24
  • Understanding Equity • Example: you are granted 300 options at a strike price of $10 that vest over 3 years with a one year cliff, at which point you get 100 shares and then every 6 months you get 50 shares. • If you decide to leave after the first year, you will have to pay the company $10x100 shares=$1000 to purchase your shares. If in a few years company is purchased and price per share goes up to $25, you have $15 per share pre-tax profit. • If company is sold for $8 a share, your shares are “under Year 4 water”, i.e. worthless. Year 3 Year 2 Year 1 Cliff You can purchase 2/3 of You can purchase your shares 1/3 of your shares All of your options have been vested by now No shares can be purchased *http://mashable.com/2011/09/30/startup-stock-options/ 26
  • Main Take-Aways • Early stage Startups are about LEARNING not EARNING • Co-founders define the culture • Demonstrate “Get stuff done!” attitude • Expand your network • Work on side projects • Negotiate hard • Understand your stock options 27
  • Open Positions Wharton Computing looking for Jr Developer https://upennjobs.peopleadmin.com/applicants/jsp/shared/framese t/Frameset.jsp?time=1390926469398 Monetate looking for JS Engineers, Front End Engineers http://monetate.com/jobs/open-positions/ http://technical.ly/philly/2014/01/28/philly-tech-jobs-hiring-network/ 27
  • QUESTIONS? Upcoming GirlDevelopIt events: Get Hired: Creating a Killer Resume (Part I of II) 1/29 JavaScript for Beginners 2/1 Fundamentals of Typography 2/4 Wordpress 101 2/8 Please take the survey http://bit.ly/gdi-dreamjob.