Culture Over Everything

Voluntarily hitting the reset button on your life isn’t something I’d recommend doing mid-career, but boy have I learned a lot about myself over the last 3 months. After reaching out to many of my industry friends and quietly applying to dozens of positions, I’ve finally chosen my next adventure. On Monday, I’ll be joining the talented and passionate team at PowerDMS as a UX Designer.

When I announced that we were moving, I honestly wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. Because I was originally planning to stay with MailChimp remotely, I spent a lot of my energy looking for remote opportunities and had several great conversations with truly amazing companies. So, what was it about this local SaaS company that won me over? In a word, culture.

I first heard about PowerDMS while looking for ways to connect with the Orlando web community. The company hosts several industry meetups, is involved with events like Orlando Code Camp, and even serves on the advisory board for Orlando’s Iron Yard campus. Matt Lavoie, one of the experience designers at PowerDMS, has been running the Downtown UX Meetup for almost 2 years now and is one of the more active members of the Orlando Designers Slack. That kind of broad commitment to helping the local tech community grow really appealed to me.

I knew a lot of that before I even got in touch with them. When I actually visited the office for an interview, everyone I met was enthusiastic and passionate about exceeding the needs of their users. The product itself has a lot of functionality. It enables any organization – but mostly law enforcement, healthcare, fire/EMS and corrections agencies – to distribute documents, manage policies, develop employee training, and maintain accreditation. There are a lot of different interfaces involved and my role will be leading product design decisions by creating rapid prototypes, facilitating user research, validating assumptions, and iterating quickly to gather data and collaborate with the team. Sounds like fun!

Starting next week, I have a lot to learn about the company, product, processes, and tools but I’m excited about the new challenge. If there’s one thing I miss about being at MailChimp, it’s the face-to-face collaboration and hang time with my team. As much as I was hoping to go remote, I can’t wait to be back in an office again, tackling challenges, having lunch with, and maybe even playing an occassional game of ping-pong with a new team of creative, hardworking friends.

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