5 LA Companies That Are Hiring Growth-Focused Tech Professionals

December 1, 2020
The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California
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Not all companies approach professional growth in the same way.

For some, growth consists of watching the calendar and adding “manager” to a title after a person has spent a set number of years in their role. At other companies, growth is measured by how much ownership someone is increasingly able to take over a project or problem, their evolution as a leader and their ability to problem-solve. 

Enterprise cybersecurity software company Rapid7 takes this approach to heart. Viktoriya Kernes, senior practice operations manager, said her growth has been driven by the challenging nature of her role and the autonomy she’s provided.

“I’m challenged every day to create easy-to-use tools for project execution, mature our operational practices and drive alignment between product and non-product groups,” Kernes said. “As a result, I’ve become a better Agile coach and a more disciplined change leader.”

In addition to Kernes, we spoke with four other local tech workers—whose teams are all growing—about how their company’s commitment to providing stimulating and challenging work has helped them grow professionally.

 

Monica Cabello
Operations Manager

What they do: Luxury Presence helps luxury real estate agents boost their online presence. In addition to web design, the company also provides content marketing tools, lead-generation software and SEO best practices.

Luxury Presence’s culture in one word: “Ownership,” Monica Cabello, operations manager, said. “At Luxury Presence, we take pride in all that we do. ‘Think like an owner’ is one of our core team values and it really resonates in all our work. We head into work every day prepared to be challenged, inspired, rewarded and transformed. When we think like an owner, it is inherent that we take initiative to make the company, product and service we provide to our clients better.”
 

We head into work every day prepared to be challenged, inspired, rewarded and transformed.”


What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on recently, and how did it help you grow professionally?

“The operations team lives at the heart of Luxury Presence,” Cabello said. “Our mission is to improve continuously. We touch all aspects of the company, and no project is too big or too small for us to tackle. We identify and advise on opportunities that increase business efficiency, reduce costs, improve the client experience and refine hiring processes. Once we have all the information we need, we execute.

“When the company was smaller, it was easy for each team to work with its own project management tool. However, as we’ve scaled, accessing historical client information became harder and harder. This was a great opportunity for the operations team to step in and help. After consolidating a list of over 10 project management tools across teams, plus our CRM, we analyzed the team’s needs and remapped our workflows to fit in a single project management tool and our core CRM. We are excited by the improvements in accessing information, the reduced overhead costs and the upgraded employee onboarding experience.”

 

The Feedonomics' team lying on the floor in a circle
FEEDONOMICS

What they do: Feedonomics’ technology helps companies get their products listed on sites like Amazon, Walmart Marketplace and eBay along with search engines like Google Shopping and Microsoft Shopping.

Feedonomics’ company culture in one word: “Embracing,” Kellie Yackee, director of sales empowerment, said. “Feedonomics embraces a set of principles that showcases the importance of being a good human being. Our team welcomes individuality, out-of-the-box thinking, challenges and the unknown. When the pandemic first started, Feedonomics approached customer interactions and employee wellness with caring hands. Embracing this uncertainty as a unit helped us support one another, further develop our culture and provide stability for our clients.”
 

Our team welcomes individuality, out-of-the-box thinking, challenges and the unknown.”


What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on recently, and how did it help you grow professionally?

“The coolest project I have recently worked on has been taking on a new role at Feedonomics,” Yackee said. “This project has helped me grow professionally by requiring me to implement new strategies, be forward-thinking, trust my instincts and collaborate cross-functionally.”

 

What they do: dotOrg Technology is a stealth mode startup developing software designed to maximize the social impact of both people and organizations.

dotOrg’s culture in one word: “Collaboration,” CTO Hala Al-Adwan said. “We thrive on trusting each other to bring our best forward and believe that the sum of our parts will always be better than the whole. Collaboration is not just an internal value — it permeates into our product development process and how we define our partnerships. We aspire to help people and organizations drive social impact, and we want to accomplish this while collaborating with people and organizations to understand what delights them and what their pain points are. We collaborate with our customers, giving them the room to do the good work while we do the hard work.”
 

We collaborate with our customers, giving them the room to do the good work while we do the hard work.”


How long have you been with the company, and what professional growth or development have you seen in that time?

“I met the founders of dotOrg in November 2019 and was immediately drawn to them and their vision,” Al-Adwan said. “I officially joined the company earlier this year as the CTO and first employee, and I have the privilege and responsibility of shaping our development philosophy and technology vision and strategy.

“I made the decision to be serverless based on the evolution of our industry and my own experience building and running large technology organizations. Our experience with it so far, and the rate of evolution in the industry, continues to validate this decision. It enables us to not only iterate quickly but also create a product that evolves as our customers’ needs evolve.”

 

Viktoriya Kernes
Senior Practice Operations Manager

What they do: Rapid7’s security software and services help companies like Domino’s, The Washington Post and Univision monitor cyber threats and reduce risk. Team members are known as “moose,” which is the company’s mascot.

Rapid7’s culture in one word: “Energizing,” Viktoriya Kernes, senior practice operations manager, said. “Our culture is energizing because of our values, which focus on teamwork and partnerships, continuous learning and disciplined risk-taking. To top it all off, the company sponsors monthly social gatherings over Zoom. We had a beer tasting event last month, which was a nice way to stay in touch with coworker friends and do something fun together. 

“I’m responsible for efficient product delivery, but I really consider myself to be more of a custodian and an evangelist of the ‘secret sauce’ of how Rapid7 builds products. Working with diverse and incredibly talented moose across the globe to help our customers be more secure is very exciting and challenging work. We work relentlessly to create an environment where the open and honest sharing of ideas and feedback moves our people, customers and industry forward.”
 

Next year, I look forward to growing even more through company-sponsored formal training to become an advanced Agile coach.”


What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on recently, and how did it help you grow professionally?

“Over the past year, I’ve worked to simplify and streamline the product delivery process while providing visibility and connecting friends from different practices across the organization,” Kernes said. “I’m challenged every day to create easy-to-use tools for project execution, mature our operational practices and drive alignment between product and non-product groups. As a result, I’ve become a better Agile coach and a more disciplined change leader. Next year, I look forward to growing even more through company-sponsored formal training to become an advanced Agile coach.”

 

The Club Labs team at work
CLUBLABS

What they do: ClubLabs is the in-house innovation and development center of the Automobile Club of Southern California, better known as AAA.

Club Labs’ culture in one word: “Teamwork,” Brant Clark, senior product manager, mobile app, said. “In order to make progress and produce results, the entire organization must work as a team to get things done. A good example of teamwork is the mobile app redesign we are working on. For each line of business, product managers contributed their thoughts and helped with the redesign, as have their engineering leads. While our mobile app team is highly functioning and highly effective, we are able to take the app to the next level due to the teamwork throughout the organization.”
 

Previously, user research and testing took five to six months, but our goal was to complete it in less than five to six weeks.”


What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on recently, and how did it help you grow professionally?

“Our app redesign,” Clark said. “Our app was launched over five years ago and grew to a point where it needed to be refreshed and re-architected, which is no small task. This project allowed me to step up and push the organization to implement quick and iterative user testing, something that has made other apps I’ve worked on very successful. Previously, user research and testing took five to six months, but our goal was to complete it in less than five to six weeks. The app product managers, developers and UX team all collaborated on a plan to run a test in one week, review the results and iterate on what we learned. 

“Within three weeks we were in a place where everyone felt confident about the direction we were headed in, and we developed a process for quick and iterative testing that the rest of the organization can use. This project allowed me to mentor and develop other members of the team and gave me the chance to refine my leadership skills and make a change that will have a positive impact on the app, the member experience and the rest of the organization.”

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