Tech Is Booming in Orange County — And These Companies Are Hiring

A new year has arrived and tech in the O.C. is not slowing down.
Written by Rachael Millanta
January 20, 2022Updated: January 20, 2022

You’re not alone in wanting better opportunities to grow or develop in your career this year, but luckily you won’t have to look any further than the tech industry in Orange County.

Nearly a quarter of all adults who said they would be leaving their job in the next 12 months said that it was to pursue better growth opportunities, according to a 2021 study by Qualtrics. When the study results were narrowed to just respondents from the tech industry, this desire for development was the number one reason why professionals said they were looking for new employment. 

“Growth of everything, myself included, is the biggest goal in 2022,” Andrew Tung, a senior software engineer at Arcules, said.

CBRE’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report — an annual ranking of North American markets that analyzes their ability to attract and develop tech talent — ranked the Orange County region in ninth place overall, an eight place climb from the previous year and the biggest jump of any market. With an 18.6 percent increase and nearly 36,000 tech jobs added between 2015 and 2020, the area was listed as the fifth largest tech-talent labor pool in the United States, cementing Orange County’s status as a fast-emerging tech hub.

“Team members here often say that a single week doesn’t pass without them having to stretch themselves to learn something new,” said Trent Johnson, senior vice president of corporate ventures at Cie. “Our business model allows us to provide stability and be a growth launchpad at the same time.”

There is no doubt the area is booming with opportunity for both companies and employees, but what is it really like to work in the O.C.? Built In LA caught up with four industry leaders based in Orange County to talk about the values and exciting projects at their companies.

And the best part? They’re all hiring!

 

 

Hitesh Koli
Software Engineer

 

Collectors Universe, Inc. conducts third-party grading and authentication services for high-value collectibles, including collectible coins, trading cards, video games, tickets, autographs and memorabilia. 

 

When you were first interviewing for a role with your company, what was the moment when you knew you wanted to be a part of this team?

The team that I interviewed with was very technically gifted. Even though they were interviewing, they would often make a conscious decision to pivot away from the tech world and toward my hobbies and any shared interests. My favorite question to ask anyone on an interview panel is about the pain points that they are experiencing in their current line of work, and we had an in-depth discussion beyond the time allotted to share similar experiences and learn from each other. That was a good indicator to me that this is a team where ideas and experiences can be shared positively with discussion leading to some attainable action points.

This is a team where ideas and experiences can be shared positively with discussion leading to some attainable action points.”

 

What’s a project or challenge you’re really excited to tackle in 2022 and why?

In 2022, we are planning to revamp our whole system to be cloud native and scalable. We are currently in the planning phase which gives us a lot of opportunity to contribute. Even though I am new to the team and do not understand the domain as much as the veterans, my input and questions are always taken into consideration.

We are also evaluating the various tech stacks that we want to use within our organization, with a major focus on AWS technologies and standardizing our approach within cross-team environments. This is so that we can work well with other teams and not have disparate systems — we are essentially building a tech ecosystem for our whole organization. 

One of the side projects that I worked on recently was the standardization of setting up development-specific machines. The local setup of an environment was manual and messy, so I automated that using a script for myself and our team. This ended up being helpful across the board and I had a chance to work with some project managers to create a global configuration for automating these kinds of setups. We are growing as a company, so this will help reduce onboarding issues in the future.

 

 

Orian Livnat
Senior Product Manager / Product Owner

 

MobilityWare is a mobile gaming company, creating a variety of fun and engaging games for iOS and Android devices that can be played by users of all experience and skill levels.

 

Which of your company’s core values is your favorite and how does that show up in the work you and your team are doing?

‘Be empowered’ is one of my favorite core values that we have at MobilityWare. When I first joined the team, I was challenged to create new features for one of our established titles. Although my boss suggested a feature that he thought would do well, he was clear that I was empowered to do whatever I thought was best for the game. Our company’s belief in empowering each and every member of the team allowed me to take a creative risk and it paid off — my feature was the third most successful at the time of its release and helped propel the title to one hundred percent revenue growth last year. Not all features are winners, but we understand that in order to be successful, the lessons you learn from your misses can be just as constructive as the growth you experience from your wins. That’s what being empowered means to me.

The lessons you learn from your misses can be just as constructive as the growth you experience from your wins.”

 

What’s a project or challenge you’re really excited to tackle in 2022 and why?

I’m very excited to release my first game as a product owner for MobilityWare this year. It’s a new market for us and the game is geared toward an international audience. We are putting our own spin on the classic tile game and challenging ourselves to make it accessible, allowing anyone to pick up and play without an intense initial learning curve. Making a game that requires a sophisticated ruleset while also being simple enough for anyone to understand is always a challenge. It’s the company’s first non-card-based competitive game and I can’t wait to see how our players respond to it!

 

 

Andrew Tung
Senior Software Engineer

 

Arcules offers cloud surveillance solutions in a single easy-to-use system. Simplified into one platform, Arcules users are able to access their account from anywhere in the world with over 75 built in features.

 

Which of your company’s core values is your favorite and how does that show up in the work you and your team are doing?

My favorite core value at Arcules is the level of trust the company puts in us. Many companies will hire smart people, then get in their way with heavy processes or by vetoing suggestions. At Arcules, the company demonstrates its trust in its employees in nearly every facet imaginable. When I first joined Arcules I was tasked with a project to find an internationalization or localization third-party provider so that our web application could work in seven or eight different languages. Since a lot of the old translations were outdated, I decided to toss them out and submit orders for new translations. At other companies, I would have had to ask multiple layers of management, but at Arcules, I was given access to the company credit card and just trusted to go and create the accounts and integrate with the platform. They trusted me to spend a reasonable amount of money and alert accounting when large orders were going to be sent out.

It took me a while to even realize the amount of trust the company was putting in me — the CTO even remarked that once I stopped worrying and asking about spending money and instead focused more on how to get the translations done, the project moved a lot faster.

Many companies will hire smart people, then get in their way with heavy processes or by vetoing suggestions.”

 

What’s a project or challenge you’re really excited to tackle in 2022 and why?

I’m probably most excited – and admittedly a little nervous – about the growth challenges we face in 2022. We have a lot of customers being onboarded and our existing systems won’t scale with the amount of foreseeable traffic. Aside from the challenge of scaling our technical systems, we also have to scale the people side of the business, so I would say that the growth of everything, myself included, is the biggest goal in 2022.

 

 

Trent Johnson
Senior Vice President, Corporate Ventures

 

Cie launches new ventures with entrepreneurs, serving as an innovation lab and accelerator to transform exciting new and reimagined ideas into reality.

 

Which of your company’s core values is your favorite?

As a venture studio, Cie’s core value of taking ownership is extremely important in order to successfully scale multiple startups and innovate for corporate partners at the same time. This essentially means that for our employees, we’re a talent accelerator, as there’s no other environment where you could get this much exposure for development at a single company. Team members here often say that a single week doesn’t pass without them having to stretch themselves to learn something new. I love that our business model allows us to provide stability and be a growth launchpad at the same time.

Our business model allows us to provide stability and be a growth launchpad at the same time.”

 

What’s a project or challenge you’re really excited to tackle in 2022?

Central to every project and partner we work with is the goal of seeking to make people’s lives better, while also growing a strong business. Last year, we launched four digital properties that improved the patient experience for a Southern California-based hospital, so in 2022, we’re looking forward to doing similar work within the various healthcare specialties they provide. It is a win-win to be able to ideate and execute a digital experience that places patient care at the forefront while still meeting business goals.

Beyond that, I look forward to continuing our work in startups, where we are innovating in multiple industries and creating tremendous value. Cie is rapidly scaling technology tools that train Peace Officers in de-escalation and revolutionize meat replacement consumer packaged goods, all while launching two additional startups. Each one of these companies presents a challenge and being able to work across all of them at once is an opportunity like no other.

 

 

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