Available for work in late summer 2022

date2022-04-21

This post is an early announcement that I will be available for work later this year. I am channeling my school years and taking a long, restful summer break, but at the end of the summer, I will be looking for a new job.

I will continue to use my reverse job posting approach this time around, since it worked well for me last time (see previous posts for context). It really helps me reflect on what I am looking for and communicate that to people who might want to work with me. Please take a look and get in touch if you think I would be a good fit for your organization and vice versa.

When

I plan to take off most of the summer to refresh, so I am my best self when starting a new job. I am aiming to start interviewing in the late summer, which will likely translate to an early fall start date.

Where

I am currently based in Portland, OR and plan to stay. I am exclusively looking for jobs that will allow me to work remotely with zero expectations of travel, going into an office, or other in person meetings.

I miss spending time in person with my coworkers as much as the next person, but am unwilling to take the health risk of travel or in person work for the foreseeable future.

About me

Check out my LinkedIn or resume for a rough overview of my work experience, education, and more. My resume is due for some updating, which I will get to before I start interviewing later this summer.

I am a software engineer with over 15 years of experience that specializes in frontend web development. My depth in frontend is complemented by a breadth of experience throughout the stack and non-technical skills that multiply my impact through communication, collaboration, and leveling up the people around me.

Frontend web development excites me because I get to consider a lot of different problems (design, UX, performance, accessibility, tooling, and so much more) while getting to write code and fight for a great experience for users. I am comfortable diving deeper into the stack as part of my job, but frontend is my happy place.

I have experience in a variety of frontend-focused roles. I spent the first decade of my career working as a product-focused engineer that regularly shipped high quality features that delighted customers. I spent two years in an architect role helping teams make good technical choices and driving frontend technical standards. In my most recent role, I worked on a frontend platform team where I architected, built, and maintained tools and platforms that enabled teams to consistently deliver accessible, performant features to customers.

Over the last several years, I spent most of my time working in React using ES6 and TypeScript and some time with Node building CLIs and other developer tooling. My backend experience includes a smattering of Node, Ruby on Rails, and Java. I have many years of experience shipping large, complex, cross-team projects. I am known for my pragmatism, and people that work with me trust me to make good decisions that balance technical quality and business needs.

In addition to my strong technical skills, I bring a wealth of non-technical skills to the table that I developed over my years as an architect, tech lead, mentor, and contributor to the tech community. I am known for my writing and public speaking. I spearheaded mentoring, coaching, and training in my workplaces and tech communities.

What I'm looking for

The main things I am looking for right now are:

  • Sustainability — We are all living in unprecedented times that are putting a significant strain on our lives, both personally and professionally. I want to work for an organization that is adapting to those times, so that both the organization and the people within it can endure. Expect me to ask about things like how your organization has handled the pandemic, work/life balance, and how you manage competing priorities and roadmaps.
  • Good people — The people you work with and the culture of the organization are critical. None of the other things matter without them. Expect me to want to meet my manager and some of my teammates before accepting an offer.
  • Interesting problems — I enjoy a challenge, so I can continue to learn and grow. These could be interesting customer needs, technical problems, engineering practices, or some combination thereof.
  • Level & compensation — I am looking for roles that will provide me with leveling and compensation commensurate with the quality and level of my work. I have over 15 years of experience and have performed as a high value principal engineer for the last four years.

Location & work hours

I am primarily looking for organizations within three time zones of my location in Portland, OR (Pacific time) for reasonable work hour overlap. You do not have to be based in the US, but you do have to be set up to support remote employees based there (e.g. health insurance, taxes). As noted in where, I am only looking for 100% remote roles.

I do my best work when I can work closer to a 10am-6pm schedule most days of the week, but I can accommodate working closer to a traditional 9am-5pm. Jobs that regularly require me to start my day before 9 am are unlikely to be a good fit. I dream of being an early morning person, but it’s not how my brain works.

Size

I am primarily looking for a small to midsize organization. I've found that the extremes of giant corporations (e.g. IBM, Google) and tiny, early stage startups are less likely to be a good fit for me. That said, I am open to hearing from you if you think your giant/tiny workplace fits what I am looking for.

Type of work

I am looking for a hands-on, frontend-focused, individual contributor engineering role. I am open to working on product or platform teams and have experience working on both.

As a principal engineer, I expect my role to include some leadership responsibilities (e.g. tech lead, system design, mentoring, organizing working groups), but I want those responsibilities to be balanced with time for heads down technical work like coding. I am very interested in helping mentor, coach, and otherwise level up those around me. However, I am not interested in formal people management responsibilities.

Culture

The following are some of the things that are important to me in the culture where I work.
  • Remote work & flexibility — Teams have all the tools they need to collaborate effectively without being in the same room. People are comfortable with asynchronous communication to account for teammates with varying schedules and time zones. Meetings are used thoughtfully and sparingly to ensure people have focus time to complete heads down work like coding. If you have a hybrid workplace, remote employees are included and succeed as much as in office employees.
  • Communication & collaboration — People work together to solve problems. They share knowledge and collaborate with people from other roles to build the best solutions for users. Organizational goals and priorities are clearly communicated, so that people have information to make good decisions. People err on the side of writing things down to share information with others.
  • Work/life balance — You prefer to work smart at a sustainable pace, so you are successful with a low risk of burnout. People work about ~40 hours a week or less and accomplish a lot because of focus and alignment. Working on nights or weekends only happens rarely in extreme situations. When people leave work at the end of the day or go on vacation, they are able to disconnect.
  • Emotional intelligence — People are encouraged to identify, evaluate, control, and express emotions in a healthy way at work and bring empathy to how they interact with others. This is reflected in how people treat one another. Yelling at or belittling others would be out of place and a cause for concern.
  • Continuous delivery — Teams deploy code and ship features to users regularly. They prefer to deliver value to users in smaller chunks and then iterate (instead of delivering huge features rarely).

Extras

The following things will put your company to the top of my list. I know these things are still rare, but I would love my next role to have them.

  • 4-day work week.
  • No on call outside of work hours or, even better, no on call at all.

Pros

The following things will excite me about your organization. They are not requirements, but ideally you have at least a few of them.

  • Flexible work schedule.
    • I tend to work 10am-6pm with a couple earlier days for meetings, but appreciate flexibility when I need to adjust.
  • 20+ days of paid vacation.
    • This can be an unlimited vacation policy, if you have a minimum expectation for time off, so it does not become a race to the bottom. Expect me to ask how many days of vacation your employees take on average.
  • Unlimited sick leave.
  • 401k match.
  • Transparency about compensation early in the interview process.
    • Some localities are currently (or in the near future) requiring this information be made available anyway. Why not share it?
  • Budget for home office setup and recurring home office costs (e.g. internet).
  • Your organization actively helps people or otherwise does good in the world.
  • Support for employees using company time for things like professional development, open source contributions, and community outreach.

Cons

The following things will make me less excited about your organization. They’re not dealbreakers, but I will expect to be paid more if some of these practices are present at your company.

  • Recent changes in senior leadership that impact my role (e.g. CEO, CTO). These sorts of changes often lead to significant shifts in the culture and how work is done, making it difficult for me to know what I am signing up for.
  • Leetcode-style coding interviews.
    • These style of interviews are exhausting, stressful, and bear little-to-no resemblance to the work I will do for you day-to-day. My resume clearly indicates I am capable of passing these interviews (I worked at Google), but I would like to discourage companies from continuing to use a hiring practice that is useless (at best) and harmful (at worst).
  • Combined vacation & sick leave (unless you have a very large amount of leave). This tends to punish employees who get sick, which people rarely have control over.
  • Policies that limit what employees can do with their free time (e.g. banning open source contributions or side projects unrelated to the business).
  • On call outside work hours. I know this is very common for modern tech jobs, and I am ok with it as a job requirement at reasonable levels. I just expect to be paid more to do it.
    • Expect me to ask how often I will be on call and how frequently your team tends to get paged outside of business hours.
  • Support for very old browsers. I can do it and have for many years, but it makes me sad.
  • Combined individual contributor and engineering manager roles, especially at larger organizations. These are both full time jobs, and I am skeptical of organizations that try to cram the responsibilities of both into a single role.

Dealbreakers

The following are dealbreakers. Your organization is not going to be a good fit.

  • Organizations that primarily focus on the following industries are not of interest to me. Please do not contact me about them:

    • Crypto and related technologies (e.g. NFTs, blockchain)
    • Contracting or providing significant services for the military, police, ICE, CBP, or similar organizations.
  • Requirement to work in the office.

  • Requirement to travel.

  • Heavy on call requirements outside work hours. For example:

    • On call more frequently than 1 week per month.
    • Very frequent after hour pages for a significant period of time (i.e. your team likely isn’t being allowed to fix underlying issues).
  • Your company has zero women employees. I don’t want to be a “first” right now.

  • Your company has zero people of color employees. Why?!

  • Low quality or non-existent health care coverage.

  • You don’t have HR. Exceptions may be made for early stage startups, but I will expect the founders to be able to demonstrate an ability to handle HR-related issues without them.

Contact me

Does all of this sound interesting to you? Awesome! If you would like to hear from me when I start looking for work in the late summer, please fill out this form, so I can learn more about you and your organization.

I plan to actively start my job search in the late summer, so you will likely hear from me in August or early September if I am interested in your organization.

FAQs

Why are you only looking for remote jobs?

Remote work enables me to thrive and do my best work. I plan to work remotely for the foreseeable future.

There is also the obvious elephant in the room. I do not want to risk my health to work in an office environment, especially when it is not conducive to doing my best work. The health risk means that I am not willing to travel for interviewing, team offsites, or other in person events.

Remote work can be awesome if you care about doing it right, and I am excited to work somewhere that is making that investment!

Why did you leave your last job?

I really loved the team that I worked with at Stitch Fix. I was doing impactful work alongside a team of thoughtful, kind, and creative people. Unfortunately, as noted in the cons section, changes in senior leadership can lead to significant shifts in company culture. The company I signed up to work at in 2020 had a very different leadership team and culture than the company I left in 2022. It was no longer a great fit for me, and I was really looking forward to taking some time off after the challenges of the last few years.

In positive news, their loss is your gain! The next place I work will get a Julie fresh from a summer off and excited to work on something new.