Reflecting on 3 years at Shopify
A few days ago, it was my 3rd anniversary at Shopify, and I’ve got the idea of sharing in a short blog post what are the things that I like from Shopify and that allowed me to grow:
- Great mission: The company has a clear and realistic mission that they go after, and most importantly, leadership believes in it. I’m noticing more and more companies emerging with CEOs with a utopian view of the world and throw many investors’ money into the problem with the dream that the world will be shaped as they want it to be.
- Leadership understands technology: And, therefore, can make informed decisions. When we decided to adopt React Native, it was a meditated decision that the CEO could see aligning with the company’s direction.
- They trust you: All that friction you see in other companies where you have to escalate the “can you give me access to” ladder doesn’t exist at Shopify. They trust people, and people trust each other. We have a concept called “trust battery”, and it’s essential to have it fully charged with the people around us.
- Technology is a means and not an end: Shopify is often criticized for being old-school with their Rails monolith, and very recently, for adopting React Native as the default technology for building mobile apps. However, I learned to appreciate that any technology in the right hands can get you to achieve great things. I’ve seen companies writing native Swift apps or complex micro-services backends whose business and user experience is broken. What’s the point of being on the latest if you can’t provide excellent value to your users?
- You have a path for growth: Since I expressed my interest in leading a team, my manager trusted me to give it a shot and start taking steps towards it. Since then, they’ve provided me with resources, guidance, and support to help me grow every day. Similarly, I’ve seen other folks changing teams and paths to explore new areas.
- Not afraid of black boxes: Unlike many companies that are afraid of change when they find their comfort zone, Shopify likes and embraces change because they accept the world is continually changing, and we need to evolve with it. A couple of examples of that are the adoption of React Native and becoming digital by default. As soon as the pandemic started, the CEO accepted that the new normal wouldn’t be the same and that we should be the first to figure out what it’ll be like and not the last. The whole company is learning how to be remote, and it’s fantastic to see everything they are doing to support this transition.
- Extremely talented people: Shopify is full of crafters that are passionate about what they do and from which you can learn a lot. I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot about people management, design developer experiences, and manage projects.
- A great developer experience can make a difference: The opportunity to work on tooling full time is one of those things that got me into Shopify. It’s a company that doesn’t see tooling as an after-thought. A great tool can save you time and bring you the focus you need to build the product. We have teams dedicated to tooling for different development areas: local environments, cloud environments, test infrastructure, mobile, web…
Overall, I feel valued. I get the space that I need to be creative. I’m surrounded by a fast and inspiring environment that motivates me to challenge my static visions of the things around me continually.