Austin startup AcademicWorks launched in 2010 with a small team of people dedicated to creating a scholarship management platform for higher education. The company spent their first year taking a deeper look at how 300 colleges and universities across the country managed their scholarship processes, and in 2011, AcademicWorks went live with the first integrated management system.
Students could apply for scholarships in one cohesive and streamlined process for the first time, and the company now provides solutions for over 500 campuses and foundations internationally.
Key to this growth was Aaron Scruggs, who joined the team six months after its inception as AcademicWork's director of engineering. More than five years and two promotions later, Scruggs now leads their tech team as CTO. His previous experience developing email solutions for OtherInbox, and software roles at FineTooth and Kajeet, has contributed to Scruggs's success in creating an inspired developers' environment.
What technologies power your business?
We primarily use AWS, Ruby on Rails, Postgresql, Cassandra, Redis, ElasticSearch, MemcacheD and relentless pragmatism to power AcademicWorks.
What technologies are playing the biggest roles at your company this year?
What are the biggest tech projects your team is working on this year?
What are the biggest technology challenges you’ve faced in the past? How did you overcome them?
What are lessons you’ve learned about working in Austin that other local entrepreneurs can learn from?
Austin is known for having a large talent pool of thirsty, young workers. What are the top characteristics you look for in a potential hire?
How would your team describe working with you?
Images provided by Academic Works. Some answers have been edited for clarity and length.
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