7 Austin Companies Hiring Tech Talent Right Now
As summer drags on, so does the promise — or rather the threat — of triple-digit temperatures along the Greater Austin-San Antonio corridor. The 90-degree days of past seasons now seem quaint — like souvenirs or leftover swag from SXSW.
How do standout companies in a hot job market keep their work environment cool in these dog days? One answer is quite literal: Companies encouraging their team members to skip what promises to be a scorching commute are reaping the benefit in employee satisfaction.
“After seeing how productive everyone continued to be at home throughout the pandemic, we adopted our W3B or ‘Work Where you Work Best’ policy,” said Mikki Garcia, senior software engineer for CrowdStreet. “Many of our engineers opted to remain remote where there is less distraction. We find ourselves much more productive.”
For some employees, remote work offers the opportunity to avoid scalding their hands on their steering wheel. For others, a generous PTO policy allows them to hit the Colorado River for some kayaking. Additionally, many workers find that a collaborative culture or mission-based approach provides a sense of purpose, allowing them to bring their full selves to work.
Built In Austin spoke to six team members from hiring companies about the highlights of working at some of Central Texas tech’s top workplaces.
“You’ll never see any of the engineering leadership telling you to work through illness or burnout,” said Mikki Garcia, senior software engineer at CrowdStreet. “The unspoken rule is ‘rest today so you can come back 100 percent tomorrow,’ and our work truly shows it.”
An online real estate investing platform that has raised $2 billion and has serviced thousands of investors, CrowdStreet thrives on the dedication of engineers like Garcia and on the collaborative culture that the company has built.
What was the key driver in your decision to join — and ultimately stay — at CrowdStreet?
I just celebrated my four-year anniversary at CrowdStreet this week. The number one reason I’ve stayed so long, hands down, is the people I work with. We have fostered an amazing culture on our engineering team where we all help each other grow in our careers.
You don’t see this kind of environment often. We all actively want to see each other succeed. It’s not considered a waste of time or productivity to assist other teammates with tasks. We value often-overlooked soft skills in our engineers. Collaboration and mentorship opportunities are regarded highly as beneficial. I genuinely care about every single person I work with on a day-to-day basis.
Additionally, not enough can be said about our managers. My direct manager has done an immense amount of supporting me in reaching my career goals, and you can tell he takes great pride in the success of his direct reports.
I genuinely care about every single person I work with on a day-to-day basis.”
What’s your favorite perk or benefit that CrowdStreet offers, and why?
The flexible time off. I’ve seen a common sentiment among folks working at companies with flexible time off. They say it’s not really flexible, and you end up using less than you would otherwise. That’s not the case here.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Being treated like a human being makes me and my teammates want to push ourselves harder and put out the best work we can. After seeing how productive everyone continued to be at home throughout the pandemic, we adopted our W3B or “Work Where you Work Best” policy. Many of our engineers opted to remain remote where there is less distraction. We find ourselves much more productive.
Bright Health is a healthcare and health insurance company. It’s Bright HealthCare diversified healthcare financing and distribution platform aggregates and delivers healthcare benefits to over one million consumers.
What was the key driver in your decision to join — and ultimately stay at — Bright Health?
The number one reason I’ve stayed is my leader and team members. I work with a team that is focused on driving and recommending strategies to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for all our colleagues across all our offices and locations.
This team does the work with full support from our leaders, but most importantly, it’s not our “day job.” Despite the other work demands, this team has prioritized creating ways for employees that are distributed throughout offices, homes, automobiles, clinics and pharmacies to feel a part of a broader community and to feel that they belong where they work. This team continues to receive feedback stating that they are grateful to be part of a company that addresses the unique needs of underrepresented groups and is providing a path for ongoing development and enrichment.
This team has prioritized creating ways for employees that are distributed throughout offices, homes, automobiles, clinics and pharmacies to feel a part of a broader community.”
What’s the coolest project you've worked on recently, and how did it help you grow professionally?
Coolest project is definitely leading the creation of employee resource groups for the company. Engaging executives and top leaders in the company to share their stories with employees and build a connection as they lead these groups has been a great way to find commonalities among all levels of our organization.
Employees from different generations, different states and different professions are all coming together to create awareness of their life's journeys, learn about how others experience life through different lenses and celebrate how heritage brings flavor of life to our work
Since 2005, Torc Robotics — a subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG – has been working on autonomous vehicle solutions. The company currently offers a complete self-driving vehicle software and integration solution and is working on the development of commercial self-driving trucks.
For Director of Engineering Scott Willey, Torc’s focus on robotics and the “humble and hardworking mindset” behind the company’s engineering team brought back memories of a childhood spent reverse engineering a Tomy Omnibot that he had received for Christmas in the early 1980s. Willey noted: “When I looked at what Torc was building, it brought back those memories of my little Omnibot, and I realized that this company was building part of that future that I had been dreaming about.”
What was the key driver in your decision to join Torc?
I was always an inquisitive child. Always taking something apart or building something. Once, I received an Omnibot toy robot as a Christmas gift. This was a pretty advanced toy for the early 1980s. It only lasted a year in my hands — not because I was careless with it or because I lost interest — but because I took it apart to see how it worked. That was the beginning of a long journey to a career in engineering.
Fast forward four decades, I found Torc as I was looking for a more fulfilling and challenging place to take my career. I was impressed with the culture that Torc fosters. Torc is the fifth company that I have worked for and it is far and away the best company that I have worked for in my career.
What’s your favorite perk or benefit that Torc offers, and why?
Torc’s paid time off policy is one of the best I’ve seen. Vacation time is given to a new employee upfront, and we have multiple holidays and a company-wide shutdown between Christmas and the New Year. The culture at Torc also respects paid time off. When you are off work, you are truly off work.
“It’s rewarding to be able to prove to our customers that our platform really does work and to be a part of their business’ growth,” said RealWork Labs Customer Support Team Lead Andrea Viduare.
At RealWork Labs, a referral broadcasting platform for the home services industry, Viduare is energized by the opportunity to help local businesses build their brand and assist customers using the company’s GeoProof Ecosystem.
“I truly believe in our company, our values and what we do to help our customers,” she said.
What was the key driver in your decision to join — and ultimately stay — with RealWork Labs?
I have been with the company for 10 months now and have recently taken on a new role as the team lead. RealWork Labs has really helped me improve my skill set and provided a path to build my career. Here you find a group of leaders and peers who are willing to help you grow and learn to ensure that you succeed, even in tough situations.
People first is one of our core values, and this directly makes an impact to ensure we are taking care of ourselves.”
What’s your favorite perk or benefit that RealWork Labs offers, and why?
Unlimited PTO. It allows you to be able to take a break when you really need to reset and refocus. To have a healthy work-life balance is very important, and being able to take the time you need and not be judged feels significant. People first is one of our core values, and this directly makes an impact to ensure we are taking care of ourselves.
For many engineers like Peter Galea, senior software engineer with ClosedLoop, career development isn’t just a matter of moving along an escalating pay scale; it’s about becoming a better contributor to an organization that does good.
Enter ClosedLoop — an AI-enabled healthtech platform helps healthcare organizations to precisely treat individual patients’ needs. At ClosedLoop, Galea found an opportunity to ply his trade in service of a greater good — improving the healthcare system.
What was the key driver in your decision to join — and ultimately stay with — ClosedLoop?
I’d been out of the software business for a few years, and I’d just finished an immersive data science program. I didn’t want to put my skills to use squeezing a few more clicks out of a social media ad. I really wanted to do something that would have a positive impact. That’s what drew me to ClosedLoop. Each month we’re generating millions of predictions that are being used to guide decisions about medical treatments and interventions for real people; people who otherwise might not have gotten the help they need. It is directly saving lives.
As for why I stayed, I enjoy working on an exciting, impactful project with a team of really smart people. I’ve learned a ton, and it’s been fun to watch the company grow.
I enjoy working on an exciting, impactful project with a team of really smart people.”
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on at ClosedLoop, and how did it help you grow professionally?
I’ve worked on many aspects of the ClosedLoop platform, but my main project since I started here has been the Terminology Service.
A big part of what we analyze is claims data. A line of claims data could consist of a condition diagnosed, a drug prescribed or a medical procedure performed. These claims are represented by medical codes. These medical codes are within terminologies that are hierarchical in nature, interrelated and constantly changing. Like many things in healthcare AI, they get complicated very quickly.
My work at ClosedLoop has been to develop a terminology server that can quickly deliver these codes to the AI models that are making predictions. The challenge has been to continually update these terminologies while maintaining all the historical codes we need to analyze claims data. And all that needs to be within the framework of modern medical terminology interoperability standards.
Working on this project has allowed me to directly contribute to cutting-edge medical AI technology. It’s also really upped my skills as a Python and Scala developer.
A SaaS company dedicated exclusively to the energy market, Enverus employs intellectual capital, innovative cloud technology, collaborative partnerships and a team of more than 1,500 dedicated professionals to help deliver reliable cost-effective energy across more than 50 countries.
For Liesl Vargas, vice president of talent excellence, Enverus also offered an opportunity to tackle tough problems, to be a part of something bigger and to scale her own career growth to meet those challenges.
What was the key driver in your decision to join — and ultimately stay with — Enverus?
I started with Enverus about three years ago. My initial attraction was the unique space we occupy in the energy industry as well as the opportunity to be part of a growing company.
I was not looking for status quo. I was looking for a challenge and to be part of something bigger. I have not been disappointed. The opportunities I’ve had at Enverus have helped me grow more so than at any other point in my career. I’m definitely more well-rounded due to my experience at Enverus!
I was looking for a challenge and to be part of something bigger. I have not been disappointed.”
What’s your favorite perk or benefit that Enverus offers, and why?
Enverus works hard to ensure we are providing a growth-minded culture for our employees where they feel valued and can come as they are. Part of that is providing opportunities for employees to give back to the communities in which they live and work.
We provide employees with volunteer time off so they can support those community organizations that hold meaning for them. We also have our Enverus Communities which is a safe place to network, share ideas and discuss topics of interest.
All Web Leads is a customer acquisition marketing company that helps consumers connect to and purchase coverage from thousands of insurance agents.
It’s also a place of opportunity for team members like Samuel Atkinson, account executive, for whom AWL has provided a number of career opportunities.
What was the key driver in your decision to join your company?
AWL is a door that opens many opportunities. They do a great job of aligning the right people with the right opportunities — even if it isn’t the job you originally started with. This is our culture. This is AWL.
I was a bartender before this job, and I was lucky enough to get chosen by AWL. The first day walking into the office, I was in awe. From the atmosphere to the kindness of other co-workers within the company, it truly feels like a home. I can’t see myself doing anything else since I’ve been in sales. The adrenaline of producing revenue for the company and seeing us all grow together is truly amazing.
Aiming to surpass this goal has made me more diligent not only in the workplace but in life.”
What’s your favorite perk or benefit your company offers, and why?
My favorite benefit of working with our company is having goals to go after. Since I am in sales, we have a quota to reach. Aiming to surpass this goal has made me more diligent not only in the workplace but in life. Going the extra 110 percent wherever I am has changed my life.