4 Austin Companies Hiring For Tech Teams Now

Leaders at four Austin companies gave an inside look at their growing tech teams and shared what qualities a successful candidate should possess.
Written by Lucas Dean
November 15, 2022Updated: November 15, 2022

Austin locals are well-acquainted with two traveler groups who have maintained long-standing local presences: tourists and bats. Unsurprisingly, these two dissimilar groups have entirely different reasons for frequenting the area. 

For the earthbound, Austin’s appeal is rooted in unmissable culinary destinations, live music spots, outdoor activities and cultural sites. On the other hand, the city’s winged visitors are more focused on Congress Avenue Bridge’s many hospitable nooks and crannies. Each autumn, the two groups converge and diverge as tourists gather to see the AirBnBridge guests take to the sky and resume their eastward journey. 

As the Congress Avenue Bridge renovations reached completion and began to draw hordes of bats in the 1980s, the nearby “Silicon Hills” neighborhood was developing. This area is now synonymous with Austin’s bustling tech industry and continues to attract top talent.

In 2022, Austin secured the top spot for a third consecutive year in CompTIA’s list of the best places in the United States for tech jobs. While high demand for talent means plenty of promising career opportunities, sometimes it can be difficult for candidates to find the right fit based solely on a job listing and company profiles. 

Organization leaders can answer candidates’ lingering questions and provide insights that guide applicants searching for a position in a company that suits their professional goals and cultural needs.

Built In Austin spoke to leaders at four local companies to hear which character traits and skills a successful candidate should possess — and learn about the team culture and projects they’ll be developing in the coming year. 

Travelers of all species will naturally come and go, but insights like these are an invaluable resource in the quest to find the ideal job — one that brings a bright future into focus at a company where you’ll be content to stay over the long haul.

 

The Favor team gathered in a communal office space.
Favor

 

Brent Marks
Director, Engineering • Favor

 

Founded in 2013 and acquired by H-E-B in 2018, Favor’s mobile app offers users a wealth of convenient food and grocery delivery options. Favor is Texas’s best-rated delivery service. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

There is such a diverse range of amazing skills and traits that make up the engineering organization at Favor. However, collaboration is the engine that keeps us moving, and the more fuel we give it, the faster we move. Collaboration permeates through everything we do, from work within a squad to work within an engineering domain or tech stack, to work in the engineering organization as a whole, to the relationship between engineering and product, and to the relationships with every stakeholder beyond that. 

In fact, I can confidently say that the collaboration between product and engineering at Favor is the best I have experienced throughout my almost 17-year career. It is open, it is engaging, and it is a true partnership. If you enjoy strong collaboration to solve problems, you will instantly feel at home at Favor.

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for Favor’s success as a whole?

It is an exciting time for the engineering organization at Favor. First, we have so many product initiatives being launched in 2023 — download the Favor app to see for yourself! We recently kicked off a number of engineering initiatives aimed at improving our culture and engineering excellence and increasing our velocity to deliver value. 

Every one of these projects will help our business as a whole, but the largest engineering project we’re focusing on is our initiative to automate as much manual operational work as possible. We are going squad by squad to find the right strategy to reduce any and all time-consuming manual tickets so that we can focus that time on delivering high-value business priorities.

The Favor culture prioritizes collaboration with high levels of trust and adapts quickly to adjust and meet the demands of the business.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word?

Culture is often the beating heart of an engineering organization which makes it extremely difficult to describe in one word. A good culture is also constantly changing and actively trying to improve, which could cause that word to change over time. With this in mind, I would use the word ‘generative’ to describe the engineering culture at Favor.

Generative cultures are typically the ultimate goal of any organization and describe what we focus on and what we hope to continue to move toward. The basis of any culture comes down to how you treat people, and the more you cultivate the right things, the more generative you become. The Favor culture is one that operates in a safe environment, one that prioritizes collaboration with high levels of trust, and one where everyone adapts quickly to adjust and meet the demands of the business. There are always so many things to improve in any organization, and it is extremely refreshing to work for a company like Favor that values giving everyone the opportunity to make those improvements a reality.

 

 

Raymond Borjas
Site Reliability Engineering Manager • ESO

 

ESO is on a mission to make communities healthier and safer. The healthtech company harnesses the power of data to build software solutions that meet the evolving needs of EMS agencies, fire departments and hospitals. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

Curiosity would be the character trait that would help any candidate on my team. We are always evolving as an engineering organization, so being able to dive into new technologies head first with a curious mind helps tackle complex challenges.

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for ESO’s overall success?

We have a project known as “The Great Upgrade,” where we are planning on migrating customers from a recent acquisition to our ESO platform. This is going to be a large influx of activity so being prepared to scale up is our biggest challenge from both the technology side as well as operations. This is important for our overall success as we continue demonstrating that we can meet the demand as we scale up.

With work from home being the primary way to work now, we need to ensure we avoid burnout and keep everyone engaged.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word?

Fun. My team focuses on bringing fun to every problem because with work-from-home being the primary way to work now, we need to ensure we avoid burnout and keep everyone engaged. We love what we do, and it never feels like work when it’s fun.

 

 

The SciPlay team gathered for an outdoor activity.
SciPlay

 

Cameron Stewart
VP Product Management, Casino • SciPlay

 

Mobile gaming company SciPlay is a leading developer and publisher of digital games. SciPlay’s casino games entertain millions of users. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

A non-negotiable quality we scout for in our hiring process is passion. Understandably, candidates who come to us with a burning passion for playing and making games are natural culture fits in our office of gamers. But I also believe every great career starts by giving someone a solid chance to showcase their passion and bring their expertise to the table — even unexpected candidates. 

At SciPlay, we believe in extending opportunities to those with room to grow their technical skills. Passion gets you in the door and accelerates your career growth as your skills advance.

While various projects are in flight here at SciPlay, we tend to stay laser-focused on our core products and the central initiatives that tie them all together.”

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for SciPlay’s overall success?

While various projects are in flight here at SciPlay — which makes it a great fit for all members of the tech community — we tend to stay laser-focused on our core products and the central initiatives that tie them all together. In an industry that touts spending more time on research and development initiatives over doubling down on their main games, we have found that investing in our core offerings of casino, casual and bingo games is our most optimal strategy. 

As a result, we have reached new peaks from games that were launched over ten years ago. Looking to 2023 and beyond, the strategy of investing in what we do best will continue to drive SciPlay’s business forward.

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word?

At SciPlay, our tech team culture is best described as fun! The sheer nature of the business — developing beautiful, ever-evolving, entertaining games for audiences worldwide — allows us to simply have fun while we work. 

Daily standups, holiday events, team outings, game tournaments and annual studio retreats — like our multi-day development conferences rooted in fostering professional development and excitement for our roadmap — also cultivate an engaging and friendly atmosphere. SciPlay sets the bar high for company culture, creating an infectious environment that fuels employee satisfaction, engagement and growth.

 

 

Five DRW team members meet in a conference room.
DRW

 

Rob W.
Senior Software Engineer • DRW

 

Fintech company DRW is a diversified trading firm that has worked at the intersection of technology and trade for 30 years. The company builds cutting-edge technology that guides market analysis and risk management strategies. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

One of DRW’s core values is to challenge the consensus. A key way we describe this is “Strong opinions, loosely held.” We seek to challenge our decision-making every day in order to maintain high standards in our systems and processes — both when designing a new system as well as tweaking an existing one. 

We pride ourselves in not doing something simply because it is the way it has always been done — or it is the boss’ idea — but because we want to see the best idea win, regardless of where that idea originated. One of the most exciting aspects of welcoming someone new to the team is the opportunity to add to the diversity of ideas.

We need to be able to combine our trading and technology expertise to meet the evolving demands of markets. Thus, our solutions need to adapt as new demands arise.”

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for DRW’s overall success?

At DRW, the end goal of any technical project is to either facilitate new trading opportunities for the firm or to improve the efficiency of current trading activity. One example of this is our focus on providing liquidity across several markets, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), cryptoassets and commodities. To achieve this, we need to be able to combine our trading and technology expertise to meet the evolving demands of the markets.

To accomplish this, our solutions need to adapt as new demands arise. Part of that adaptability is working to ensure the software is built in a suitable manner. Sometimes that means a thorough solution that can run virtually untouched for long periods while the team focuses on other priorities. In other cases, it may mean building a quick solution to capture a key market opportunity. The particular solution needs to fit the opportunity.

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word?

Technology teams at DRW have a fair amount of autonomy in their work. In general, we try to create strong teams of talented technologists and give them complex problems to solve. This autonomy is important because we want our teams to feel empowered to advocate for the best technologies and solutions to a challenge faced while keeping the long-term health of the solution and the firm in mind. 

For example, if using a new technology increases the team’s support burden, that may limit the team’s ability to be flexible in the face of new market challenges. In the long run, this balance creates more opportunities for growth for both the team and the business.

 

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