The construction industry has historically been one of the slowest industries to adopt modern technology, a wild thought given how many people, investments and hours of physical labor are needed to complete just one project.
Amid the slow and steady rise of tech startups looking to serve this area is Procore, which, since 2002, has sought to solve the challenges for everyone involved in a construction project through its cloud-based platform.
Earning tech “unicorn” status in 2016, the company continues to expand rapidly, with 78 percent of its internal growth expected to occur in its Austin office. We connected with three leaders from Procore to learn more about how their local team is making a lasting impact on the company and, as a result, the construction industry.
EMPLOYEES: Over 1,500; approximately 350 locally
WHAT THEY DO: Procore connects people, applications and devices through a unified platform to help construction professionals manage risk and build quality projects, safely, on time and within budget. They support some industry giants including Balfour Beatty, McCarthy, Alberici and DE Harvey.
WHERE THEY DO IT: In 12 offices across the world, including downtown Austin
INVEST IN YOURSELF: Procore’s employee learning and development opportunities, enrichment programs and resources ensure you’ll grow personally and professionally along with them.
NO DOORS, NO PROBLEM: Their office, located across multiple floors of a downtown highrise, is mostly door-free to encourage collaboration, creativity and autonomy. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy views of Austin from all angles.
Sam Crigman, Chief Technology Officer
As CTO and head of Procore’s research and development department, Sam leads Procore’s engineering, product and UX teams to ensure they are aligned and set up to succeed. He also ensures its applications and infrastructure expand and advance congruently with the company’s continued rapid growth.
DEEP DIVE: Sam’s got a young family to keep up with these days but said his favorite hobby is scuba diving when the opportunity arises.
Talk to us about the problems you solve when you come into work and the technologies you're using to accomplish those goals.
For an industry so essential to the development of society, construction has historically been underserved by technology. As Procore’s users build our communities’ hospitals, homes, sports stadiums, and schools, it’s our job to give them the tools to do this more safely and efficiently.
How does Procore emphasize learning and development on the tech team?
In addition to the personal and professional growth opportunities available through Procore’s learning and development department, our R&D enablement team supports a number of programs. Our dev academy offers courses “by engineers for engineers,” giving our team members the ability to dig deep into subjects they want to master and share what they are learning with each other. We have regular Lunch n’ Learns, encourage and support conference attendance and speakers, host annual hackathons, offer a peer-to-peer mentoring program, and more.
[Our Austin office] will experience Procore's highest employee growth rate in 2019.”
What does Austin’s growth look like in the near future? How do you see growth in Austin as key for the future of Procore?
Austin has been home to Procore's second largest office since 2015 and now will experience Procore's highest employee growth rate in 2019. At the beginning of this year, we started expanding our first engineering team outside of our headquarters in California to our office in Austin. We’ve already welcomed a number of exceptional leaders to our local office including our CIO, VP of UX, and VP of engineering, and are looking to add over 100 new employees to our tech team including engineers, product managers and UX designers.
Nick Snodgrass, Director of Product
Aiming to create a great customer experience across all of Procore’s products, Nick leads the global customer experience product team. Procore’s hyper-focus on the customer to improve the tools, processes and challenges within the construction industry is what attracted Nick to Procore initially and what continues to inspire him daily.
FEEL MY FLOW: Nick clears his mind to tackle the work day by regularly playing guitar. He said it helps him “get into a state of flow.”
How has your background in the U.S. Army affected your leadership style? How does it complement the other leaders at Procore?
I started my career in the Army as a combat engineer officer where my team’s mission was to find and remove roadside bombs. My experience in the army taught me the value of servant leadership, where developing, empowering and serving others is a leader’s primary focus. This style of leadership influences how I lead and make decisions today.
One reason I decided to join Procore was seeing how the company’s leadership philosophy matches mine. Regardless of someone’s “career level” at Procore, we look to everyone for leadership. We know that striving toward being better leaders is a continuous journey and it’s OK to make a mistake — as long as you own it and learn to do better next time.
What product has your team created that is unique to Procore? How did that product come to be?
Our mobile app is one of the most unique things about Procore. It is a direct manifestation of the power of Procore’s platform. It is packed with functionality and enables construction field workers to be more productive by collaborating with coworkers in the jobsite trailer or across various project stakeholders. The mobile app has come a long way in just a short two years since I joined, and it’s always doing more — and better — for our customers. I couldn’t be more proud of the entire team that made it happen.
Regardless of someone’s ‘career level’ at Procore, we look to everyone for leadership.”
What’s your process for creating or building out a new feature? How do you decide?
We strive to have an inclusive product development process where it doesn’t matter what your title or role is — user, account executive, quality assurance engineer, or our CEO Tooey Courtemanche. Great ideas can come from anyone.
In 2018 at Procore’s user conference, Groundbreak, a customer and I were looking at a few different mockups for a product update we were working on. During our conversation, this customer came up with one of the most brilliant visual design approaches that was much different than the direction we were headed. Our design team took the suggestion with complete humility and implemented it by seeing the great idea for what it was!
Tiffany Tipton, QA Engineer
Tiffany joined Procore more than five years ago at its California-based headquarters. A recent resident to Austin, she and her local team’s role in Procore’s planned research and development expansion in Austin will be paramount. The move marks Procore’s first time growing its tech department on a large scale outside of HQ.
PROUD WARRIOR: Tiffany loves the physical and mental workout that yoga introduces. An active believer in self care, she says her yoga break in the day helps her happiness, productivity and insights at work.
What surprised you about Procore’s Austin team or office after you relocated here?
I’m continually impressed by the Austin office’s strong sense of community and the way people take the time to foster genuine bonds in and outside of work. Recently, one of my coworkers unexpectedly had her bachelorette party cancelled right before her wedding and within just a few days, a group of Procore employees surprised her with a bachelorette brunch.
How has the Austin team contributed to Procore’s overall growth since opening its office in 2015?
Our team is known for being strong advocates of Procore’s company values. This set the groundwork that made Procore’s expansion possible by demonstrating how to successfully build a team outside of headquarters who advance our culture.
During a company all-hands meeting, Kelly Sheeran, a customer support manager and one of the early members of the Austin office, came and shook my hand to thank me for helping this team with a QA request. This small interaction was the start of me forming a strong bond with our Austin support team and being a champion for them in R&D; this moment even influenced my decision to move to Austin. These kinds of interactions have been happening between the Austin team and the rest of the company for years, which I think has had a huge impact on Austin’s growth.
I’m continually impressed by the Austin office’s strong sense of community and the way people take the time to foster genuine bonds in and outside of work.”
How does Procore’s culture foster an environment for innovation?
We’re encouraged to take ownership over solving problems in creative and innovative ways, whether it’s tech or non-tech related. I was a part of a team that expressed the need for a shared room to increase collaboration, so we were given a dedicated space to move into. We made so much progress on our projects that Procore is currently building rooms for more dedicated team spaces! Employees are empowered to decide how they work best, and Procore is physically innovating spaces in support of how teams want to work.