Looking for Work!

I’m currently in search of a new role - please read through and get in touch if you think I would be a good fit for your organization!

This post was inspired by Julie Pagano’s “reverse job hunt” blog post. Part of the purpose behind writing this is to reduce my unknown unknowns - there are roles and companies out there that would be a great match, but I can’t apply if I don’t know they exist. Creating this post means I can share it out with my network and have a higher chance of connecting to those opportunities. It also gives me a chance to reflect on what’s important to me in my next role and company, and to be explicit about what I want or don’t want.

❓ Why

This past Thursday, Instrument dissolved the engineering team I was on and eliminated my role at the company.

📆 When

Now or soon!

🌍 Where

This is kind of a squishy question right now - all companies are Covid-remote, but not all companies are planning to maintain a fully remote workplace once it’s safe to return to an office. So I’m flexible on the “where” requirement! Locations include:

  • Portland, OR.
  • US remote.
  • Non-US remote if the time zone differences work out for everyone.
  • Open to future relocation, US and abroad.

😄 About Me

Please review my LinkedIn profile for a detailed overview of my accomplishments and experience, and I invite you to learn about the positive impact I’ve had over my career via the recommendations that people have chosen to write. You can also download my resume if needed.

I’m a QA Engineer with 5+ years of experience in tech and quality. I’ve been embedded on cross-functional engineering teams, on a centralized QA team within the engineering department, and most recently been a QA manager where I created an internal Quality Engineering discipline from the ground up.

I enjoy operating with a “find the gaps” approach - listening to people and paying attention to the way things work, and finding ways to iterate and improve. I have a strong core skillset that I developed during my time as an early childhood teacher, and have relied on that expertise througout my career in tech.

I’m adaptable and curious, which means I can learn new things as the job calls for it. I do my best to work with compassion and empathy, and I believe that company success is rooted in supporting the people, personally and professionally. I understand the nuances of change management, and how to iterate policies or processes in a way that minimizes churn. (The deck for my talk Why is There a Marble in Your Nose? actually gives a pretty good summary of the skills and approach I bring to work!)

🏢 What I’m Looking For

Type of Role

I’d love to stay in the quality & testing space as a manager or an IC, but I’m open to different opportunities that would allow me to learn new skills!

As a QA engineer, I love being a stakeholder for quality. I use an exploratory approach and focus on adherence to WCAG accessibility standards, regression testing, acceptance testing, performance, and user experience. I’ve learned how to balance the perspectives of the team, the users, and the project stakeholders to make sure we’re building the right things in the right way.

I’ve always worked well in cross-functional teams and more broadly across different departments within a company. I enjoy the collaborative nature of my work - coaching on quality & testing across development, design, and project management to advocate for whole-team quality.

As a QA manager, I love being part of people’s career and personal growth. I really enjoy helping set the vision for quality and engineering, and being a part of making that vision a reality. My role as a manager is also to advocate for the people at the company - are the policies in place meeting their needs? Are they able to grow their careers? Do they have clear understandings of the work that’s expected of them? Have we created clear avenues of communication across teams, departments, and organizational hierarchy? It’s important to use the privilege of title to help shape company culture and make sure we’re creating an environment that is safe, inclusive, and equitable.

Culture

These items are important aspects of company culture that I look for and would strive to maintain while I’m there.

  • Psychological safety: People feel safe advocating for their needs. People feel safe trying new things because they know mistakes aren’t punished. People feel safe asking questions and expecting honest answers.
  • Authenticity > niceness: Companies that prioritize a facade of “niceness” often do so at the detriment of authentic conversations, meaningful feedback, and the ability to iterate or improve as needed. Kind and constructive shouldn’t be mutually exclusive, and a supportive company culture understands how to balance those traits.
  • Collaboration: Across departments and hierarchy, people consistently work together to solve problems, share knowledge, and create.
  • Compassion: People understand that there are identities outside of their own, especially if they benefit from intersections of inherent privilege. E.g. I’m a white straight cis able-bodied woman, which benefits me in many ways that I haven’t earned - so I have to be mindful about incorporating perspectives and experiences beyond my own default. This applies to the people we work with, as well as the users we’re building things for.

Pros

These are strong preferences I have for any company I’m at!

  • Unlimited sick leave.
  • 401k matching.
  • Proactive outreach and meaningful support for employees during the Covid crisis.
  • 15+ days of vacation.
  • Trans-inclusive healthcare.
  • Parental leave policies.
  • Budget and time off for professional development, e.g. attending or speaking at conferences.
  • Active in their communities and industry.
  • Your company actively helps people or makes a positive difference in the world.

Cons

These aren’t dealbreakers, but they’ll make me more hesitant to be part of your company.

  • The executive leadership group consists only of white men.
  • No career ladders. Career ladders, when created and implemented correctly, offer a shared understanding of expectations. They help remove subjectivity and bias to create better opportunities for equitable, objective decisions around hiring, reviews, and promotions - which benefits minoritized or marginalized people who are most likely to be harmed by biased decisions.
  • Hidden pay bands, or no pay bands. Marginalized and minoritized groups are most harmed when salaries are not transparent. Pay bands, when adhered to across the company, allow for equitable pay practices in hiring, raises, and promotions. If a company has chosen not to implement and enforce transparent pay bands, I would assume that people are being harmed by pay inequities.

Dealbreakers

  • You don’t have an official HR.
  • You don’t have any BIPOC employees.
    • Note: it’s a different question altogether whether underrepresented or marginalized employees are safe & supported at the company, but this factor serves as a litmus test for initial discovery purposes.

Contact Me

If my experience and expectations sound good to you, please reach out! You can email me at riggs.ang+jobs@gmail.com and include the following in your email:

  • The name of the organization you are contacting me about.
  • Your role within the organization.
  • Where the organization is based, and whether the role is Covid-remote or fully remote.
  • What kind of organization it is (e.g. private/public company, non-profit, agency, product company).
  • Information about the position(s) and/or a link to relevant job postings.
  • A brief description of why the organization would be a good fit for me and vice versa.
  • Any other information you think is useful.

Thanks in advance - I look forward to hearing from you!

Written on September 6, 2020