In March, I accepted an enticing offer, along with two of my future colleagues, to be the first members of the customer support team at Gearset’s Chicago office. The offer came with a unique opportunity: to complete onboarding at Gearset’s global headquarters in Cambridge, England.
My team lead explained that Gearset has worked hard to develop and maintain a unique company culture despite growing rapidly, and that the best way to experience that was in person. So I packed my bags, grabbed my US <> UK dictionary, and took flight across the pond to better understand Salesforce DevOps and this lively startup in the heart of “Silicon Fen.”
Every tech company pays lip service to ‘culture’; some may even have a beer fridge and a ping pong table. But at Gearset, it quickly became obvious how integral this culture was in guiding every decision and interaction. The values that define Gearset’s culture are well-documented, but I want to share some of my immediate impressions that confirmed my decision to join the Gearset team.
Trust and transparency
Trust is the starting point of every interaction in Gearset. If you’ve ever been frustrated by vague corporate roadmaps, Gearset’s company-wide policy of transparency can come as a bit of a shock. From day one, I was exposed to financials, intellectual property, and documentation. The transparency around such important information led me to the core of Gearset’s culture: trust.
After seeing this for myself, it explained why the interview process for a Gearset role is so thorough. Gearset will assess not only a candidate’s technical ability and company cultural fit, but also discuss with previous employers the best way to work with you as an individual.
Communication and feedback
Gearset doesn’t just build a DevOps product; the DevOps model of thinking about continuous improvement is embedded in the culture as well. One part of an effective DevOps process is receiving and giving feedback. Feedback enables us to seamlessly iterate on our methods and encourages the best ideas.
At Gearset, leaders right across the organization are open to feedback in several ways, either anonymously or openly. Of course, feedback is a two-way street: as much as you’re encouraged to provide it, you’ll also need to be receptive to receiving it. Fortunately, the trust and open communication fostered at Gearset makes it easy to exchange even challenging ideas about the ways we can improve and better serve our customers.
Work and life
The only ‘talking to’ I’ve received so far at Gearset was working overtime in the office during my first week. It was explained to me that while initiative was appreciated, Gearset is about longevity. It’s about going far even if that comes at the expense of going fast.
One of the ways of promoting longevity is nurturing the elusive work/life balance. It might seem intuitive east of the Atlantic, but as an American working for a European company, the idea of not using people merely as tools to accomplish a job was a novel one. That workplace conditioning seems likely to be a major contributor to the burnout that’s all too common in the US tech sector.
A final point on culture that’s crucial to mention: Gearset loves to party! As maintaining trust and open communication is vital, team social outings are not just a distraction from our work, but integral to the team building necessary to complete it. There’s a lot at Gearset to be celebrated, and these folks hardly need an excuse!
Now that you know a little bit about the company culture, I’ll explain how the customer support team fits in.
Customer support is a great entry point to the technology industry; as a result, it attracts people from a wide variety of backgrounds. At Gearset, we have musicians, athletes, bartenders, food scientists, and artists, to name just a few. Some may be seasoned tech veterans, while others are budding enthusiasts.
This motley crew is aligned by a few unifying principles, however! They’re all creative, problem-solving ninjas who are passionate about curating an amazing experience for users. We’re the folks who will be checking in periodically to see how it’s going, or to get you unstuck in time to meet a deadline. Just as our product has been designed to lighten the load and make work more enjoyable for Salesforce professionals, customer support is the embodiment of those principles, providing that uniquely human touch in your inbox or in-app chat.
And better yet, we’re always on the lookout for more people to bring a new perspective to what we do!
If you’re the kind of person that’s curious about developing technology, relishes a new challenge, and enjoys working closely with others, be sure to reach out. Drop us a line on our website live chat where myself or one of my colleagues would be happy to answer any questions you might have. You can also check out any current vacancies across the company. Hope to hear from you!