I’m not a coder, but I love being at Coder

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Krista Ratcliff
 on March 16th, 2022

I almost canceled my final interview with the co-founders of Coder in April 2020.

The pandemic had just shut down the entire world, and I was at home with my husband frantically trying to figure out how we’d get any work done at all with a 5th-grader and a newly-minted two-year-old. Like so many working parents, we suddenly found ourselves with no childcare, no plan, and no good options.

It felt like exactly the wrong time to be leaving a large, established tech company with a global footprint, deep pockets, and generous benefits for a small, series-B startup that was trying to build an entirely new way to develop software using technologies that most people had never heard of.

But when I met with Coder’s founders (on Zoom, of course!), I knew I had to be a part of what they were building.

I decided to make the leap

I tend to be pretty risk-averse — fitting for a program and ops leader whose job it is to ask a lot of questions and manage uncertainties. But after having worked hard to make a challenging career switch from academia to tech, I felt grateful for all I had learned and ready to try something completely new. I wanted to know what it felt like to figure out the answers for myself, instead of following practices established by someone else.

It turns out that building operations at a startup is less about finding answers and more about spotting problems. It also turns out that you’re never really working by yourself, even when you’re fully remote and your colleagues may be people you’ve never met in person. I’ve been at Coder for nearly two years now, and the relationships I’ve developed and the growth I’ve experienced have made every day worth it — even the really tough days.

Opportunities on overdrive

One of the biggest uncertainties I had in joining Coder was how the culture fit would feel for me as a woman in a non-technical role. Coder is a devtools / infrastructure company (so, the techiest of tech companies), and while I’ve added a ton of skills over the years, I still sometimes struggle with the imposter syndrome that comes from being a former humanities professor in a world full of devs.

But the really wonderful thing about landing at a startup like Coder has been the realization that they hired me to deliver the kind of business results that I know how to deliver. They trust me to get things done, to find and fix problems, and to make strategic decisions that move Coder forward.

I’ve felt supported at every step of the way, and the open PTO and benefits (like insurance coverage for dependents) have made my life as a working mom more manageable — yes, even at a startup, where the sense of drive and urgency is palpable. I’ve built a team of amazingly talented people, and at every turn, the founders have expressed their confidence in my abilities and offered me new opportunities.

I love what I do, and I learn something new every day

For me to stay happy and fulfilled, I need to be growing and learning, and that’s something I’ve gotten here at Coder, often in areas that are brand new for me. This means that I’m constantly adding new skills, new competencies, and new accomplishments to my ops tool belt., I’ve been able to use our generous professional development benefit to join an ops community, purchase books, and take online courses when I run into something I haven’t yet learned how to do.

In my current role as Head of Operations, I see myself as the product manager for the company as a whole: if Coder employees are empowered to do their jobs with minimum friction and maximum happiness, then my team and I have done our jobs well.

If you're interesting in joining Coder, check out our open positions.

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