Stripe
Stripe
Dec 7, 2018 · 2 min read

Small businesses are a lot like startups: you don’t always have resources to buy what you need, so you learn to build.

Before Stripe, I worked almost 20 years for an independent bookstore chain — first as a cashier, then a store manager, and finally becoming part of the company’s leadership team. Having worked in every part of the company, I really honed a sense of end-to-end responsibility for the business.

The people I worked for weren’t trained software engineers; they were ex-phone-company employees who’d become scrappy entrepreneurs and did whatever had to be done. When we needed bookshelves, we built bookshelves; when we needed new point-of-sale systems, we coded our own with books about programming open on our desks.

The part of my job that was most challenging and interesting was the work I did with our technical systems, and I wanted to challenge myself to do more, to jump into a new domain. So I packed a bag and flew to San Francisco.

I did not have a college degree, or any experience or network in tech, but I had decades of customer focus from working in retail. I had real-world business experience. And I was fairly technical for someone who didn’t work in tech.

I joined Stripe’s User Ops team, working directly with users who were getting started with Stripe or who had questions that needed answers. I knew what it was like to be trying to get something to work that wasn’t working, with your business on the line, and I knew how to work through a problem with complex business and technical elements. As Stripe grew, I grew with it; I’ve since moved on to other domains, but the User Ops team gave me my first opportunity to apply my experience in a totally new environment.

My background in brick-and-mortar retail did not suggest tech as an obvious next step. But at Stripe, the value of my skill-set was a more important predictor of success than fitting into a tech archetype.


Interested in learning more about opportunities at Stripe?

Visit www.stripe.com/jobs

Life at Stripe

Stripes around the globe are working together to increase the GDP of the internet.

Stripe

Written by

Stripe

Life at Stripe

Stripes around the globe are working together to increase the GDP of the internet.

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