Francis Kam, mobile engineer, joined Thumbtack at the end of 2016. Since then he’s built and lead the charge for our Android app. Here are his thoughts on his work, team and life at Thumbtack.
I joined Thumbtack because I connected to the vision. I wasn’t really looking for a new job at the time — I had reached out because a friend recommended it. But when I interviewed, I realized that Thumbtack focuses on something that hasn’t been served well by modern technology so far: local services. This is an opportunity to build something big.
Now I’m a mobile engineer at Thumbtack, focused on the Android app. I build one of the main ways to access the product if you really think about it. Because we have a product that’s constantly evolving, we’re always changing with it. We have to evaluate not only what needs to be built, but strategize how we solve the problem. We don’t want to build something that can be solved generically.
“The thing that sets our team apart is how collaborative we are.”
It’s not easy work, but the thing that sets our team apart is how collaborative we are. We have tons of different opinions on the mobile team. It doesn’t necessarily propel you faster — if you’re all thinking the same way you can go faster. But it limits you. You want different perspectives to keep you in check. And we always take the time to discuss and figure out a solution. Everyone understands that we are all working together on a common goal. And we will work towards that no matter what. Whether that’s building a product — or working on our favorite team activity: escape rooms.
The whole Android app didn’t exist before I joined. Now customers use it to connect to Thumbtack. I like working on a product where I can see the immediate impact. Sometimes pros will visit and tell us their stories about how Thumbtack helped them build their business. We have a chance to build a large product that’s truly useful for almost everyone. You don’t see the chance to build something from the ground up all too often, and I think that’s a pretty prime opportunity.