Why I Joined Thumbtack as a Senior Software Engineer Four Months Ago

Adam Hollock — Sr. Software Engineer

As a senior level software engineer, I am always extremely grateful for and humbled by the breadth of options available to me within my career. Not only are software developers high in demand, with a number that is expected only to increase, but it is also an extremely rewarding position. You are often able to see the direct results of the code and architectures that you create, can exercise either creative or analytical skills in your solution, and get to work with cool tech all day in just about any industry you can imagine.

Working with computers appealed to me at a young age, and the freedom and educational avalanche that the advent of the internet provided accelerated that passion. Fast forward to about a decade of full-stack experience and I had a few options on the table for me for my next career move. As I had put in the time to learn what does and doesn’t work for me, I could focus on what I valued in my career:

  1. Join a company that was embracing the shift to a remote-first world
  2. Make an impact
  3. Work on something with a large scale that would challenge and be meaningful for me

These values are what led me to Thumbtack.

1.Virtual-First

After the initial lockdowns had stabilized and vaccinations were starting to be announced, there were a lot of “Will they? Won’t They?” situations regarding companies adopting a remote-first workplace versus going back to the office full time or trying to develop some kind of hybrid model.

Despite the fear and anxiety brought upon by COVID, a personal silver lining is that it enabled me to discover that I thrived in a way that I never have prior in my life while working remotely. The 1–2 hours that I spent driving daily were instead applied towards self-improvement: working towards both my mental and physical health, enabling a passion for cooking and invaluable time spent with my family. So I knew from my own experience that a full time office or even hybrid approach would absolutely not work for me.

As a result, when I learned about Thumbtack’s philosophy towards virtual work, I knew I wanted to get involved as soon as possible. This was by far the most employee centric policy — Thumbtack was embracing a virtual workplace, while providing physical workspaces for employees to get work done or have one on one meetings, as well as enabling opportunities for employees to meet in-person en masse a few times a year. This was the model that made the most sense and the one I wanted to support with my time and talent.

2. Impact

While Thumbtack has been around for a bit, I personally feel that now is the best time for me to have joined. Along with the shift to a remote first world, came a shift towards suburban living, and particularly home ownership. This represented a massive market opportunity in which I knew I could get involved with Thumbtack, as it was one that they had their eyes on as well.

In addition, Thumbtack will give you the room to get as involved as you want as an engineer. There is always some scope of ramping up required when you join an existing engineering group, but the tools and courses during my onboarding at Thumbtack enabled me to really hit the ground running. In contrast to other companies where it may take months before you are given agency in code/projects, within my first few months at Thumbtack I had run experiments in production, was given the opportunity to scope out larger projects, contributed to the codebase where I saw improvements to be made and even was able to volunteer for social activities to help contribute to our culture.

For someone who likes to make a mark in a company, as well as be confident that my work is affecting our market, this has been an extremely exciting few months, and I am looking forward to where I can go from here.

3. Challenge

Joining a company and gaining familiarity with a new architecture is always a challenge, and at Thumbtack this is no exception. The scale on which Thumbtack operates staggered me at first, coming from a much smaller market. Thumbtack covers hundreds of thousands of pros across 500 categories in the U.S., in an ever growing marketplace for services both home and otherwise. It is thrilling to be able to work at this scale with the potential to grow even larger.

The challenge, however, comes not only from scope, but also the target market itself. The services and professionals market is still largely recommended by word of mouth. But Thumbtack is revolutionizing how customers connect with the best pros to get a job done. Thumbtack is the only app helping millions of people effortlessly manage their homes, enabling local professionals to turn their skills into thriving businesses. As one of the fastest-growing companies in an untapped $500B industry, there’s no better time than now to make an impact.

This is also an area with which I personally resonate as a homeowner. I am always trying to find someone to help with some odd task when a leak springs or if I need an extra hand for cleaning. Having a marketplace of local, reliable pros from which I can choose makes getting jobs done much easier. Being part of a product that provides personally meaningful services, as well as knowing that I’m improving the experience of other homeowners, gets me excited to contribute and build a better system.

Opportunity

I feel that now may be the best time to join a growing, ambitious company. Thumbtack is currently at a pivotal stage in its growth both as a business and within the changing landscape of work and home around us. With many first-time homeowners suddenly finding themselves with new difficulties and problems, I see Thumbtack being able to step in and provide solid opportunities for both customers and pros alike. Being able to work on that opportunity remotely is deeply reassuring for me. Being able to make a visible impact on the platform is meaningful for me. And being able to work on something that personally resonates and is challenging is exciting for me.

If any of these core values resonate with you, please check out our careers page. We’re hiring like crazy and would love to hear from you!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store