Despite recent news of tech stalwarts once native to the Bay Area moving their operations elsewhere, local companies have some news of their own: The San Francisco tech scene is definitely alive and thriving — and actively looking for new talent to join their ranks.
If you’re looking to become part of the burgeoning SF tech scene, look no further. We connected with leaders from 12 local companies to get a quick pulse on why they decided to join their respective companies and what they’re excited to accomplish in their role in the future.
What they do: MURAL is a productivity software that enables teams to collaborate visually. More than an online whiteboard, MURAL enables innovation at scale by providing a platform for everything from product strategy and planning to leading immersive workshops using agile and design thinking.
Why Engineering Manager Justin McCullough accepted a job at Mural: “MURAL is such a fun and interesting product, first and foremost,” McCullough said. “I have spent the majority of my career working on back-end systems in transportation and finance, so it was very appealing to get an opportunity to work on such a great product. MURAL was new to me when I was applying, but after searching social media and the web it became very clear how much people truly love it.
“I was excited about the opportunity to know more about the application, how it was developed and how I would provide value to the company. In researching before applying, it was evident that MURAL has a great understanding of remote collaborative work. They have a vision for going beyond the virtual whiteboard as they invest in new functionality and deeper integrations.
“COVID turned the world upside down and made people rethink many parts of their lives both personally and professionally. It was chaotic but within chaos is an opportunity. MURAL became a must for design, product and engineering teams and a heavy round of series B funding helped them bolster the team and scale to new heights. MURAL calls themselves a rocketship and having since joined it’s easy to see why.”
What McCullough is excited to accomplish in his role in the future: “I have built many APIs over my career and that’s the primary reason I was hired by MURAL. The difference between my previous projects and what we are doing at MURAL is the end-to-end developer experience. We are not only building a world-class API, but we are surrounding it with an amazing community for developers to onboard, build and grow their apps. We have built a first-class developer experience team and I am anxious to show off what they have been doing. Our goal is to extend MURAL’s functionality to developers to build integrations and extend MURAL in ways we haven’t even thought of yet. MURAL is built around design thinking, but it doesn’t mean we have a monopoly on those ideas. I am intrigued to see what developers can do with our platform. It’s truly a fabulous project and a great time to join this company.
“I am extremely excited about the future opportunities that will be available to me and those within MURAL as we continue to grow and expand what this platform is capable of doing. We are making great investments and I am looking forward to what the future holds for me and the tremendous team here at MURAL.”
What they do: Braze is a customer engagement platform that enables relevant experiences between consumers and their favorite brands.
Why People Business Partner Mallory Anderson accepted a job at Braze: “I joined Braze in May 2020 because I saw the unique opportunity to be a part of a tight-knit team within a rapidly growing company,” Anderson said. “During my (fully remote) interview process, I was so drawn to my prospective colleagues — I really felt like Braze had assembled an all-star group of smart, hardworking and funny people. When I considered that along with the clear evidence of Braze’s growth and success trajectory, the question of whether or not to join was a no-brainer. You don’t find that perfect career opportunity every day!”
What Anderson is looking forward to seeing at Braze in the future: “I am so excited about the global expansion we’re seeing at Braze. Last year, we opened offices in Chicago and Tokyo and hired more than 250 people worldwide, totaling nearly 700 employees. As a people business partner, I get the unique opportunity to support these employees and make sure Braze is maximizing the full potential of its talent. I am personally growing so much through the experience of supporting an increasingly global workforce and that keeps me motivated and pumped for what’s to come.”
What they do: Educational technology platform Seesaw helps unify the learning process by creating communication channels between students, teachers and families.
Why Principal Product Designer Kat Reilly accepted a job at Seesaw: “The first thing that drew me to Seesaw was the mission and the fact that we were working on a product that was putting something good out in the world,” Reilly said. “There were a few other factors that helped make joining Seesaw an easy decision. Every person I talked to at the company had a dedication to user value and seeing how Seesaw is very much a user-centric company — it felt that Seesaw was not one to compromise on that. I also loved the fact that there was still a lot of room to contribute and make an impact on a product that people really loved. I saw growth in my field, craft and role.
“Another indicator for me was when I performed a Twitter search for Seesaw and saw all the love that this product had from the teachers, students and families. There were so many opportunities to make an impact for me back when I started and there are still so many opportunities now.
“Finally, I love the way we’ve answered the call to help teachers make the best of this pandemic. Instead of making a complete pivot, we’re taking the product we already have and optimizing it for the use cases of remote learning. That’s a lot more scalable over the long term.”
What Reilly is excited to accomplish in her role in the future: “I’m excited to keep working closely with my teams to figure out how we can make this a product that will really make learning engaging and accessible to every kind of student, educator, administrator and the rest of the education community. From a design perspective, that means helping product teams realize their product strategies so that we have a visual plan to help our users be successful with our product and eliminate any pain points.
“For me, bringing Seesaw to every kind of teacher and every kind of student means thinking about the future global perspective with different ages, cultures and abilities. This could mean rendering Seesaw to be available in many different languages or personalizing it depending on your physical needs. That’s a huge design challenge for any product and it’s exciting to think about applying that inclusiveness to something that is already so useful to people around the world. It’s really a great reason to just show up to work every day.”
What they do: Discord is a voice, video and text communication service that enables users to talk and hang out with their friends and people in their communities.
Why Senior Machine Learning Engineer Aaron Bartholome has stayed at Discord: “I joined Discord from an old-school tech company seeking a workplace that better reflected the values and inclusivity I dreamed of finding in the industry,” Bartholomew said. “Years later, I can say I’ve never worked in an environment that instills and encourages a stronger moral compass. Discord is full of people who truly care about people — employees and users alike. It’s a rare place and I stay here because it feels good to be here. Also, the tech stack is amazing and it keeps getting better (yes, we use Rust).”
What Bartholomew is looking forward to seeing at Discord in the future: “I'm extremely excited for the future of machine learning at Discord. We’ve only recently begun to build out our dedicated ML organization and infrastructure and it’s quite cool to be an active contributor on the ground floor making decisions on how to best do it. There are so many opportunities to make some really cool stuff in a broad range of applications (product, A/V, trust and safety) with huge impact (we have a lot of users, so we’re talking several models with trillion-plus requests already served).”
What they do: Artificial intelligence company Vicarious operates in the field of robotics and uses AI and principles of the brain to create human-level intelligence within robots.
Why Vice President of Hardware Engineering Karen Koenig accepted a job at Vicarious: “When accepting my job at Vicarious, I was most excited about being involved in building a company with the power to chart its own course,” Koenig said. “For me, I’ve always been passionate about designing and building robotics hardware that improves people’s lives. But complicated hardware can’t do much of anything without years of research and development work from incredibly talented software teams. By investing heavily in this early research, Vicarious is in a position to really deliver on the promise of versatile robotics and quickly leverage learnings across different industries and applications.”
What Koenig is looking forward to seeing at Vicarious in the future: “I’m most excited about the long-term vision at Vicarious of utilizing the software control and vision capabilities to enable progressively lower-cost and higher-capability robotics applications. Currently, many robotics applications are blocked due to the high cost of hardware. There are lots of ideas for making cheap robots, but these need to be paired with more sophisticated software for automated calibrations, adaptation over the life of the robot and compensation for non-ideal mechanical behavior. By putting this all under one roof, Vicarious can build on early product successes to expand into robotic applications that are not feasible today.”
What they do: Lemonaid Health is a telemedicine platform that allows users to access healthcare from the comfort of their homes.
Why Product Manager Emily Karr-Kaitin accepted a job at Lemonaid Health: “Lemonaid’s unique approach to revolutionizing the telemedicine industry, as well as our leadership’s clear devotion to employees, made it a no-brainer to work for the company,” Karr-Kaitin said. “I was looking for an opportunity to make a meaningful change to our country’s noisy and underserved healthcare system, and Lemonaid’s ‘patient-first’ approach to telemedicine provided just that. From our full-time doctors and nurse practitioners on staff to our tenured engineers, every person at Lemonaid shows up every day with the same common goal of removing the barriers to healthcare through providing an end-to-end high quality and affordable telemedicine experience to our patients.
“Beyond our mission-driven approach, I knew from my first interview that Lemonaid’s leadership truly cares about their employees. During the interview process, my connection with the team felt rooted in a clear and common desire to not only change the world of healthcare but to also grow, learn and have fun while doing it. They approach each employee as an individual, providing each of us a clear path to success. Despite an open-ended world of health tech opportunities, I knew Lemonaid was where I could make the biggest impact.”
What Karr-Kaitin’s looking forward to seeing at Lemonaid in the future: “In a time of tremendous uncertainty, it’s beyond motivating to work for a company with such a vast amount of opportunity at our hands. Lemonaid’s leadership ensures every individual team member has all the necessary tools to create success, and under this standard, I was given the opportunity to manage our mental health services given my special interest in the area. The advances we have made with our mental health service, like our free depression and anxiety assessment and mental health progress tracker, exemplify how Lemonaid goes beyond traditional telemedicine by empowering our patients to take back control of their health. Our ongoing investment in our mental health services excites me as I think it demonstrates Lemonaid’s unique approach of treating our patients holistically, not just by their symptoms.
“Just six months ago I was Lemonaid’s first and only product manager. Today, I’m part of an entire product team that’s growing faster than I ever imagined. Lemonaid is at a really pivotal point of growth, both internally and as a service, and I can’t help but feel lucky to be along for the ride.”
What they do: Information technology company Redis Labs empowers builders and innovators to advance their mission through instantly available data.
Why Head of Business and Marketing Operations Andy Varshneya accepted a job at Redis Labs: “As an operations leader, my goal has always been to find companies with major potential and help them turn it into a reality,” Varshneya said. “When I had entered the job market last year, I was already impressed by some of Redis Labs’ achievements, including its 7,500 customers, its consistency in beating targets and its high net retention rate.
“However, what impressed me the most was the feedback I was getting from my network. Everyone had heard of, was using and loved the product — that told me all I needed to know. The company not only has strong fundamentals but is also beloved by customers and is critical for their success.”
What excites Varshneya about the future of Redis: “What excites me the most is seeing our team grow every week. The leadership team has intentionally put a heavy focus on culture, so we’re retaining the feeling of being a family despite the team growing so rapidly to chase our potential.”
What they do: KeepTruckin aims to modernize the trucking industry through cloud-based software and modern hardware.
Why Director of Product Marketing Kelly Hanson has stayed at KeepTruckin: “KeepTruckin caught my eye in 2018. My great-grandpa was an owner-operator of a small trucking company in San Jose, California for more than 30 years,” Hanson said. “I figured that if nothing else came of the conversation, I’d at least have a fun story to tell my grandma about the one time I interviewed at a 21st-century tech company with the word “truck” in its name.
“I quickly learned that transportation is a legacy industry and the technology historically serving it can be described as clunky at best. Despite the fact that almost everything around us arrives on a truck, there has been minimal support and only fragmented innovation in fleet management technology over the last 20 years. Rather than delivering an integrated experience, the legacy vendors are hard to use, expensive to deploy and most importantly, fail to solve the broad range of problems companies face.
“I’ve stayed at KeepTruckin for more than two and a half years because I have watched first-hand the way we have literally transformed an industry underserved by technology. Our operating system makes our customers’ daily lives so much easier by bringing in everything they need to operate safely and efficiently.”
What Hanson is looking forward to seeing at KeepTruckin in the future: “While we started in trucking, there are more than 20 million commercial vehicles in North America operating in industries ranging from construction to oil and gas, passenger transport, utilities and field services. We’ve seen how our technology creates operating leverage and gives our customers a strategic advantage over their competitors, and we’re excited to help all commercial vehicle fleets that power our economy do the same.
“Because KeepTruckin is an integrated platform, we break down the data silos that would normally prevent fleets from realizing the full safety and efficiency benefits of fleet management technology. Going into 2021, we are most excited to help customers layer machine learning and artificial intelligence on top of their data to automate routine tasks so their teams can focus on the highest value work.”
What they do: RingCentral creates cloud-based collaboration and communication tools. Its all-in-one video, call and messaging communications platform allows users to access it from anywhere on any device.
Why Director of Legal Operations Katherine Bastianelli accepted a job at RingCentral: “I was looking to be part of a collaborative environment that facilitates growth — and this was the exact opportunity I found at RingCentral,” Bastianelli said. “RingCentral has provided a strong, stable opportunity for professional and personal growth while supplying all of the resources necessary for success. The best part is that I’m surrounded by other hard-working, resilient and committed individuals who are excited about what we do as a team. It is exhilarating and it is what we do every single day.”
What excites Bastianelli about RingCentral: “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to solve challenging problems in a fast-paced environment and work with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. At RingCentral, we get to facilitate change, grow the capability of our customers (and yourself) and generate positive results. There are no small jobs or people at RingCentral, and I could not be more proud of the growth and achievement I have seen both personally and for our customers.
“I have gained tremendous experience from talented people throughout the business, who have both, directly and indirectly, influenced my development in all positive aspects. We get to interact with people of all levels, from the front-line employees all the way up to C-suite. Everyone is incredibly supportive, and makes me proud to be surrounded by such brilliant, responsive and leading-edge professionals.”
What they do: Marketing technology company Sendoso is a sending platform that helps companies engage with their buyers and customers.
Why Staff Software Engineer Gaurav Sharma accepted a job a Sendoso: During my interview with Qaseem Shaikh, our CTO, we discussed roles and responsibilities and how Sendoso specifically would help me grow and reach my career goals. I learned that I would play a big role in the larger initiatives that the company is taking, especially around becoming more data driven. I also saw that I would be able to make an immediate impact while having the opportunity to learn cutting edge technologies. I am a perpetual learner and Sendoso completely supports that mindset, so it was an easy yes for me to join the team!
What Sharma is looking forward to seeing at Sendoso in the future: Sendoso is growing at a rapid pace and we are signing up larger and larger customers. As such, Sendoso is essentially becoming a data driven organization to help our customers use the platform to its full extent. My team, Core Platform, is working on a data-lake from which we can derive insights to help customers achieve maximum ROI. This data-lake is also used to power complex visualizations and reports by Sendoso's Business Intelligence team to fine tune our operations and help the business make the right decisions.
What they do: Tray.io is an API integration platform that connects users with the tools they use every day.
Why Account Executive Kim Moodley accepted a job at Tray.io: “The deciding factor for me when deciding to move to Tray.io was a mix between the people and the product,” Moodley said. “As a tenured sales AE who has sold tools like performance analytics software (back end) and digital adoption software (front end), integrations were always a hot topic and a very real client need. The way the market is moving means more and more software is deployed across organizations to tackle day-to-day tasks and processes, and with that is the need to have the tools connect and work together in some capacity. I knew this would be a technology that mattered to clients and would really help solve the problems that having a large tech stack presents.
“In regard to the people, Tray employees all have a genuine quality about them. This is not typical in the sales profession, as many could be seen as surface-level or fake. Tray is the polar opposite, with real people that make real connections. I’ve become friends with many colleagues at Tray that will extend well into my future.”
What Moodley is excited to accomplish in her role: “Looking into the coming years, I’m excited about how big this can become. We have only just started the movement away from code-based integrations to a low-code solution. Companies are now empowered to provide integrations to their end customers internally and don’t have to leverage IT to do so (which is often a long and arduous process). The opportunities are endless when you think about how much connectivity there is between systems, so Tray is not going anywhere but up.
“I’m excited to bring my sales experience to the team and grow the enterprise motion to break into large organizations and help them see an impact and positive ROI. Developing processes and creating playbooks is something that I am very excited to do, to ultimately leave my mark on both Tray and the automation world. Additionally, the opportunity to guide more junior reps and show them the ways of solution selling is a bonus as I love being a mentor!”
What they do: Lark Health is a chronic disease prevention and management platform that uses cognitive behavioral therapy framework, conversational AI and connected devices to help people control their conditions.
What excites VP of Enterprise Product Ashley Gibson about Lark Health: “Innovation in healthcare is accelerating, we have seen more changes in the last few months than in the previous five to 10 years,” Gibson said. “Lark is positioned to help drive that innovation. We deliver care that complements the existing healthcare ecosystem and drives the kind of efficiencies that you can only get through the combination of scale and AI.
“What excites me most about Lark is the technology platform we have built to help people suffering from chronic conditions and the team we have to carry this vision forward. When access to care is exacerbated due to the global shortages of doctors, nurses, coaches and therapists, Lark provides a desperately needed service that is not reliant on a network of providers. And as a SaaS product, we can do this at scale. The direction we are going will positively impact millions of people — that’s what motivates me every day.”