In the recent months since I started working at Homebase many have asked me what drew you to Homebase? In three short points: a great mission in support of small businesses, empathetic leadership, and a new hub in Toronto! People often wonder what makes one leave a job and start a new one. My answer is there are usually more than a single motivator, and this was the case for me when I left Amazon after nearly 5 years. Back in December of 2020 I was in search of a new endeavour for me. I looked at available opportunities and spoke to those who were reaching out. Toronto’s tech scene is really buzzing there are start ups just getting off the ground, tech giants old and new like IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, there are home grown established startups such as Shopify, and then there are exciting Bay Area companies like Homebase looking to build their next talent hub in Toronto!
I remember taking a call with Jeff Auston, VP of engineering at Homebase, a few days after the Christmas break. I had read about Homebase. The company provides a suite of freemium and subscription based software in support of running a small business: timesheets, schedules, GPS based clock in/out, integration with payroll systems, onboarding, hiring, and more. Homebase makes the lives of owners and employees easier on Web and Mobile platforms. Coincidently, I had spent three years at Amazon working on similar software for fulfillment centres. Homebase’s mission to make the lives of small business owners and employees easier caught my attention. Plus Homebase’s business had doubled year over year before the pandemic, grew 30% during the pandemic, and its data was used by US agencies to understand the effects of the pandemic on small businesses. It was January 6th, a lot was going on in the United States. Jeff started the call by touching base on the events of that day in the United States. A great sign when leaders express their own emotional state with composure. We talked about Toronto as a hub with a combination of leaders and talented engineers coming through professional hires, university channels, and talent migrating to Canada. Toronto is the most multicultural city in North America with tons of talent migrating here every year. I have spent most of my career working for big tech companies and a start up in between but never had an opportunity to help establish a business in its new hub. I told Jeff I was interested to proceed with the interview process and the rest is history!
Along the interview process and since I joined Homebase at the beginning of March 2021, I have met many great leaders and contributors including the company CEO, John Waldmann. They all present a humble determination to expand the benefits of Homebase to as many small business owners and employees as possible. I am also learning Homebase’s culture of service to customers, no day being wasted, all while having fun! Engineers are expected to deliver to a known average velocity for their level but the velocity allows for a solid work-life balance. The company now employs about 120 diverse employees across the globe. At every show and tell newcomers are to tell the whole team about themselves in a mad lib (a fun way to get to know your colleagues 🙂 ). I have been here for about 6 weeks, I know that challenges and opportunities lie ahead. We have a lot of work to do to achieve our goals, but at this point I can’t be happier with my decision to join Homebase.