Erica Stanley has almost 20 years of experience in software engineering, from startups that were acquired by Myspace and Oracle to now working as an engineering manager for SalesLoft.
She heard about her current job from a former colleague who is SalesLoft’s vice president of engineering. Stanley was running her own consultancy then and wasn’t looking for a job. But she decided to interview and was encouraged by what she described as a thoughtful and cool process in which they asked for her ideas on company culture. She joined SalesLoft in November 2016.
Q: You’ve witnessed exponential growth at SalesLoft. How has the company kept its culture going?
A: I think one thing is that accountability is super important here, and so I think we all become stewards of this culture, and we try to hold each other accountable when we see something that’s maybe not the best example of our core values. We are so intentional about how we hire. We hire people who find these things important, and so that helps a lot as we scale, making sure that we’re hiring people that kind of align with the core values. We work to be very open, even vulnerable in some cases, and I think that means that we can trust each other, and we can build on that.
Q: With the benefits and the perks, what have you been able to take most advantage of in your time here?
A: I worked from home yesterday. People are pretty flexible about that, as long as you’re communicative and you’re getting your work done, everybody is completely cool. So flexibility is really nice. I do a lot of speaking at different tech conferences, and SalesLoft has been hugely supportive of that. A lot of time I’m speaking on technologies that we are working with, so it’s kind of something that I think helps the company as well, but they’ve been really understanding of all of my travel.
Q: So these are interests of yours, that aren’t necessarily through SalesLoft?
A: Right. There’s a little bit of an intersection because, obviously, it’s still the tech community and kind of bringing people from the tech community into SalesLoft is always a good thing. It’s just amazing. I’ve never worked at a place that was this supportive of the community work that I do.
Q: What kind of work does SalesLoft empower you to do in Atlanta’s tech community?
A: I started the Women Who Code Network here, and I also started the We RISE Tech Conference, and now the REFACTR.TECH Conference, and SalesLoft has always been super supportive of anything we do. The first year I started, I was starting a new job at the same time I was planning a conference for the first time, so it was super stressful, and I was trying to figure out how to talk to Kyle (Porter, SalesLoft’s CEO) about sponsoring. Before I could even finish my presentation and polish it up, he had already offered to sponsor the conference because he believed in the cause of Woman Who Code.
Q: Are you always challenged at SalesLoft?
A: Absolutely. Every quarter we have OKRs (objectives and key results). So as part of those, we have the company OKRs and they kind of roll down to each department, and then to each individual, and with each quarter, we push ourselves.
Q: Do you feel like SalesLoft has unlimited potential for you?
A: I do, which is so cool to see. A lot of places that I’ve been, once they kind of grow to this level, it gets a little stagnant, some of that growth and some of that excitement plateaus a little bit, and it’s just kind of like a rocket ship really. It’s just there’s so much potential. There are so many things that, if we had twice the team we have, twice the number, there’s so many products that we will build and so many ways and avenues that we would try to grow into.
Q: Do you feel, as SalesLoft has grown, you’ve been able to take more of a leadership role, especially now that you have tenure?
A: That’s the amazing thing about being here, you don’t have to have tenure. If there is something that you’re interested in and you want to lead in a certain way, go ahead and do it. One of our core values is rise toward action, and so if you see something missing, or if you see something that could be better, just go ahead and do it, and you have their support.
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