Why working at Nava means making impact
In Washington, D.C., working for the government can sometimes mean being constrained by complex work environments that can limit someone from having a big impact. For civic technology company Nava, that is far from the truth.
As the only public benefit corporation to be to be working directly with the government, Nava provides high-performing services to federal government agencies like the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services. Essentially, they work to hold themselves accountable for delivering quality work that is both innovative and impactful. One of their biggest accomplishments to date was assisting President Obama and his administration in repairing HealthCare.gov after its rollout in winter 2013. Since then, Nava has expanded their offices to San Francisco, are currently hiring engineers of all flavors (devops, full stack, front end), designers and product and project managers to work on some of the government’s biggest systemic challenges.
Referring to themselves as “stewards of public service,” Nava employees say the tenacity and humility of their work makes them unique amongst their competitors. Tackling some of the nation’s toughest issues is never an easy feat, but Nava is dedicated to providing a modern, impactful approach toward continuous improvement.
Nestled comfortably at 14th and U Street, Nava’s open layout office is home to a team of mission-driven designers, engineers and product developers.
- What are Nava’s core values?
Empathy, clarity, impact and collaboration. Nava is a mission-driven company with employees who aren’t just “engineering for engineering’s sake,” but actually trying to improve some of the most critical government services through holistic design and engineering. At Nava, team members are always willing to collaborate in order to get the job done.
- What is the Nava elevator pitch?
Nava is a thoughtful 25-person team across engineering, design, product and business that cares deeply about building government services that have a lasting impact on the lives of millions of Americans. Nava was started as a public benefit corporation to radically improve how our government serves its people, and is a champion for the people that have no seat at the table.
- What are the most exciting projects right now?
In addition to building for over twenty million users at HealthCare.gov, Nava works with the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as Medicare. At the VA, Nava helps efforts to modernize the VA’s appeals process – veterans currently wait, on average, five years to receive a resolution. With Medicare, Nava is designing and building the national architecture for Medicare’s historic transition to value-based care.
- How do employees collaborate?
Google Drive and Slack are two communication tools that Nava team members use frequently. Slack is used to communicate internally, and Google Docs are used to create “Tech Specs”, a brainstorm document that encourages collaboration across all departments. Because Nava is bi-coastal, video conferencing between San Francisco allows for connectivity in open spaces.
- How often do Nava employees take time to hang out together?
From weekly lunches and dinners, to quarterly off-site activities, Nava employees are encouraged to get out of the office and connect with one another frequently.
- How does Nava celebrate big wins?
Expect champagne toasts after big contract wins or special announcements. Trips to Medieval Times (a dinner and performance show that takes attendees back to medieval ages), "Paint Nite," or a "bubble ball tournament," where players wear huge, soft inflatable bubbles and run toward and bounce off of each other in an open field, are other bonus outings.
- Any Nava traditions?
Every Friday, Nava hosts “Team Huddle,” which is their weekly staff meeting. During this time, updates on projects are shared and employees have the opportunity to give one another “shout outs” to celebrate small victories achieved over the course of the week.
Aimee BarciauskasSoftware EngineerA new transplant to The District, Aimee is a native of Seattle, Washington who is passionate about programming and data science. She recently received her master’s degree in data science from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently a Software Engineer at Nava in D.C. Read More »
“Our objectives aren’t defined by stakeholders who are solely focused on profit-making. What it means to be a public benefit corporation really means that our objectives are defined by our users and making sure that they have the best experience.”
Brendan NeutraSenior Development Operations EngineerBrendan comes to Nava after spending five years at Google working on test infrastructure and operations. He’s worked at web companies — large and small — but is really excited about Nava’s public technology mission. He works out of Nava’s San Francisco office. Read More »
“Nava has a really collaborative culture that we value and try to foster on a daily basis. We have a team culture that makes tackling difficult work more fun and less stressful, because we’re all working together.”
Shelly NiDesignerShelly is a Stanford University alumna and 2015 Code for America fellow. Shelly applies her background in user experience, research, and the design of public services to build accessible experiences for HealthCare.gov and streamlined systems for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Read More »
“Nava is my dream job. My personal goals for 2016 and beyond are: working to significantly improve the safety net with kind and smart humans, and having enough work/life balance to make art in my spare time. I’ve found exactly that at Nava.”