(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
This is an editorial article as a part of Technical.ly's Office Trends month.
Contrast Security is no stranger to looking local.
The five-year-old application security company’s initial office space in the city was located in Natty Boh Tower, nestled underneath the one-eyed face that’s become the city’s unofficial mascot. While it’s formally headquartered in Silicon Valley, the cofounders and dev team are based in Baltimore, and they’re interested in taking an active local role.
As its dev team expanded, adding 19 new team members in the last year, Contrast VP of Engineering Steve Feldman and the team began looking for larger space. This fall, they landed at Fells Point. The fourth floor space inside Brown’s Wharf offers harbor views and a central location that Feldman said makes it easy to get to work through transit. Some take water taxi, and Feldman estimates about one-third commute via e-scooter.
For the team, it also offered a chance to create a space to their liking. Feldman said the company took a team approach to outfitting the 7,000 sq. ft. space (9,000 sq. ft. if you count deck space). “We didn’t just hand it off to one person,” he said.
So each space inside has a distinct feel. They also likely have an item from a Baltimore company.
Feldman said it was important to work with local companies as they furnished the space. “We wanted to give back to the local community,” he said.
Feldman said the kitchen is a central point for gathering in the space. Its centerpiece is a table made from reclaimed wood by South Baltimore’s Sandtown Millworks.
Another meeting room offers stadium seating by MOI. And throughout the office, there’s furniture from Hyperspace, which was recently acquired by Dancker, and American Office. Meanwhile, Baltimore Technology Group provided the wireless connectivity throughout.
Feldman said the company prizes flexibility. Team members have the option to “work where they are successful,” Feldman said. There’s plenty of room to work outside, as well as at a desk. Working from home is encouraged, as well, and many team members are remote.
Still, the office is likely to gain more people. There are around 40 team members now, and Feldman said there’s space for about 70 overall. Good thing, as the company expects to hire more than 20 people in the next year.
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