Company Culture

How these 7 orgs approach digital infrastructure

For Digital Infrastructure Month, we asked our Technical.ly Talent and Ecosystem Builder companies about their tech stacks, “build vs. buy” philosophy, and how they support their employees and work to expand access in their communities.

Digital infrastructure means more than a series of tubes.

(Courtesy photo from Spotify)

When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Of course, not everything is a nail, so the proper tool is necessary for doing a job right.

Digital infrastructure is one of the most crucial elements in determining the effectiveness of a company and growing a community. Tech orgs must be thoughtful and deliberate about how they decide on their software stacks, what to provide to employees to enable their work and what to build in-house versus what existing solutions to buy. Likewise, supporters of the tech community like law firms and corporate partners cannot overlook the role of digital infrastructure in their efforts to expand access and spur innovation.

Digital infrastructure is admittedly a very broad category, so there’s a wide variety of philosophies and methods around it. Read on to learn more about how organizations of different sizes and industries approach the topic.

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For the month of August, Technical.ly’s reporting has explored the theme of Digital Infrastructure for our editorial calendar. For some additional perspectives, we asked our Technical.ly Talent companies the following question:

How has your organization developed its own digital infrastructure? 

This could relate to choosing your software stack, providing devices and stipends for technology to employees, building internal networks and intranet, etc.

Here are some replies from their hiring teams, and if you like what you see, follow the links to companies’ culture pages to learn more and explore open roles.

Audacy

“Audacy already is a digital business (even if most people don’t think of us that way)!  We are ruthless in the prioritization of what our build vs. buy strategy is, so that we create engaging experiences for our listeners and true value for our other stakeholders. For instance, we have a software/data engineering team building a new platform for listening/streaming, personalization and content, but we bought and implemented a cloud-based enterprise productivity suite with Google Workspace. This blended digital infrastructure ensures that we at Audacy leverage our talent and expertise and accelerate with key partners.” — Sarah Foss, CTO

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FinLocker

“FinLocker takes ownership of our digital infrastructure very seriously. We do not just pipe data from one third-party platform to another. We take our time to create systems where we can collect, collate, learn and act on our data and insights to help our customers and users achieve their goals.” — Vishal Verma, head of software development

SmartLogic

“We’ve always been proponents of open-source libraries (e.g. Phoenix and Elixir, Ruby on Rails, reactJS), which we use as the foundation of the software we build for our clients. The dream of a single tool (e.g. Monday or ClickUp) to streamline our operations top to bottom continues to evade us, but until then, we use Google Apps, Harvest (for tracking time), Asana and a few other tools for very specific purposes (e.g. Workable, QuickBooks). Integral to our back office operations are a number of Google spreadsheets — a tool I personally like to use because of the flexibility they afford. Want to change a report or look at data a different way? Just change the spreadsheet.” — Yair Flicker, president

Spotify

“Backstage is an open platform for building developer portals that empowers teams and solves infrastructure complexity. It was created at Spotify, donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and is maintained by a worldwide community of contributors. Spotify built Backstage to address a concerning hyper-growth trend: getting bigger meant slowing down. Engineers were constantly interrupted, they couldn’t find things and new hires had a hard time getting up to speed. To fix this problem, Spotify set out to build a single pane of glass for our software ecosystem that made sense of the components, teams and technologies that were fragmented across many vendors and tools. The result was Backstage: a platform that prioritizes developers and their software to create an effective developer experience.” — Barry Wright, group project manager

Think Company

“As a consulting firm focused on providing digital support for our clients, our internal digital infrastructure is focused primarily on employee experience and helping Thinkers to work smoothly, efficiently and up to modern standards for their roles. Everyone who works at Think Company is given the best hardware, applications, tools and devices to work with — plus an additional accessory budget that individuals can use at their discretion to make work more comfortable and efficient. For fun, our technology team has implemented a few company-wide tools, including a handy training budget tracker as well as a Slack integration called “Thinkbot” that provides shortcuts for employee engagement activities (like our weekly team trivia).” — Suzanne Cotter, director of marketing and communications

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We also asked our Technical.ly Ecosystem Builder organizations the following question:

How does your organization support the expansion of digital infrastructure and access in your community?

Here are their replies, and if you like what you see, follow the links to organizations’ directory pages to learn more.

Ballard Spahr

“Ballard supports technology innovation and accessibility by ensuring that founders at the precipice of expanding the bounds of technology and the digital infrastructure are supported in every way that can make their ventures successful. We are always evolving our offerings to ensure that innovative tech startups, particularly those that will knock down social and economic barriers for communities in need, get legal support, mentorship and access to financial resources through the Ballard network. We do this by:

  1. Creating innovative programs to render our services accessible to startups at all stages, such as our 2020 Covid-19 emergency fund program, which gave legal aid stipends to tech startups that lacked funding during the 2020 ‘shutdown,’
  2. Putting out free content, such as our column in Technical.ly,
  3. Supporting invaluable external programs, such as Mentor Connect and
  4. Helping ventures grow by introducing founders to funding sources available through our network, depending on whether the founder is seeking traditional venture capital, debt financing or grant opportunities.” Kimberly Klayman, partner

Verizon 5G

“Verizon supports the expansion of digital infrastructure through access, affordability and adoption. We’re partnering with local governments to bring home internet options to underserved communities across the nation. Furthermore, we continue to educate communities about the Affordable Connectivity Program that empowers eligible individuals to connect to home broadband and wireless service for free or at a deep discount.” — Paul Brooks Plymouth, director of state government and local engagement

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Excited to build something with your peers? Check out all the Technical.ly Talent and Ecosystem Builder companies here, and find out about their missions, cultures and open positions.

P.S. If you’re curious about Technical.ly Talent for your own org, find more info here and connect with us.

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