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Even if you’ve never heard of Linode, one of the world’s first and largest open source-focused cloud hosting providers, you likely frequent a website or use an application that wouldn’t exist without it.
With a platform that boasts nearly half a million users around the world and growing, it might come as a surprise that Linode is based in Old City Philadelphia, in the historic Philadelphia Corn Exchange National Bank building.
It wouldn’t be the first surprise Linode has to offer.
Though the company is, by all means, a major tech player, its growth has been organic and its values have not changed. There aren’t many layers between engineers and C-level executives, feedback is always taken seriously and the impact employees have on the company, its customers and the Linode community is visible on a day-to-day basis.
Fostering a supportive environment is a big part of Linode’s company culture and the backbone of the work the company does. The team is passionate about solving problems and helping people, and as a result, professional growth at Linode is bound only by individual ambitions.
As one employee put it, “There’s no ceiling here.”
Linode has never stopped looking for new tech talent, and they’ll continue to look for new teammates as the company and its online community continue to grow.
“We're one of the only companies in the world where whether you have a $5 monthly plan or a hundred thousand dollar monthly plan you can pick up a phone and talk with a real human.”Blair Lyon VP of Marketing
“I'm always encouraged to step outside of my day-to-day role in whatever way that I feel like I can contribute. I can weigh in on other things that are important to me or that interest me.”Richie McIntosh Senior Developer
“We’ve been in this space a long time and aren’t going anywhere. We move very quickly and act like a startup, but we already did the ‘10 people in a room’ thing, the ‘work 100 hours a week thing.’ We’re not that anymore. We’ve been through our teenage years. We’re young adults now."Rick Myers Director of Customer Service
“We’re an open company that really believes in communication. We want people to be able to go to their manager and say, ‘This is something we can improve and we can improve it this way.’ That’s really important.”Will Blew Technical Project Manager
What does Linode look for in prospective employees?
We constantly seek people who are not only qualified to do the job, but who are passionate about doing it well. We have a unique environment where our projects aren’t segmented or siloed — every employee owns what they’re working on and gets to see how it impacts our users and how it fits into high-level strategy. We look for people with a strong interest in learning and growing - personally and professionally.
Furthermore, empathy is the name of the game, and though it might sound cheesy, our number one requirement is a desire to help people. Assisting customers is the core of the job for every employee at Linode. If you’re not motivated by solving problems and making people happy, you’re at the wrong place.
What about technical skills?
Linode employees, especially those on the support team, often come to the company from a variety of non-technical backgrounds. That said, technical aptitude is a must. All employees pick up the Linux command line. The work we do is specific to Linux.
Technologists should know that while historically we’ve been a Python shop leveraging Flask, Django, and React, a lot of our next-gen systems are built with Go and Kubernetes. On top of that, we use SaltStack for configuration management, Docker for containerization and Jenkins for continuous integration. We don’t care so much about years of experience with particular languages, frameworks, and libraries as we care about passion, aptitude for learning new technologies, and eagerness to work with the best tools for each job.
We run a six-week training program for anyone new going into support and there's a two week mentorship after that before you even answer a call. It helps grow a strong support team, but it also creates a wonderful resource for the rest of the company whether moving into engineering, marketing or technical documentation.
What does a typical day of work at Linode look and feel like?
When it comes down to it, you can and should have a good time working at Linode. We empower our employees to use their knowledge to do the job the best way, to have constructive debates, and ultimately to do things that will produce the best results. We’ve held on to our startup feel, but with the benefit of being a market leader in a booming industry. At the end of the day, our employees are passionate about the things they work on which makes for a rewarding environment.
Linode strives to be communicative and open, both with our open source community and with each other. Employees are encouraged to offer their input on how to make the company and platform better, and that feedback is always evaluated.
A lot of our internal folks were customers of Linode before they came to work at Linode. It's really easy to hear the voice of the customer when it's also the person sitting across the table helping you build the product.
How does Linode encourage professional growth and learning?
Linode offers a unique opportunity for those looking to launch or continue a great career in tech while learning new skills on the job. We’ve cultivated a culture of continuous learning and self-improvement. Professional aspirations aren’t limited here, and new roles are often created based on personal goals and company needs.
We have a Day-in-the-Life program where employees interested in another role can spend a day shadowing someone in that position. We create paths naturally instead of sending you out to get a certification.
A new ‘Work From Home’ policy allows employees to work remotely two days a week, three if they are on the Support team. Many feel the new policy has increased their productivity, as well as eased the burden of finding that elusive balance between life and work.
What new projects or partnerships is Linode excited about?
Linode recently secured a premiere partnership with Limelight—an edge services platform delivering high-performance digital experiences. The partnership has been a win-win for both companies. Linode has gained access to a world class content distribution network, inciting its expansion into a new customer vertical of larger Enterprise customers, while Limelight reaps the benefits of Linode’s specialized computing expertise.
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