Employees at Pinnacle 21 do tech work that means something. Their software enables key transitions in the clinical trial data pipeline and streamlines regulatory approvals for drugs and medical devices, getting new treatments to patients faster.
Pinnacle 21 supplies its SaaS platform to the US FDA, Japan’s PMDA, 22 of the top 25 biopharma firms, and many more biotechs. It ensures clinical trial data comply with the standards of both government agencies and trial sponsors.
On its way from the clinic to a government agency, a data point goes through many steps, and Pinnacle 21 has processed over 30 trillion (with a T!) of them. With strong product-market fit and an aggressive roadmap fueled by their 2021 acquisition by Certara (NASDAQ: CERT), the team is quickly becoming the one-stop data brokerage for the life sciences.
With P21 responsible for R&D of multiple products in the Certara software portfolio, ideas and demand abound. What the company needs is more people: software engineers, data standards experts, and product managers who can develop products used by clients as far away as China and Japan. Their founder Max describes this revolutionary work in the service of medicine as “a hard and worthy task.”
The company has proven a draw for technologists who prefer autonomy over office politics, and who build trust by delivering, not with titles. After onboarding driven talents, People Ops empowers them by “letting them loose” to do good and add value.
Pinnacle 21 respects the professionals who work there and recognizes their worth beyond the office walls. Generous PTO, flexibility when “life happens,” subsidized healthcare for the family, one-on-one career coaching—all stem from the company values, which fit perfectly with those of Certara.
A renovated, spacious office in Blue Bell, PA, offers spaces indoors and out for breaks, snacks, coffee, workouts, and games. Staff report how easy it is to decompress and enjoy the camaraderie of their “work fam,” who now extend to all sites in the Certara network, from NYC and Princeton, to St. Louis and Raleigh.
For two years running, Pinnacle 21 has made the list of Best Small & Medium Workplaces™ by Fortune and Great Place to Work®. From what we heard in interviews with employees, it’s clear why.
“One of my favorite parts of working at Pinnacle 21 is the high level of collaboration. Every team member is really involved in shaping a project along the way. I also enjoy how there is always room to tackle something new, intriguing and difficult!”Emily Galbraith Software Engineer
"Working at Pinnacle21 gives you a great opportunity to collaborate with, and learn from smart and dedicated peers as you navigate through a diverse range of complex and interesting challenges. You quickly develop and hone your skills while also having a sense of value in what the product accomplishes."Alex Perez Software Engineer
At P21, smart, motivated people work on problems that matter, both to themselves and society. We’re intense about making premium-quality offerings, and the intensity spills over everywhere. As our reigning Chili Cookoff king and Carolina Reaper supplier, I can vouch for our team's ability to “handle the heat.”Greg Taylor Engineering Manager
Everyone at P21 is passionate about delivering high quality product. The positivity pushes me to serve my team with rigorous testing: “YOU get a test finding! And YOU get a test finding!” Despite WFH in 2020, I’ve leaned on my team and never felt alone. Can’t wait to meet IRL!Elaine Tang Test Engineer
"What I like is that we’re never short on challenges. Every year we’re doing something new and exciting that challenges me to grow as an engineer."Kevin McIntyre Lead Software Engineer
I used to think our culture came from our snazzy office, or the La Colombe coffee, snacks, guitars, and video games we set out. But our remote work period during COVID-19 showed me otherwise. It’s our people and P21's care for them that stand out. The perks are just a byproduct.Liam Munley People Operations Manager
What are the benefits of working at a small company like Pinnacle 21?
Though Certara has ~1,000 employees, our software unit is closer to ~200, with P21 as a sub-brand inside that—so the “feel” is still small. You’ll be close to the founding team and catch our entrepreneurial energy. Joining us right as we rocket forward after our M&A means you’ll not only “do the work” but also direct and optimize our processes for doing so. (We don’t compromise our values, but our methods are malleable.) We’re a perfect place if you want ownership and are relentlessly resourceful. There’s massive impact still to be made.
What does Pinnacle 21 look for in prospective employees?
Our product roadmap is aggressive, and to accelerate it, we need a wave of talent. Our radar pings for people who bring positive energy with a “Yes, and…” attitude, who work smart and get it done. You’ll need to be autonomous and scrappy, since our full attention is on listening to users and writing good code. Meaning, we have zero interest in micromanaging you. We hire team players who contribute to our culture bottom-up, by giving each other earned praise and healthy critique.
What kind of tech skills do you expect candidates to have?
For Full-Stack Engineers: Java, JS, Play Framework, ReactJS, Redux, Postgres, AWS, and experience in Agile
For Subject Matter Experts: CDISC, SAS, custom data standards/specs, regulatory experience with the FDA/PMDA/NMPA, foreign language ability, and proven skills in consulting and thought leadership
How does Pinnacle 21 invest in employee growth and learning?
Our industry looks to us as a thought leader in data sciences, especially in clinical data exchange, standardization, and regulatory submission. That expectation hits you too, to be keeping (and setting) the pace for professional development. We support you with training courses, mentorship, and conference attendance. Also, our product roadmap assumes capabilities we haven’t yet mastered, so you’ll have no shortage of challenging projects and infrastructure to deepen your tech stack. As we grow, we’ll spend more time cross-training each other, so expect to teach others as part of your own learning path!