(Photo by Flickr user 10 10, used under a Creative Commons license)
Arcadia Power is a renewable energy company with a bit of a tech streak.
Founded in 2013 by CEO Kiran Bhatraju, the company’s platform helps increase wind and solar energy, by letting consumers buy into panels installed elsewhere. It’s something like a marketplace, alongside a hardware installer. Last fall, TechCrunch called it “potentially a game changer.”
The company is growing fast — it has six open roles, including one in DevOps and a Rails Engineer. Of the company’s 36-person full-time team, nearly a third are technical roles, including a data scientist and a product designer. Currently near Dupont Circle, the company is moving to “newer, swankier” offices in the coming months since it is “busting at the seams” with growth, said VP of Engineering Tim Barnes.
Consider the big tent of renewable energy companies. With its unique offering, Arcadia is developing real software. Barnes noted one big technical challenge his team faced will be familiar to a lot of product companies: migrating the team’s services from Heroku to Amazon Web Services “while rewriting our entire front end in React.”
To build his team, Barnes is interested in the span of an employee’s strengths and interests.
One of his favorite questions in a job interview is two-fold. “What are your strongest skills, and what are you most interested in working on?” he said. “These are often not the same thing.”
Arcadia is a strong case for one strength of D.C. tech’s differentiation. Though they also install solar panels in places like California and Massachusetts, there’s a reason why their team is here.
“We‘re disrupting a highly regulated market in the middle of the city that regulates it,” said Barnes. “But we’re able to break through the red tape.”