By now you may have heard of Technically Talent, the platform we created to give readers a deeper look at the company culture of some of the region’s top startups. This is one in a series of articles checking in on how hires made through the platform are fitting in at their new workplaces.
Searching for a workplace that has the right fit can be a journey.
Josie Castaner’s journey brought her from working for smaller tech shops and startups in South Carolina to working for the country’s 15th-biggest company here in Philadelphia. Castaner landed a role at Comcast as a Scrum Master and Program Coordinator, but found that she was looking for something a little different. Relying on her early experience working for a startup, she sought out a work environment where she could stretch her wings as a project manager in software development.
Enter WebLinc. In May of 2017, a job post on Technical.ly caught Castaner’s eye and she decided to make the change. She is now a Senior Project Manager at WebLinc.
Technically Talent: How did you navigate your way to WebLinc?
Josie Castaner: I was on Technical.ly’s site, looking for jobs at tech companies in Philadelphia. I wasn’t really happy in my position at the time. I come from a heavy software project management background, and I wanted to branch out more from the DevOps projects that I was doing and get back into actual software development. At the time there was nothing available, but I would check back periodically and at the top of the list was an Agile Project Manager opening at WebLinc.
TT: How did you decide this was the right fit for you?
JC: I’m originally from South Carolina, I’ve only been in Philadelphia for three years. There were not a lot of tech companies down south, especially where I’m from. When I first finished school, I started working for a disaster-recovery software company. It was a small start-up only about nine people. What I liked about it was, even though there were only nine of us, we all wore many hats and we got our feet wet with different types of technologies. It was very fast-paced, because of that startup environment.
I then worked for some other companies down south before Comcast brought me here. At Comcast, I was always trying to get in to the program side of things and help the program managers do things a little differently. At that point, I was accustomed to working in a corporate environment, but at the end of the day there’s a lot of red tape associated with it.
Mentally, I would always go back to my time working at that startup, thinking: “I want to work somewhere where I have complete autonomy, and I’m able to develop my own processes and procedures, so I can manage my developers in a way that is more motivational than what a lot of corporations have.”
Here at WebLinc, if there’s an idea I have in mind, I can just set up a meeting about it and people will listen. I’ve had conversations with the CEO about what can be better, he actually cares what I have to say and reaches out to follow up with me.
TT: What was the WebLinc onboarding process like?
JC: They have a “30-60-90 checklist” for the first, second and third months you are here. Depending on how much experience you have, you can check off some of those things early. I do come from extensive project management experience, so even in the first month, the person I was shadowing gave me complete autonomy, saying, “If you’re ready to talk to clients or if you’re ready to run meetings, just let me know.” And within the second week I was doing that! I wanted to get to know the different departments, so they set up all these meetings for me where I met with anyone and everyone, which was great because it made it easier to get through that awkward phase when you’re new at a company.
At the Friday meeting, the whole company is there. We talk about company goals and all that’s going on, and there’s beer. In addition to that, any new hires have to give a presentation on themselves. When I had to plan my presentation I was thinking, “Okay what do I talk about?” But others on the team reassured me, that the point was just for everyone to get to know more about me. So, it went well — I was like, “This is what I like to do…this is my favorite cocktail…and these are my dogs.”
It’s a fun tradition and there’s lots of back and forth with the audience. I was actually very thankful after I did the presentation, because people I hadn’t talked to before came up to me and started a conversation.-30-
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