This blog post was originally written for and posted on Rangle's blog. You can find a link to the original here.
My name is Ben Hofferber and I am one of the recent hires at Rangle. Over the course of the last couple months, I ditched or sold all of my things and moved to Toronto from Boise, Idaho. Visiting and consequently moving to Canada were my first and second times outside of the United States. I left my home to pursue a future with Rangle. Since it’s not everyday that someone moves to another country for a job, I figured I’d tell you the story of why it was the easiest decision I’ve ever made.
I've been focused on development since I graduated college with a computer science degree from the University of Idaho. After college I went to work for a FinTech company where I had previously worked as a development intern. I also decided to devote spare time to start a social media app, YoRally, with a college roommate, and a year and a half later we were able to release a pretty good app. It did poorly on launch for reasons obvious to anyone with a good grasp of Lean Startup practices, but I learned a lot from the project.
After the app release I went through a long period of introspection and exploring. I skied in Colorado, played Dungeons and Dragons, attended PAX West, started a meetup group, and became more deliberately focused on my health. My mother also developed cancer at this time, which was tragic for my family and me. However, it ultimately spurred me into action toward getting more out of the little time we have on this planet.
So, I chose Rangle to be part of that future. Here’s why I'm happy I did:
A People Culture
When they made me a job offer, I was invited to visit Toronto and come see Rangle. This gave me a personal look at the company and allowed me to see what it's like walking in the shoes of someone working within. I noticed the same thing at all levels of the company: Rangle actively celebrates its people.
The company provides a great work environment and the new headquarters is centrally located in downtown Toronto. Everyone encourages a healthy work-life balance and works hard to maintain that quality of living. Working from home one or two days a week is strongly encouraged and allows for more flexible work schedules. On Fridays, the company's meetup area becomes a gathering space to grab a drink and socialize with colleagues from other departments.
A city of many immigrants, Toronto is an inviting place to those new to Canada. Thanks to Rangle’s Diversity Guild, Happiness Committee, and the many welcoming Ranglers, I have found a company that has generously adopted me into its community. It’s true Canadians are nice, but Rangle even has a “Be Nice” rule in the company handbook. It's just part of their culture. And how about this for a warm welcome: I actually received a round of applause from the whole company when I accepted the offer during my Toronto visit! I found these social aspects really remarkable, which reinforced my decision to join this unique community.
A Technical and Culture Center
I was really lucky to have my trip align with Elevate Toronto, a conference co-founded by Rangle that focuses on innovation in the Canadian tech scene. I was able to sit in on talks with startup founders, business leaders, and tech experts from around the area. There are startups here working in emerging markets like artificial intelligence and brain surgery. These companies are prospering and are birthing new growth and innovation, and Rangle is at the center of it all.
Another reason why I joined Rangle is its unwavering commitment to innovation. As a consultancy, it seeks to partner with those looking to evolve their business. This keeps the focus on what's possible. I've seen this with company “Guilds” (communities of practice) focusing on the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and modern front-end frameworks like Angular and React. It's a community where I can make a difference and find collaborators who want to make something great.
Rangle’s growing world presence combined with a belief that human-to-human partnerships produce great products leads, naturally, to some travel. As someone with a limited history in travel this is a huge upside. I traveled to a client kickoff within my first month of joining the company and had a blast! We visited San Diego for a week and, while I was quite busy, I was able to go visit the San Diego Zoo and a wide variety of amazing restaurants. The trip also brought my team closer together and really bonded us in our mission.
Big Problems That Matter
I first applied to Rangle because they are a consultancy and I was looking to be more involved in that line of work. As someone with a more social spin on development, the idea of working directly with clients to diagnose problems, prescribe solutions, and apply value to their business was exciting for me. However, I discovered that there’s a bit more to Rangle’s business operations than the sum of these parts.
Boise, Idaho is 2200 miles (or 3500 km, still gotta get used to the metric system) from Toronto, but even I had heard of Rangle. With its unparalleled experience in Angular and React and Lean/Agile software delivery practices and techniques, Rangle occupies a unique niche. It’s focused on building the right thing, the right way so clients can get to market faster, which is inspiring to see firsthand.
Adopting Agile practices to focus on the task that provides the most business value is a pretty cool idea for me. As a developer working for a larger company, I remember it being more difficult to get working on the most important thing. Production critical issues are always the most important but when those are done, it can be pretty hard to get a team to decide on a direction, get that direction approved by a series of managers, and start working toward implementation. Here at Rangle everyone is always aware of the mission from a client’s perspective, not just regarding features.
This week marks my two-month anniversary at Rangle. While I know I'm still in the “honeymoon” phase of my job switch, I'm confident I've made the right choice. Everyone has been amazingly helpful with my move and I've met too many fabulous people to count. Keep an eye on the blog for a better look at some of the great things my colleagues are working on and drop a resume by if any of this sounds too good to be true (just make sure you list me as a reference).