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What is it like to work at YoppWorks?

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YoppWorks is a software consulting company based in Ottawa, Canada. The main focus is on Scala, and we work with Lightbend, Redhat and other partners to deliver business solutions to a wide range of businesses internationally.

I’ve been working here for only 8 months, and this is my first consulting gig. Previously I worked on video games, shipping over 20 titles, from working on graphics and animation to building backend services for large game publishers. My programming interests in this time had moved away from a focus on OOP, ubiquitous in game development, and more towards the world of pure functional programming and reactive architecture.

Having seen how well these techniques work in gaming backend systems I decided I needed a change and took a job at a Vancouver Fintech company, Mogo, where the awesome backend team shared my interest in building robust, scalable systems from microservices.

Last year I decided I wanted to work on more projects, with diverse and demanding requirements, and to focus on my Scala and pure functional programming experience. I also wanted the opportunity to work 100% remotely.

Happily, YoppWorks contacted me around this time. As a Scala consulting company that is fully remote-friendly, they fit the bill perfectly.

Since then I have been able to work on challenging commercial projects, applying my experience with reactive architecture and Scala/Akka, and also been able to develop professionally much faster than at any time I remember. YoppWorks invests in its technical team by allocating 3 weeks a year of “Yopptime” to each employee. This time can (and must) be spent training, preparing for conference talks, working on open source, writing blogs and so on.

In my first year alone I have become a certified Lightbend reactive architect, completed Datastax/Cassandra training, spoken at two international conferences and I am currently training for a Google Cloud Certification.

Yopptime aside, the tech team is a bunch of very smart people that love to talk about the technology we use and constantly develop best practises. We meet weekly to discuss tech team issues and often have presentations.

One issue with remote work is making those personal connections with people, and that can be harder on a webcam, so twice a year the company meets in person. These trips include updates on the business and planning for the forthcoming year. The management team is open about how the company is meeting its goals. We also take part in team-building exercises, and of course, have some fun and great food.

Another great opportunity every employee has at YoppWorks is the ability to pitch projects or business ideas to the management team. These ideas can be supported by the company going through several phases. If the idea becomes a going concern it can be spun off into a new company, in which the originators will get a share. This gives you the opportunity to try out your startup idea, to get support from experienced leaders in business, finance and marketing, without having to “quit your day job”.

To sum up, YoppWorks meets my career goals in terms of challenging projects to work on and the tech used, the people are friendly, experienced and very nice, and there are a number of opportunities for career growth that you won’t see in many other places.