Blog Post

New Engineer On The Block

July 22, 2015 Author: Jeff Wooden

It was an excellent Friday afternoon in Michigan. After a long harsh winter, I was soaking up the sun in my backyard while reading a great fantasy novel and sipping on a Mai Tai. It wasn’t that I had the day off, but I was in between contracts. I’d been freelancing for the past 3 years and decided maybe it was time for another full-time gig. Then my phone rang.

Wooden-teamI answered the call to a very pleasant recruiter at Rocana with the husky voice of a disk jockey. Until he explained he was calling from Rocana, I thought I had won some concert tickets on the radio. Much to my surprise, although bummed about not winning Beyonce tickets, he was offering me a coveted engineering position at Rocana. I was entertaining other offers at the time, but I was holding firm until I had heard back from what looked to be my dream job. Between everything I had heard about the culture and the perks Rocana had to offer, including working from home, it was a unique opportunity that sounded too good to be true. Nonetheless, I gladly accepted and prepared for a new chapter in my career.

Fast forward to day one at Rocana. After taking my dogs for their morning walk, I made preparations for the extensive journey to my office. I slid on a durable pair of house slippers and with energy drink and breakfast bar in hand, I embarked on the walk to my final destination. 20 seconds later I arrived.

To my surprise, I was greeted with a thoroughly planned onboarding process which quickly brought me up to speed. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t information overload. Instead, it was an excellent perspective on how internal processes and engineering work at Rocana. It wasn’t just the easy onboarding process that made me feel good about my decision. It was my fellow Rocanans that made me feel extremely welcome. I was told about the “no-jerk” policy during my recruiting process, but to experience it first hand was refreshing. It was obvious that the Rocana culture was unique and certainly not in the sense that it is just different from other company cultures. It’s a culture fostered from the top, one where the company founders have set the bar high. In the few weeks I’ve been on board, I’ve had the pleasure of working with dozens of the funniest and most intelligent people that I have ever met.

By day two, I was pushing code commits. Even better, by day 6 I would be meeting my colleagues in person. Rocanans are distributed across North America so every quarter they get together for some intense face to face time and I would get the chance to meet the team at a dude ranch in Colorado! A dude ranch. Who does that? I jumped on the opportunity and made arrangements to fly out the coming Sunday.

Rocana Decathlon Team BuildAfter a couple of connections I finally made my way to Denver and bumped into my first fellow Rocanans. We were all on the next flight out to Durango where we would meet a cowboy who would take us to the ranch. Upon arrival, I was directed to my cabin where I got to meet more of my colleagues who made me feel right at home. Although I was wiped out from a full day of travel, I stayed up for a few more hours chatting and having a great time with new friends.

My second week at Rocana turned out to be amazing. While we worked hard at the ranch we also did some awesome team building with a lot of fun along the way. Our final day culminated into an epic event where we were grouped into about a half dozen teams with a fun series of challenges. The Rocana Decathlon included pitching, archery, basketball, jeopardy, eating contests and even the occasional tie breaking dance off. It was entertaining to watch those competing for dance off glory and to see how much this motley crew of Rocanans really loves working together!

If you’re searching for that feeling of true satisfaction and accomplishment it’s critical to love what you do. However, that level of elation requires a magnetism between what you love to do and where you’re doing it. The latter part is derived from every person who is part of the organization you work for; an organization that realizes people are the most important asset; an organization like Rocana. If that is something that you still haven’t found, then I challenge you to discover it. We’re always looking for awesome talented people, check out our open positions because at the end of the day, you’ve got to #lovewhatyoudo.