This blog post is aimed towards anyone who would like to know how the company culture is here at Ippon, my office being in Richmond, VA. This is my story:
I began my career in IT right after college. I took my first job with HP in Northern VA then later worked for the US Navy, both jobs as an entry level Software Engineer. The first job ended due to company changes that would have required me to move. My second job I left simply because I felt like I was not learning what I was interested in, and there was no flexibility for me to do so. In short, my experience as a software engineer for the first couple years of my career was not exactly what I expected or hoped for. I decided to move back to my hometown of Richmond, VA to be closer to my family and to look for a new opportunity there. I wasn't even 100% sure I wanted to continue my career in IT until I was introduced to Ippon.
I was actually working with a few different recruiters back in August and was referred to Ippon by one of them. I contacted the office and began working with Jamie Bock, and wow! Talk about an absolutely perfect interview/hiring experience. A phone interview with Dennis Sharpe, an in-person tour of the office by Jamie, and finally a interview with Romain, and the next day I signed my offer.
I have now been with Ippon a little over 5 months, and the experience has been fantastic. Everyone I have worked with here has been friendly, fun to be around, and has driven me to become better at what I do. It's amazing how it affects you being surrounded by such intelligent and quality people every day. The work environment and culture here is unlike anything I have been a part of at any job. It's so well rounded in every aspect. We work hard together but we also have fun together. We have Meetups, webinars, a book club, and many other events - all aimed at sharing knowledge and having fun doing it.
The diversity of employees here also adds to the great work environment and culture. All coming from different backgrounds, with different stories, specializing in different things. Struggling with something at work? I can guarantee you there is someone in the office willing and able to help you, and if there isn't then there is someone in the company group chat that will.
The managers and directors here help guide you and always have your best interest in mind. It can be difficult sometimes to communicate with your superiors whether it's because they are intimidating to talk to or because they are so busy they can't squeeze you into their schedule. Not quite the same here. Anytime I have had questions or needed to talk with anyone it's not waiting days for an email response or scheduling a meeting; it's hearing back immediately with help or answers to my questions.
Think you might never get to meet the owner of the company or just hang out with your boss? Think again. You will probably have a beer with them then get destroyed in Foosball.
Fast forward to 2017, and I am currently studying Big Data technologies such as Hadoop, Spark, Scala, and Kafka. I discussed what my interests were with several of my superiors and they helped create a path for me to become a Data Engineer and eventually be put on a project. On top of learning new technologies, Ippon has also given me the opportunity to gain valuable consulting skills working on different agile projects, with different teams, and even traveling across the country for work.
I cannot say enough good things about my experience here at Ippon USA. I have learned more in 5 months here than I did 2 years working for other companies. The company culture, quality of employees, and work environment is as good as it gets. I enjoy it here so much that I even referred one of my good friends to apply here, and she is now also a new employee and part of the Ippon family. I look forward to continuing my career here, as well as spending time with co-workers who I now consider friends.