By Jill Felska, Want To Work There
“Life At” – brought to you by Fresh Brewed Tech and Want To Work There – features local employees who give us a peek inside the businesses and cultures of different companies across San Diego.
From the second you walk into MyCase by Appfolio’s office, you can tell it’s a group of people who genuinely like each other. There’s a warm and welcoming vibe that radiates from the team and it’s immediately clear that inclusivity is important to everyone. Given this, I wasn’t surprised to learn that one of values of the company’s engineering team is family, which they define in the following way: “We work with and strive to be delightful people to ensure a fun and engaging workplace. We make our office a safe, trust-filled place for growth, laughter, and joy.”
MyCase employees don’t just paste their values on the wall – they live them. Much of that is due to the constant support and encouragement of Engineering Experience Lead Yevgeniya (Yevy) Kopeleva. She doesn’t code, but rather “engineers” great people experiences, ensuring that the work environment is one the team is happy to come into everyday.
If you ask me, every office needs a Yevy.
That said, her role is just one of the ways MyCase (acquired in October 2012 by Appfolio) demonstrates how much it cares about its employees. In fact, much of the current culture transpired after the acquisition, which occured when the company consisted of just the three founders – Matt Spiegel, Alex Dikowski, and Chris Schulte.
When asked about the change in culture following the acquisition, Schulte shared that their business priorities changed at that point shifting from a focus on building things as quickly as possible to a focus on building products that were stable and well tested. They also slowed down production to scale their team, quickly going from a small startup of three to a thriving team of 80 people split between two offices – one here in San Diego and another at Appfolio’s headquarters in Santa Barbara.
“Fortunately, the culture at Appfolio was a really good fit for us,” Schulte says. “I think if we’d grown MyCase into a large company ourselves, we probably would have ended up with a similar (culture) to Appfolio. I think it also helped that we stayed in a separate small office in San Diego, instead of moving up to the main office in Santa Barbara. We still had that startup feel even though we were part of a larger company.”
After visiting the office, I couldn’t agree more. It’s clear that Appfolio has supported MyCase in cultivating the culture the team desired, while also allowing sharing the fantastic people practices Appfolio perfected at its own organization.
That said, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s what current MyCase by Appfolio employees had to say about working at the technology company.
What attracted you to MyCase?
“I knew I wanted to join MyCase during my internship. It was the best internship experience I’d ever had. We were delivering features to our customers within two weeks of starting, and didn’t stop all summer.” – Zach Meyer, Software Engineer
“Everybody that I met when interviewing seemed really down to earth and asked real world questions. I could tell that they actually embodied the culture that they were claiming rather than just saying it as part of the interview.” – Anon
What do you love most about working at the company?
“The people. My co-workers are friendly and fun people to work with. Everyone is smart and values each other’s input. We are passionate about the product we create for our customers.” – Alifya Kitabi, Sr. Quality Assurance Analyst
“The amazing, intelligent, and kind co-workers! I also appreciate the opportunities I have been given to learn and grow personally and professionally. I am a better version of myself because of MyCase.” – Yevgeniya (Yevy) Kopeleva, Engineering Experience Lead
“The same thing that got me in the door in the first place, the people I work with are constantly teaching me new concepts and inspiring me to do great things. I love the impact and agency I have to enact change within the company. I also love the way we keep it fun with company sponsored sports, hack days, and tech retreats.” – Chad Shaffer, Staff Software Engineer, Tech Lead
How would you describe the office vibe?
“We have a 7-foot giant teddy bear, a beer fridge, and Aloha Fridays in the San Diego office. Need I say more? We work hard, we celebrate milestones, we have fun, we challenge each other to try new things, we are not afraid to make mistakes, we help each other grow, and we paddle as one.” – Yevy
“Sustainable with the right amount of urgency and accountability. We don’t burn people out, but we strive to exceed our goals as often as possible.” – Chad
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We make jokes and treat our coworkers as family. We embrace a work-life balance and want each other to be happy.” – Anon
How would you describe the company’s leadership style?
“I’d describe the leadership style as gentle guidance. I’ve noticed that in all my dealings with leadership, they never say ‘you should do X.’ They ask questions, gather data, and offer ideas.” – Zach
“Very Engaging. There is an open door policy and lots of transparency.” – Alifya
What’s your favorite perk or benefit?
“I like to come home at lunch and walk my dog. AppFolio is very flexible when it comes to ‘lunch’ time, and I find that it’s easy to zip home to spend time with my pets as needed.” – Zach
“I appreciate our eight-hour paid volunteer day that encourages employees to give back to our communities. It has been an incredible experience dedicating our time to feed the homeless in East Village, build bikes and skateboards for local foster youth, and packaging meals for children abroad. You’re reminded of how lucky we are each and every day.” – Yevy
“We have 24-hour hackathons twice a year and they are my favorite. We get to work on anything we want for 24 hours straight and there are lots of fun and games sprinkled throughout the day/night.” – Chad
What do you like most about living and working in San Diego?
“The eclectic culture and the beautiful weather. I have lived here with my family for many years now and it’s a great place to settle with family.” – Alifya
“I love the pure beauty of San Diego. My morning commute does not feel depressing, rather a time to constantly be in awe of the scenery around me. People in San Diego seem to be welcoming, kind, and relaxed. It does wonders to live in a place that you love.” – Anon
“My family and I love living in San Diego – I can’t imagine living anywhere else. So San Diego had to be where we were going to start this company. There’s no amount of funding or “growth potential” that would have made the tradeoff worth it.Really, any city is a great place to start a company – you have to look at what’s unique about it and why you love it. Here we’ve got great weather, a laid back vibe, and a lot of culture that comes with sharing a border with Mexico. There are also a large number of great universities here, so there’s a huge talent pool to hire from. I don’t think it makes any sense to look at random metrics about whether or not a city is a great place to start a company – pick a place you want to be and play to its strengths.” Chris Schulte, Co-founder
What do you think the company will look like a year from now?
“More people, and more fun. AppFolio is steadily growing, and the company makes sure all of the new people are inducted into the fun. I’m excited to see what new activities and experiences will be explored as we grow.” – Zach
“We’re growing fast. It’s cool to see how far we’ve come in the past three years, and each year gone by seems to push us even further than the last. Growing to achieve big goals while still maintaining our culture is front of mind for everyone, and so far we’ve done a good job at this.” – Chad
Want to join the MyCase by Appfolio team? The company is growing quickly and plans to hire full-time team members in engineering, HR, design, and product management over the next year. Visit the company’s career page to learn more.Like this article? Please Share!