When people who are passionate, smart, and eager to make an impact come together, they accomplish incredible feats. Especially when they have the tools to learn, the flexibility to work in the ways that work best, and ample opportunities to grow: That’s when the business’s future is shaped by the people within it, and success is shared all-around.
This is the culture that Headspring has created, and we’re always looking for people to enrich it. Growing our team in Monterrey has opened us up to a whole new pool of amazing talent with the experience and expertise to tackle clients’ toughest challenges. Working with these individuals has taught us new ways of learning and collaborating, made us more agile as an organization, and led to standout successes for our clients.
We talked to employees Antonio, Elisa, and Marco to learn about their journeys with Headspring and to hear about Monterrey’s unique culture and benefits. The stories of how they’ve propelled their own careers forward are inspiring—both to current employees and talented individuals looking for opportunities to learn, grow, and lead.
Antonio Monge, Engineering Consultant
Since joining Headspring, how have you grown, personally and/or professionally?
It was great to find a company that treats people like people. Headspring cares not only about how well individuals are performing any given task, but how they’re doing overall. I was amazed when I learned that prioritizing a work-life balance is something expected from all Headspringers. This is where I find the most value, because I am able to create my own structure for accomplishing my work and making space for myself outside of that. People who have known me in the past can tell that I truly enjoy coming to work now.
This support is something that I don’t take for granted—I don’t mind going the extra mile; I don’t stress out when I have to deal with day-to-day personal things; and I don’t overburden my brain with pending tasks or my email inbox. This is the first place I’ve been in a long time where I feel compelled to do something to protect this kind of culture, to broaden it, and to share it so that other people can have the great experience I have.
How do the company’s core values make a difference in your daily work?
The most important thing about our core values is that they are alive—they are celebrated and they are applied in our day-to-day. Our values are actually a way of doing things, not just words that sound good on a company’s recruitment page. They’re principles that are well thought-out and drive every person’s daily actions.
What part of your job do you find the most meaningful?
Being able to not just work with, but to collaborate with brilliant people is the best part of my job. There is always open space to talk, to share ideas, to debate, and to learn to do things in a “better way.” For me, this is far from being a company catchphrase. I’ve worked with great engineers and I have been able to teach them something new. I’ve made decisions that affect a whole project and know that I am held accountable and trusted. I’ve contributed to many projects in which decisions regarding the frontend development have been on my shoulders, and I’ve always had my team’s support. Being trusted and given the freedom to do my best work is something that Headspring has afforded me from day one, and I value that deeply.
What about the company culture appealed to you as a candidate?
I was attracted to the way the company is considerate of people, as well as its open communication and transparency. Any Headspring employee has access to the company numbers, the status of any project, and the progress of any initiative—being secretive is not a thing here.
The recruitment process is a good example. All cards are on the table from the moment you’re considered: You’re told what the position requires, what the process looks like, and how the communication is conducted. No matter what part of the process you’re in, you can request feedback.
Once hired, there’s a continuous review process set up to create a path towards progress that is clearly aligned to your career goals. We are also required give reciprocal feedback to our peers in a productive way—meaning you have to be critical, yet concise and provide action items. This creates a context in which any suggestion you make helps a colleague become a better person and a better professional, and you can hold every Headspringer accountable to do the same for you.
Marco Antonio Domínguez Ramírez, Engineering Consultant
What makes Headspring stand out from other companies you’ve worked for or considered?
Headspring has some of the most competitive benefits in the market, always striving to give employees the best. Our flexible work schedule is backed up by official perks like working from home on Wednesdays, three days of sick leave, paternity and maternity leave, and 18 PTO days.
At our weekly all-hands meeting, we learn everything related to the company’s finances, culture, sales forecasts, project status, etc. Information is openly shared throughout every level of the organization, so that we’re all completely aware of what’s happening at every moment. That’s what builds trust and a collaborative culture.
Tell us about a benefit that you think makes the biggest impact on employee satisfaction?
Pantry vouchers is brand new in our benefits plan. It offers extra tax-free money (for both the employee and the company) to be spent on daily grocery items, excluding alcohol and tobacco. This is a benefit that’s exclusive to Mexico, and is a win-win situation for both the company and the employee. What’s great is that the amount Headspring offers is related to the employee’s total salary, right now at 5%, and is a huge benefit to Mexican families.
What might inspire you to recommend friends and colleagues to work at Headspring?
Headspring’s Grow and Give referral program is a huge incentive. For any referral who is hired and stays at least 3 months, Headspring contributes $1,000 USD ($15,000.00 MXN) to a charity of your choice, and matches that with a $1,000 USD bonus to the employee. After a year of that person’s employment, both you and your charity receive another $1,000 USD. This program encourages us to live our core values in the sense that personal reward becomes directly tied to positive impact and mutual success.
Are there any perks that aren’t official benefits, but still add to your experience here?
Of course, there are! Each Friday, we get a complimentary catered meal along with an in-depth look at company data, and a training session hosted by our own colleagues. We make a point to celebrate and enhance our culture, whether it be celebrating birthdays, recognizing new hires, holding quarterly events, or making trips to Headspring offices or the client’s HQ. At the end of Q2 2018, Headspring rented a whole ranch for our team where we had a great time socializing, singing, and swimming—it was a real-life bonding experience. It was nice to get out of the office and interact on a more personal level while having some space to relax and recharge. This really helped us build a deeper understanding of one another.
What’s most important to you in a work environment?
Our “brags” system Headspring Value Awards, which let us know when something we do is really appreciated. When appreciates something you did, they brag on you through a company-wide chat system, and those brags get shared at our weekly company meeting. Brags include anything from a good code review to helping someone lift something heavy to putting a napkin below the table to keep it from rocking. It’s great to know that teammates are taking the time to consider not only the daily work that we do, but who we are as people.
Now, let’s say you did something great: You performed beyond expectations, helped others develop quicker, used your extra time to train, helped with a personal problem outside of office hours. Colleagues can recognize you with an HVA (Headspring Value Award) nomination that aligns to any of our five core values. Those are voted on by the end of the quarter, and the winner receives a custom award.
Elisa Avila, Engineering Consultant
Can you think of a time when a teammate exhibited Headspring’s values in real life?
Choosing just one is difficult, but Marco Dominguez has been a great coworker who has continuously demonstrated the “people are valued” tenant. As my “onboarding buddy” when I started at Headspring, he made me feel welcome and part of the team. He is always willing to help. When I joined, he explained to me how to use the project management tool to log my hours, and when I had some issues using tools that were new to me, he kindly explained how to fix the issues.
Deran Schilling, Headspring’s Managing Director, is also a great embodiment of “people are valued.” He’s supported the growth of the Monterrey office by creating a career path structure and organizing a series of “brown bags” with senior consultants to teach us the frameworks used throughout the company. He’s been integral in bridging the culture and learning across offices.
What characteristics make someone a good culture fit at Headspring?
Being a team player and a passion for learning are essential. All of our work is done in teams, and constant communication is key. There is a strong sense of community here, and a prevailing desire to help one another.
Passion for learning is also critical because we are founded on the belief that there’s a better way to build software. This means researching and learning new technologies and coming up with better ways to solve problems. I love that there’s almost always at least one “brown bag” per week, and I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues on specific development topics like working with React or Vue, or better practices for handling databases, etc.
As a woman in tech—still an underrepresented group—curious what got you interested in pursuing technology as a career?
Since I was a child, I’ve loved Sci-Fi and technology, especially computers. I’m grateful to my parents for making the effort to get us a computer, along with books on how to use it. I remember doing the exercises in an Intro to Programming book and being amazed by the results. Years later, when I got my first job as a developer and saw people using the tools I developed, I had the same feeling—getting to see the impact of my work is truly rewarding.
I think one of the things I love most being a developer is you never stop learning. Every day there is new technology, a new technique, etc. Learning leads to growth…and it’s also a lot of fun.
As a participant in events like Women Who Code and Dev Day for Women, why do you think they’re important?
Usually, there are more men working at IT companies than women, so these kinds of gatherings provide a safe environment where we can help each other, and, more importantly, empower one another. It’s important to share experiences and exchange advice with other women in our industry. Sometimes we can feel isolated, but knowing that we are part of a community that is growing is empowering.
I was at a recent event in Monterrey called Dev4Women, where I heard so many success stories from women who either created a startup or achieved great things at their companies. The Women Who Code Monterrey chapter has also been organizing talks on subjects like job interviewing, public speaking, time management, and other soft skills that help us gain a voice in the workplace and advance our careers.
Headspring employees are the truest testament to the culture we’ve established across our offices. Our deeply-held ideals of ownership, collaboration, and excellence get channeled into the way we work with clients. Austin-based Principal Consultant, Patrick Lioi, writes about this in his approach to training new developers:
How mindfulness helps Headspring foster an effective client services team
And to hear from Austin employees what the culture looks at our HQ, check out our recent coverage in Built in Austin:
We’re excited about people who are excited about making this an even richer place to work. If you’re curious about joining, our career page is a great start!