Working at Chalkboard for the last eight months has been, in a word, fantastic. As someone who has been working in software development for almost 20 years, the opportunity offered by Chalkboard checks so many of the boxes a developer often wishes for when looking for a new role.
An empowered team
Being a small, focused team, there is a great deal of responsibility on every member. But with great responsibility comes great power. The power to have direct input on both the technical and product decision making. The power to shape and develop the architecture of the apps. This may sound quite pressurised, but believe me, the ethos at Chalkboard is collaboration in the best possible sense. Every member of the team is approachable; feedback and suggestions are welcome at all stages, and everyone is here to help and guide the team and the product in the best possible direction.
All new features and improvements are discussed as a team in advance of starting work. This ensures the engineering team members have the opportunity to offer suggestions and feedback before specs and designs are finalised. Being involved this early in the process results in not only well-rounded solutions, but also an informed and invested team.
Remote and flexible
The Chalkboard team is made up of largely remote workers, and we have learned (and keep learning) how to collaborate best as a team. Group video meetings are concise and always have a purpose, so lots of collaboration is done on a one-to-one basis or via text chat. This flexibility of where to work from is embraced and everyone feels included. We have managed to develop a close-knit team, embracing the values mentioned above, so it's a thoroughly enjoyable and friendly place to work.
As with the product itself, everyone has the opportunity to feedback and make suggestions on how the team interact. Whether this is in the monthly all-hands or retrospective meetings, everyone is free, and welcomed, to offer their ideas on how to improve the team environment and communication - nothing is set in stone and it's great to have the knowledge that everyone has the opportunity to make things even better.
A great product
OK, so Chalkboard is a great place to work. But the product itself is also great to be a part of. It's really rewarding knowing that the tools we are building are effectively helping local businesses and entrepreneurs to organise and improve their customer communication. The product team works closely with our users to help understand their needs and what features they would like to see us launch next. Therefore, as a development team, we know that we are building features and tools that will genuinely be of benefit to our users and help them and their businesses to grow and thrive.
Words by: Ian Lockett - iOS Engineer at Chalkboard