After interviewing with several companies in different industries and environments, it became clear to me that:
- I wanted to contribute to positive change in the world and have real ownership of my work;
- I wanted a real technical challenge, something that had space for my own suggestions and space for me to grow professionally alongside the product;
- I cared about the purpose of the company I would be coding for.
I saw that GoParity was looking for someone after they contacted the bootcamp where I did my training – le wagon. I had never heard of a similar product; I immediately loved it and eventually joined the team.
Why it matters to be aligned with the startup’s mission
I am passionate about the social and environmental impact we bring to the world. It’s not just a word we throw around, it is something tangible and real. Even in my own developer world, one of the things I love the most about GoParity is seeing the impact of the features we create. We’re not a big team, so we feel true ownership of the features we code, and it’s wonderful to see how the users interact with them. For example, sometimes we expect them to do something, and it is not as clear as we thought. And from there, to see how those features create impact not only globally but in the communities around us.
3 reasons why you should consider working for an impact venture
- You’re going to code to something you really care about. You’re not just going to be a small tool that codes something that you don’t even know what it is for. Your features and tasks will be big; they will make you feel accountable, but you will also be an important part of the process, and you will love the final product.
- The team spirit. When you are contributing to a positive change in the world, the people who work beside you are deeply motivated by it. There is real companionship and support that enables you to do your best work. They will celebrate your victories and help you overcome your defeats.
- Your own personal and professional growth. Impact is not going anywhere, and there are always new and exciting things to do. The work will never be finished, and neither will you. With it, you can adapt and learn new things.
Requirements to be a software developer in an impact startup
The main qualification you should have when working in an impact startup is you need to really care about the product and the mission behind it. It will make you a better developer. You also need to be prepared to learn a lot of new things in a fast-paced environment and be ok with not knowing everything.
It’s not the most important thing if you don’t have experience in the language they ask or match every single requirement. The most important thing is that you are willing to learn and be proactive by yourself.
Advice to female developers who want to become lead developers in an impact startup
Get rid of the imposter syndrome. It is something that happens across all genders, but I think it is more noticeable in women. Be comfortable with not knowing everything, but also be confident in your decisions when you know they are the best thing at that moment.
Becoming a lead developer is something that you keep on learning how to do but make sure you always listen to your team and make them feel part of the big decisions (they are indeed key figures). And to finalize, keep in touch with other senior developers or tech leads and don’t be afraid to ask them for help or ask for different opinions when you are not 100% sure how to get to where you want to be.
Beatriz Barroso is a lead software developer at GoParity, one of the ventures invested by our fund, msm.vc. GoParity is the first Portuguese crowdlending platform financing social and environmental projects using its community of investors focused on sustainable and financial impact. GoParity is contributing to SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and 13, Climate Action.
Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash