If you are a developer and have not considered joining an impact startup, this article is for you.
Why is it different to code for an impact startup?
- You are part of the decision-making process. At UpHill, developers do much more than translate others’ ideas into a product or feature. All team members are invested in what we are building to enable our users – health practitioners – to develop their skills and make better decisions for their patients. Is there anything more exciting than working alongside the Product team to shape and define the next cycle of awesome features? It’s simple: instead of developing what you are told, you shape and embrace every aspect of the product you are building.
- The office culture and environment. The best thing about working on a relatively small-sized startup is that I can get to know my coworkers better and know them beyond work. Last but not least, our culture includes principles such as flexibility in work hours and remote work options.
- The continuous improvement mindset. Another thing I love about startup culture is the versatility and the ability always to be learning on my feet. I’m surrounded by talented people and we are all working towards the same goals. We share the drive and excitement to improve our product, processes, and impact. And this is genuinely impactful because it means that by way of our work, we positively impact the decisions health practitioners make in hospitals every day, thereby improving patient outcomes.
What qualifications do you need to be a software developer in an impact startup?
An academic background in computer science or computer engineering is a great start. Equally important is knowing how to think. Not every day is trivial; as we face new problems daily, we must think outside of the box. Working in a startup environment teaches you to push the envelope, be creative and unearth skills and qualities you didn’t even know you had.
What advice can you give to young developers looking for an impact-driven career?
The first piece of advice I would give is to explore your options and define what you want.
- What are the social and environmental issues you care for the most?
- What kind of work environment do you see yourself thriving in?
At first, when we want something badly, we tend to be afraid to pursue that. We might think we are not good enough and cannot add value. But surprisingly, we often are wrong about that. So, aim high!
The second piece of advice is to consider working for an impact startup. I can imagine how young software engineers might be tempted to join bigger firms with more resources as our skills are in high demand. However, if you choose to join an impact startup, you will have to wear many hats that will allow you to explore different tech and functional roles. This will force you to learn and grow faster than in any other environment. You could be like one of the early developers of the next Google, Discord, Netflix, you name it. And the best part is that while doing this, you will be shaping the destiny of a product that has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people and the planet.
Francisco Costa is a backend developer at UpHill Health, one of the ventures invested by our fund, msm.vc. Uphill is SaaS tool that allows hospitals and clinicians to design clinical pathways to enable evidence-based medicine and provide training and simulation to clinicians accordingly. thereby contributing to SDG 3, good health and wellbeing.
Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash.