Sourcetable Employee #1: Job, Notes, and Review
I was the first employee and first hired engineer at Sourcetable (sourcetable.com). My title was Product Engineer, and I wore many hats with multiple jobs including:
- Development of the engineering team’s workflow, including code reviews and CI/CD pipeline
- Development of the recruiting process
- Building front end tests
Here are some of my notes and reflections from my time working there:
- When I first joined the team, I was given the impression that we had a defined market that were ready to buy. Over time, I came to realize that we had not actually captured a market and were still seeking to find one.
- When hiring, the CEO would note about “high value recruits” but did not clearly specify what this meant. These candidates would get special treatment in their consideration in the hiring process. The CEO would deviate from defined process and skip over steps to push these candidates through.
- I would often request from leadership that I would like them to define goals and communicate them to us. In my opinion, this should be the bare minimum of leaders on a team. Unfortunately, my requests were not fulfilled.
- We would set a date for a goal and at one point one of the founders announced they were going on vacation starting on the day before that date. This did not inspire trust.
- CEO would often mention the importance of speed. I asked what speed meant. What use is going fast if we don’t know where we’re going?
- One day, the CEO scheduled a “sprint retro meeting.” When the meeting started, I was told it was not a retro meeeting and that I was laid off. I was told that “there need to be changes” and he said, “I don’t think those changes will suit you.” I didn’t know what these changes would be and did not have a say in working on a way to work with these noted changes. Access to my Gmail and Slack was immediately shut off. I wasn’t even able to say goodbye to my other teammates.
I’ve been glad to see other players in this space who are making good headway.
People who live in spreadsheets all day may not know how to run queries in a database, but they need access to current data without needing to ask an engineer or shuffle around outdated CSV’s. This is incredibly sensitive data that’s core to businesses, and it requires an incredible amount of trust in the organizations that handle it. It requires integrity and honesty.
I would not trust my business’s data with Sourcetable.