Working at Small Energy Group

Ok, I think I’ve waited long enough. It’s been 5 weeks, the honeymoon period should be over, and I still love my new job.

There is no shortage of challenging interesting projects to work on, the development team is stacked with smart people, I’m learning a lot and contributing to a great product, and our small company is starting to take off. In short, I’m happy and proud of my work. In a lot of ways, work reminds me of university, and that’s a good thing.

The commute to work has its moments. I usually bike to work 3 days a week and bus the other 2 days. The bike ride is a scenic 35 minute trek along the sea wall in Vancouver, through Stanley Park, across the Lions Gate Bridge, and along the shoreline in West Vancouver until Dundarave Beach. As far as bike commutes go, it’s pretty enjoyable. I don’t have to fight with cars and it’s faster then driving the same route, as traffic really backs up going over the bridge. It’s just a bit too long. After a long day at work, when it’s dark outside and raining, the 35 minute bike ride home isn’t thrilling.

The bus ride only takes a bit longer then biking. From downtown to work I usually get a seat and read a book along the way. The only problem is getting down to Georgia Street to catch a bus to West Vancouver. If I’m at my place, I have to try catching a bus coming over the bridge from Kits, which are often rammed with people and pass my stop with a “SORRY, BUS FULL” sign lit up. From Emily’s house, it’s similar, but instead of buses there are jammed SkyTrain cattle cars.

Work Environment
There are no offices or even cubicles at work – just two rooms with desks and large tables in them. Some people have dedicated desks, but for the development team (there are 8 of us now), we move around between the few big tables. Our laptops make it easy to rearrange ourselves so people working on the same tasks can easily collaborate.

West Vancouver
I think the worst part of work is the location. The commute is annoying, and there really isn’t much around the office. For lunch there’s a cheap sushi restaurant, a pub, and a cafe that have decent food. However, often people buy groceries at the local IGA and just cook in the work kitchen.

I’m continually impressed with the calibre of people at work. Every company I’ve worked at has had smart people, but the team we have at Small Energy Group is really impressive. There’s a good mix of bright young hires and experienced veterans with impressive resumes. Everyone is super competent, and I think they have to be to survive in the environment we have right now – fast moving and without the processes that prevent dumb check-ins.

There is a real sense at work that’s we’re riding the wave of something big. The only fear is we’re going to be a second too late and miss it. There is so much to do right now, so many features we want to add, and so many potential clients that want to get integrated, it often seems overwhelming. We’re definitely understaffed. We are hiring and I am supposed to help recruit people I think would be a good fit. So, if you’re interested in working in Vancouver for an amazing start-up, let me know. If you want to take a look at what we have so far, I can give you a demo account.


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