CA Accelerator is the internal incubation program of CA Technologies. Part startup, part venture capital and part think tank- the Accelerator is one way CA Technologies is encouraging internal innovation and breaking barriers within our organization. The CA Accelerator is a unique opportunity to join a big company, but have the feel of working for a startup. If you want to learn more about how the Accelerator came to fruition at CA Technologies check out this article, featuring our CTO Otto Berkes. Launched in 2015, the Accelerator is relatively new so we wanted to check in with some of the folks who build and define our latest projects, and ask them a few questions on what it’s like to work on an Accelerator team.
Ali is a Software Engineer who joined the WhoZoo.io team five and a half months ago, and works out of the Santa Clara office. Ali has an eclectic background, likes to draw as a hobby, and who knows – you may have seen him in the past dancing in a panda costume (panda has since retired). Intrigued? So were we.
Diversity of thought is proven to increase team productivity, innovation and the bottom line, and Ali’s background is not lacking in variety.
“Prior to joining CA Technologies, I spent the last few years as an independent contract Software Engineer. My professional career varied quite a bit before that: handyman repair work, TA-ing for various Biology courses, managing local bands & organizing art shows, prepping samples in a plant pathology lab, & content editing, to name a few things.”
Accelerator team members often wear multiple hats, particularly as the team is being built, so we asked Ali – bare bones, how would he describe his job?
“On the most basic level, I’m one of the engineers developing the WhoZoo web application by creating its structure, then styling & defining the behavior of that content. Beyond that, I enjoy acting as a cross-team networker, assisting collaboration & creating meaningful professional relationships.”
The CA Accelerator encourages internal employees to pitch their idea to the CTO and board members, and if the project gets funded then the team will receive small, incremental investments, like a startup. We asked Ali what attracted him to a role with the CA Accelerator.
“CA Accelerators feels like a “CA Labs” space, a fast-paced world where people from within can cook-up new ideas & assemble a team to give it life. For those that enjoy making, building, & trying-to-understand things, like myself, this environment is a progressive, experimental, & innovative paradise.”
What about WhoZoo specifically?
“As for WhoZoo itself, my interest has been rooted in the mentality. Culture is defined through a trickle-down effect. From the very first interview, what prominently stood out to me, was the leadership’s genuine empathy: for each other, for their peers, & for their users. This culture of helping & support is a prime foundation for success.”
Each project team has a unique working style and culture that Founders help foster from day one, and we wanted to know what this might look like on the WhoZoo team.
“After I setup my workspace, I usually post a podcast or article I found interesting or relevant to the team’s chat, then create my todo list for the day.
Every morning we run through our daily standup so we’re all on the same page, then other members of the development team & I usually sync up. Around 11:30 we get lunch, usually with some of the BlazeMeter team.
What I always look forward to is “The Roost.” Every Friday, we spend 50 minutes, together, not working. This space where we could talk about anything has helped us form a more personal & friendly bond.”
You can read more about “The Roost” in Simon’s (WhoZoo’s founder) blog post.
What is Ali’s favorite part about his office/workspace in Santa Clara?
“The setup. We can easily pair or ask for feedback from other teammates or the others around us.”
What about his favorite CA benefit?
“The “Bring What You Bring” mentality. The culture at CA encourages everyone to proactively improve the space we share & the way we work, based on each other’s actionable feedback.”
Ali spoke on the personality type that would flourish in the accelerator setting, but what would he say to someone considering a role with the CA Accelerator?
“It’s fast-paced & can be challenging at times. But the support system that the CA Accelerator program has crafted is a finely tuned machine, helping you & your team be the best you can, while still having a healthy life-energy-work balance”
If Ali’s story with the Accelerator peaks your interest, we highly encourage you to look at our open jobs on Accelerator projects that can be found on this page.