Startups: An amazing career accelerator

Posted March 28, 2018 by Karim Fanous — Vice President of Engineering. Filed under Engineering.

Startups: An amazing career accelerator

This post is taken from Karim's Medium page. Click here to follow him for more technology career posts

Startups have a very special allure. They offer the opportunity of creating a new company, product and, at times, significant wealth. Much has been written about the allure of startups, their risks and rewards. However, one aspect of startups that is overlooked is their impact on growth and development.

Most startups, especially earlier on in their development, will lack the sufficient resources and expertise to accomplish all that they need. This implies that working in a startup will expose you to new challenges, likely ones that you have never tackled before. Startups will stretch you, which does wonders for your growth and development.

Engineers working at Qumulo do a lot more than simply write code and ship product. They engage directly with prospects and customers to understand what to build, in what order and how. They partner with our sales team to sell the product. They work side by side with our customers to deploy the product and ensure their success. They define quarterly delivery goals with concrete business outcomes (pricing, margins, bookings, churn and more). They also do a lot that is outside the scope of the product. They define our interviewing process, how we onboard new employees, our performance review structure, our support model and much more. Remember, in a startup, you are not only creating a product — you are also creating a company.

A startup will also expose you to the inner workings of the company. You’ll be able to see various functions and how they are interrelated and critical to the success of the company. Many of the engineers working at Qumulo collaborate with many of the other functions in the organization. Our engineers work with our operations team to ensure that we build and deliver a high-quality product. They also work with our marketing team to craft marketing collateral about the product that they build. They work with our sales team to sell the product. They work with our finance team on budgeting, pricing and margins. As an employee, this cross-group collaboration allows you to see the whole picture and gain tremendous business exposure.

The work you do in a startup ought to have visible and measurable business impact. Engineers working at Qumulo create quarterly goals that are grounded in business outcomes like margin improvements, customer adoptions, churn reduction and so on. The ability to see a direct connection between the work you do and business outcomes can be exhilarating. You can easily measure and assess the impact of what you do in terms of customer acquisitions, revenue and much more. Knowing that the work you do matters and helps drive the business forward is a huge motivating factor. It propels you to want to do more, to grow and to develop your skills further — simply because your contributions will drive the business forward.

I hope this shows the massive impact that startups can have on your career and in helping you grow and develop your skills and knowledge. A startup will expose you to new skills and responsibilities that are extremely difficult to come by in a mid-size or large organization.

The right startup can turbocharge your career. And maybe Qumulo is the right one for you.

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Karim Fanous
Vice President of Engineering
At Qumulo we work on building incredible tech that customers love. We value teamwork and collaboration over individual egos, getting stuff done over procrastination and always doing what is right for our customers.

Karim Fanous brings 15 years of technology and product experience to the company. Prior to Qumulo, Karim was at Microsoft, first as a software engineer working primarily on VOIP and online conferencing-related technologies, then as a product manager for cloud-scale monitoring and alerting platforms. Karim has also held various roles at Booz & Company, where he advised Fortune 100 clients on their digital and go-to-market strategies. Karim holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BSc. in Math and Computer Science from the American University in Cairo.

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