My Journey in Storable So Far

May 26, 2022

Approximately 8 minute read time.

Update June 21st: removed one of the open positions from this post.

If you’ve previously visited my blog because of any of the other topics I’ve ever discussed here, let me first start by thanking you for reading! I guess I should also acknowledge that I haven’t written a blog in like a year and a half 😅 In that year and a half, a lot has changed, in the world as well as for me professionally! After spending 7 years of my career at Cerner, I decided to make a switch away from health care and into the self-storage industry instead, in the form of an Engineering Manager role at Storable!

(Also, if you make it to the end, I’m hiring and have links to applications in case you’re interested in working at Storable!)

From Pharmacy to Storage

I started out my career as a Software Engineer at Cerner back in 2014 on the Inpatient Pharmacy team. I had the opportunity to work on a diverse tech stack with a lot of amazing people, doing work that was transforming one of the most important industries out there: health care. In doing so, I started to transform as well: I met a lot of new people, experienced new things, and through all of my successes, mistakes, and capitalizing on opportunity, I grew into the leader that I am today!

From Inpatient I went to work on Cerner’s Care Coordination team to work on Nursing applications. Around the time I transitioned to that team, COVID-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic, and we were all told to start working from home. If you would have asked me a couple of years ago if I preferred remote or office work, I would have definitely told you working in an office was the way to go.

In 2021 however, after having worked from home for over a year, I started to really enjoy it! I was able to say goodbye to phone alarms and hello to my kids just waking me up when they get up! Goodbye to commutes to the office and back eating up over an hour of my whole day, and hello a 15 second commute from my living room to my desk. Goodbye to missing out on watching my kids grow up, and hello to being able to get them on and off the bus each day!

With all this positive change that was going on with a switch to working remotely, I got the itch that maybe it was time to change things up career-wise. I loved my time at Cerner, but I knew I was ready for something new. That’s when a previous collegue of mine reached out to me about Storable!

Becoming a Storrior

I had previously heard about Storable through this same colleague, and I had been intrigued about the company for quite some time. The company used to be a lot of smaller companies that were either direct competitors or business partners of each other, and quickly grew into the leading set of software solutions for the self-storage industry!

I interviewed to be an Engineering Manager for the Marketplace team at Storable, and after a few interviews with various members of who are now part of my team, I made the leap from Cerner to Storable! The Marketplace team at Storable creates a competitive online marketplace for storage owners and operators who want to fill their units by allowing them to list their inventory on sites like SpareFoot, where self-storage seekers can find units in their area that best fit their unique storage needs.

After being here for a few months, there’s a few things that I’ve really grown to like about Storable and my team that are going to keep me here for quite a while:

Fully Remote Culture

In an era where remote work is polarizing across our industry, and many companies are attempting to funnel their employees back into offices and cubicles, Storable since 2020 has been a fully virtual company, with no plans to have anyone go back to an office for the foreseeable future. In that time, Storable teams have developed highly collaborative and fun work-from-home cultures.

It’s been incredibly rewarding to me to be part of an organization that leans into it’s remote workforce and really believes in the benefits of working from home! Marketplace as a team is fairly distributed, so it’s not really possible for us to meet in person to do fun things like have lunch, but Storable makes that really easy by allowing me to get vouchers for my team members so that lunch doesn’t always have to be on them or on me personally!

When I first joined too, one of my big gripes from Cerner was that I wasn’t allowed to bring any of my office furniture home, and I wasn’t allotted a budget for a chair or a desk. I understood why, but it was still frustrating. Storable, on the other hand, gives employees a stipend to help cover the cost of home internet, as well as some extra funds on your first paycheck to purchase some furniture or other things! I used my funds to purchase a proper office chair so that I didn’t have to keep using a rocking chair that my wife and I purchased at a garage sale 5 years ago.

Since Storable is a remote company, we also hire folks from many states within the US, though we can’t really hire anyone from outside of the US at the moment. It’s really great to be able to interview, hire, and work with so many different individuals who all have something unique to bring to the table! Not that working with folks from the KC area is bad or anything, it’s just nice to have a significantly more diverse talent pool than just the people within driving distance to your office.

Storable doesn’t just stop at getting you a computer and software licenses though: the company also leans into having fun! Storable holds photo contests, hackathons, optional webinars for all kinds of topics relating to work and life stuff, virtual holiday parties (at our last one we had a magician), Slack channels dedicated to pictures of everyone’s pets… All kinds of fun and exciting stuff to do with other Storriors that isn’t related to work!

My Team’s Amazing

Not that managers shouldn’t feel this way about their team, and it will probably sound really cliche, but I really have one of the best teams on the planet. Part of what makes a team really successful is how well the members of the team actually work together, and in the months that I’ve spent with my team, they have shown me how effective a team can actually be while working remote. We really do work together as a team to help make Marketplace a successful part of Storable’s business.

This is also not even really a reflection of me as a manager either: only one member of the team actually got hired after I did, and they only started a month after I did. My team’s highly collaborative and supportive culture is something that they’ve all organically developed long before I got here. I can confidently say that my contributions to the team haven’t really had as much of an influence over how great the team is and how well they work together as much as everyone else’s contributions have. We make great products like SpareFoot together, we celebrate our wins together, and we learn and adapt together as we move forward.

If anyone on my team happens to be reading this, keep up the good work! I wouldn’t be able to say all these things without you 😁

Self-Storage is a Great Industry

“What made you want to work in self-storage?” “Why self-storage over health care?”

Sure, electronic health record software was really challenging to work on, and health care was a really rewarding industry to be apart of. However, there were things about the industry that also made it hard to work in the industry sometimes: regulations and laws changing around health care, roadmaps being dictated by factors far outside of our control, the scrutiny over what you or your team built and the potential negative impact it had on other people if your software failed… I wanted to be able to help build a really great product, and have greater control over how we built that product. Sometimes I felt like I could do that, but there were quite a lot of times where I didn’t.

At Storable though, I can actually focus on helping to build a great product in Marketplace that helps drive the $39.5 billion storage industry. The products that my team creates help business owners, big and small, remain profitable no matter the economic climate, and we help them market their business to storage seekers in their area. Aside from helping self storage business owners market their business, our products also help individuals find storage solutions to fit their needs!

“Yea, ok, but why is helping someone find a unit to put old furniture in important?” you might be asking. My answer is that you’re not wrong: sure we help people find solutions to make more space in their home, or to store old stuff they don’t need for the time being, but it’s also much more than that. We help people find the solutions to their self-storage needs during their best and worst times in life, to help them keep their personal belongings, or the belongings of their loved ones, at a safe, secure, and accessible storage facility. Marketplace plays a vital role in ensuring that anyone can find the storage they need, no matter what situation in life they find themselves!

At Storable, I get to work with my product engineering team to plan, build, and maintain our system in a way that is constantly moving Marketplace forward, both from a technological standpoint, as well as a business standpoint, and since I’ve been here, there hasn’t been a time where we couldn’t.

The Catch (I’m Hiring!)

So apart from just being able to post a general update about how the last couple of years have gone for me, I did have an ulterior motive for writing another blog post: I’ve got a couple of open positions on my team!

We’ve had a Senior Software Engineer position , as well as a Software Engineer II position (we hired the SE II position!) open for some time now. I’ve got two agile teams of four engineers each who are eager to have some new faces join Marketplace! The job descriptions linked above have more information on the Marketplace tech stack and some of the expectations for the role in case you might be interested in applying!

If you’re not sure if Storable is the right fit for you, here’s the link to Storable’s Culture Page to learn more about the company itself. If you’re not sure that Marketplace is the right fit for you, that’s ok too! Storable is hiring for a lot of different positions all the time that you can find on our Careers page.

Thanks again for reading! Hopefully it won’t be another two years before I write another blog post 😅 Stay safe out there, stay healthy, and have yourself a good one!