Burst Into The Tech Sector
THE KEY PLAYERS IN AUSTRALIAN STARTUPS SHARE ADVICE ON WHAT IT TAKES TO LAND A JOB IN SILICON BEACH.
Tech start-ups rank among the most attractive places to work, and graduates who can hold their own in a coding language or two can coolly command salaries of six fgures. But it’s not just coders who are in demand, with jobs for business developers, marketers and other hangers-on also on ofer. Here, Australia’s tech leaders share their top tips on what it takes to be employed by the most desirable workplaces in the country.
People with technical skillsets are in demand in Australia, Silicon Valley and globally, says Campaign Monitor’s Kraig Swensrud. “We’re always on the lookout for people that have this 10-times quality where they have the ability to impact a company in a really signifcant way. That could be coding skills or product knowledge or knowledge of architecture and systems integrations. If you are a brilliant engineer and you’re at the top of your game, you’re going to be able to command a very good salary. That’s probably true in any industry, but it’s certainly true in tech.”
Redbubble’s CEO Martin Hosking explains: “The people in Redbubble are not waiting around for someone to tell them what to do. It’s about demonstrating the initiative and the courage to move through an uncertain environment. You need to have a certain degree of courage to get out and do things that push the envelope.”
Hireability comes down to creativity, according to Blackbird Ventures’ Niki Scevak. “Tech is as much art as science. In all the great tech people I know, it’s as much the creative side of the brain rather than the engineering side. A technology enables the scale of impact but ultimately it’s the creative idea that determines whether it’s a success or failure.”
According to Canva’s Melanie Perkins, “Everyone who joins Canva needs to have exceptional skills for their role but what makes people stand out is their attitude, their creativity and their problem-solving capacity.”
99designs’ Patrick Llewellyn explains, “Companies are always looking for people who have not just an understanding in the subject matter but a true passionate interest. You need to learn as much as you can about the industry. Go to start-up events, to talks, read the posts, read the blogs, just immerse yourself in it and from there it will be clear for you where your passions lie.”
Passion for side projects
“The people getting hired are talented individuals who have already proven themselves by products they’ve created for themselves, and applications they have been involved with on the side,” says 99designs’ Patrick Llewellyn. Envato’s Cyan Ta’eed agrees. “As an employer, I love seeing people out creating things by themselves, participating in things like Hackfest and learning how to create products from scratch.”