How to choose the right Salesforce Consulting Partner

How to choose the right Salesforce Consulting Partner

Choosing the right Salesforce Consulting Partner for you company shouldn’t be a difficult or tedious task, but there’s few key signs to look for to make sure you’re going to get what you need.

Providing implementation, integration, and custom development services for Salesforce requires specialized skill and training to deliver innovative solutions that companies need to make the most of their investment.

The right partner should be focusing on a few areas of expertise to be able to deliver the best solutions for your company.

1) Understanding your goals, customers, and use cases
Before jumping into any project, a good partner with list to your business requirements and seek an understanding of your goals and intentions, as well as your market and customers. Once they’ve analyzed your business and potential use cases, they’ll be able to ideate and come up with multiple potential solutions before settling on the right one to implement. The proposed ideas could all be viable solutions — ranging from the easiest and fastest fix to something more complex. The more advanced solutions could involve new platforms, integrations, and cross-cloud solutions that will have the power to advance business goals faster, more efficiently, and more effectively.

2) Full-service capabilities
In addition to strategizing, planning, and proposing multiple solutions to solve real business needs, the right Salesforce partner should have the necessary team available to implement the solution. The best partners will have a team made up of a consultant, a developer, a testing/QA specialist, and a designer (if needed). The full team working in unison together, from start to finish, ensures that the solution delivered is not only accurate, but achieves the desired results.

3) New technology offerings
A development team that offers software services beyond Salesforce can help businesses leverage their entire tech stack to work together to achieve the best results. In addition to making cross-cloud connections and integrations with other business critical software, they’ll be able to take a comprehensive look at your company’s use of technology. They might be able to advise on software solutions to help you enter a new market, connect with new audiences, and/or automate other business processes to help grow your company.

The Salesforce ecosystem provides amazing functionality that can empower your entire sales and marketing functions. The right Salesforce Consulting partner will help you unlock the fullest potential of Salesforce, while assessing your overarching business goals and challenges. Talk to us today about your Salesforce development needs.

How to integrate Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud

How to integrate Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud

If your company is utilizing both Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud, it’s time to think about the best way to integrate the 2 systems to better serve your overall go-to-market goals.

Your company may be motivated to connect your Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Driving shared goals across departments
  • Unifying your two main revenue generating functions
  • Gathering insights and understanding around your customers
  • Determining key messaging that resonates with audiences
  • Improving communication efforts
  • Setting up automated workflows

The main reason for integrating both platforms is the desired outcome of increasing customer loyalty and sales, as a result of teams and technology working better together. For more information about the benefits of integrating marketing and sales, read here.

When you’ve come to the conclusion that you need to develop an integration, here’s a few steps key steps to consider.

1) Setting your goals and expectations
Round up your sales and marketing team leaders for a conversation around the desired goals and outcomes for the integration. Oftentimes, the integration is helpful for providing more insights about customers. Then, marketing can create branded communications and approved messaging for the sales team to effectively utilize. If everything is in working order, the marketing team is providing the right tools, templates, and assets at the right time for the sales team to become more successful.

2) Prioritize your data
Before integrating Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud, marketing should have a complete understating of the the sales cycle, sales processes, and buyer stages that the sales team works through to get to a closed deal. Understanding buyer decisions and behaviors will help you create the most impactful solution.

Once this information is understood from the sales cycle, marketing can start to consider how to personalize and create targeted content based on prospects and their stage in the purchasing process. In order for marketing to improve the delivery of relevant content that drives sales, they’ll need data sets and attributes from Sales Cloud to inform what message should go out and when.

3) Map out your workflows
The next piece to consider is how data will flow back and forth between the 2 clouds. Experience Salesforce Consultants will help determine the necessary architecture to achieve your desired results. To make everything flow smoothly, the key considerations should be around timing and frequency of data updates and what data needs to be updated back to Sales Cloud.

Now is a great time to consider your entire tech stack as well. While integrating your Salesforce systems, this could be a great time to connect other valuable company data.

4) Build the architecture
Salesforce Consultants can help ensure that the data integration is working accurately, that data is being retained, and that privacy and security are carefully considered as part of the overall solution. While building the data architecture, developers can also set up the right combination of contact builder, journey builder, and automation builder for every use case that your teams need.

5) Test, test, and test again
After your Salesforce development team have executed the necessary architecture and data workflows to achieve your goals, begin internal testing with your team. Key representatives from both Sales and Marketing should observe how everything is working in an effort to optimize the solution and ensure that the proper data is being transferred. Testing should cover various email clients, dynamic data variations, automations, end-to-end testing, and A/B testing as needed.

6) Provide training for your team
Once an integration is planned, mapped, and implemented, you need to make sure that your team is ready to hit the ground running with the new solution.

They should be involved every step of the way to ensure that the solution fits their needs, and that they understand how to take best advantage of the new solution. Be sure to demo the solution multiple times and provide ongoing training.

Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud integrations take careful planning and development to get them done right, but after completed they can save teams hours and hours of time while positively impacting the bottom line. Contact us to see how we can support you team with your Salesforce development needs.

The benefits of integrating Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud

What are the benefits of integrating Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud?

Salesforce offers so many options and features, as well as different Clouds, that it can become overwhelming and time consuming to figure out how to make the best use of your investment and your data. That’s where custom development and integrations come into play.

Many companies adopt one cloud at a time to solve a specific department’s unique challenges. If you’re not integrating your Salesforce Clouds together, then you’re missing out on a handful of benefits that can help streamline your operations.

Today, let’s focus on the benefits of integrating your Marketing and Sales Clouds.

In some organizations, their sales and marketing functions work in lock-step towards the same goals together. In others, the sales team and marketing team have different goals, approaches, processes, and visions for how to grow the company.

Integrating your Marketing Cloud with Sales Cloud can help to drive shared goals and unity across these two functions. Both teams can gather insights and understanding around the offers and messaging that resonate most with customers.

By having visibility into data across sales and marketing, businesses can use these insights to improve their communication efforts. It makes it easier to see how marketing campaigns are impacting sales. And it’s easier for both teams to measure and analyze their combined effort.

As a direct benefit of integrating both Clouds, sales can easily access approved marketing materials within Sales Cloud that the marketing team has built in Marketing Cloud. The Sales team can access a library of content that can be geared towards their target customer. Furthermore, marketing can create sales materials for every stage of the sales funnel. This simple benefit saves everyone time while making the sales role easier and more effective.

Setting up advanced automated workflows and triggers can further improve the benefits of integrating Sales and Marketing Clouds. For example, as a sales team member moves one of their prospects to the next stage in your sales funnel, marketing can set up automated emails and/or text messages that are automatically sent to prospects.

There are many possibilities for cross-coordinating Sales and Marketing. If sales closed a deal, the prospect can then flow into an onboarding experience that the marketing team has set up. Likewise, if sales loses a deal, the prospect can be moved into a nurturing campaign in the hopes of a potential future sale.

Integrating Sales and Marketing Clouds offers so many advantages, including cross-selling and up-selling purposes. Marketing efforts should continue after a prospect has become a customer. Marketing can create campaigns that are sent to existing customers to sell new or different services and products. After you’ve tracked their interactions with your messaging (email clicks, site visits, etc) your sales team can reach out with personalized messaging based on their behaviors to drive more new business.

As your sales and marketing teams continue to support one another and learn from each other, you can continue working together to customize communications and segment your target audiences. By integrating your Sales and Marketing Clouds, you’ll have the ability to personalize and optimize your messaging across every stage of the buyer journey which can have a huge impact on sales!

A Quick Guide to the Different Types of Business Process Automation

A Quick Guide to the Different Types of Business Process Automation

With 63% of businesses saying that automation helped them through the pandemic, companies of all sizes are starting to realize the effect that BPA has on productivity.

Before seeking opportunities to automate processes within your company, you need to understand how BPA works. For example, what are the different types of business process automation?

Keep reading to learn more about how your business processes can benefit from automation.

Types of Business Process Automation

If you’ve been thinking, what is business process automation? Also referred to as BPA, this technology is used to complete repetitive and manual tasks.

You can automate processes like sending out emails. Or you can use other, more complicated business process automation software for workflow programs.

Business process automation aims to increase the speed of tasks, accuracy, and reliability. Therefore, companies need to use these tools if they want their business to be modernized for the digital age.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is commonly used for automating simple tasks that don’t involve multistep decisioning. You can use RPA for basic data collecting and reporting statistics. If you’re just beginning with business process automation, this is a great place to start, and it can be used for small, simple tasks in a company.

Intelligent Automation

The next step up from RPA, intelligent automation, is used for more complicated tasks that are not routine or carried out daily. That means it can be used to gather structured and unstructured data. This is the best business process automation choice if you’re looking for automated help with more complex aspects of your business.

Workflow Automation

For businesses, workflow automation software is excellent for optimizing productivity and streamlining internal processes. A workflow structure allows automation to replicate and complete human tasks faster and more efficiently. So, it can help businesses meet their goals and achieve more sales.

Why You Need Business Process Automation

Another reason to use business process automation is that it saves you money, and you can access complex data quickly. This helps you move forward with market insights and provide better service to your customers. And it takes the pressure off your employees so they can focus on other work tasks that don’t take up as much repetitive time.

Join the Automated Future of Business

When you use business process automation, you can cut costs while being more efficient, so your team can dedicate their time to more strategic endeavors. You can use either RPA, Intelligent Automation, or Workflow Automation. The choice will depend on the goals for your company, and we’re here to help with whatever you decide.

Get in contact to find out about our business process automation services.

What is Business Process Automation?

What is Business Process Automation?

Did you know some experts estimate 47 percent of jobs in the US could be automated within 20 years? While there is some debate about that, it’s an interesting statistic.

Business process automation is a great way to take your company to the next level and prepare it for the future.

First, what is it? Let’s explore more about business process automation and how it can help you.

BPA Explained

BPA can help your organization save time and money. In short, business process automation utilizes software to reduce human effort. The goal is for companies to identify repeatable, multi-step business functions that can be replaced by technology.

BPA solutions tend to be custom-built, because every organization is unique with its own way of operating and conducting business. A custom-built BPA solution is tailored to the specific needs of a company and integrates with existing IT systems.

Traditionally, business process automation is utilized by taking an already existing manual task and automating it. This approach is effective for controlling costs, increasing efficiencies, and limiting errors.

Modern business process automation takes things a step further as more and more companies are thinking about digital transformation and preparing for the future.

Modern BPA explores not only how processes are being executed and maintained, but how they could be improved upon and innovated. All areas of a business are now open to BPA review and consideration including completely new business opportunities and products.

What Tasks Can You Automate?

If you have any manual, administrative, paper-based, or spreadsheet-based processes, you have an opportunity to explore automation.

If you have a business workflow that crosses several departments and touches multiple IT systems, you might have an ever greater need for modern BPA.

What tasks can you really automate? There are more than you might think.

  • Database entry and record-keeping
  • Order entry, invoicing and fulfillment
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Scheduling and project management
  • Communications and business operations
  • Employee satisfaction, learning, and development
  • Financial services
  • Human resource tasks

What Types of Automation Are There?

Task Automation

Task automation minimizes manual tasks. This can include things like sending emails or social media updates.

Workflow Automation

Workflow automation helps automate certain workflows. In some, it can be a combination of automation and human effort. However, there are workflows that can be fully automated.

Robotic Process Automation

Do you have processes that remain the same and require no decision-making? This can be something like moving a set of data from one system to another. This type of automation is described as robotic process automation.

Modern Business Process Automation

BPA software often tackles more complex goals and might include combinations of task, workflow, and RPA automation, as well as connecting to other systems’ APIs.

What are the benefits of business process automation?


Business process automation uses software, applications, and APIs to exponentially speed up complex processes.

Monitoring and reporting

BPA allows users to have transparent data and insights into their workflows which can be configured into dashboard charts and graphs.

Save money

Reducing manual errors that can be costly while speeding up redundant business tasks saves a company’s time and money.

More time

With many tasks being handled by BPA, teams can focus more time on strategy, innovation, creativity, and relationship-building.

Adapt to Changing Business Needs with Business Process Automation Software

Contact HSTK today and talk to one of our consultants about automation strategy.

Technical Debt: What Is Tech Debt and How Can You Solve for It?

Technical Debt: What Is Tech Debt and How Can You Solve for It?

CIOs are reporting that 10 to 20% of the budget they have for technology, which is set aside for new products, goes to taking care of technical debt. Further, a troubling conclusion of the data suggests CIOs believe their technical debt is about 20 to 40% of the entire technology estate value, prior to depreciation.

This may beg a few questions for you. What is technical debt? Also, how do you solve tech debt?

For solutions to this worrisome topic, keep reading.

What is Technical Debt?

You may also hear the term code debt. When a development team takes initiative to rush the delivery of a project, or a part of its functionality, which will later need refactoring, this describes technical debt. It prioritizes speed to deliver a project versus putting an emphasis on perfect code.

The technical debt definition means that there is an associated cost for the added rework. It is an analogy to monetary debt. Should a company not repay its tech debt, it can mean accumulating “interest,” which makes implementing changes more challenging.

It’s important to understand 2 things regarding code debt:

  1. Every piece of software that is actively being built and improved upon will have some amount of technical debt. While that’s the case, it’s critical to not let the debt pile up which creates more risk for the technology functioning properly.
  2. Technical debt can be an intentional strategy to launch a product or to implement a new feature quickly. If it’s an intentional decision to release as soon as possible, developers may take shortcuts in creating code that will later need to be refactored. As long as there is a plan for managing and maintaining the debt in the future, this can be an effective strategy.

How to Solve Tech Debt

The best way to fight it is to prevent tech debt from happening in the first place. Technical debt could increase daily, so implementing proper measures to avoid it is best to start right now. Proven and successful methods are as follows:

1. Refactoring for Code and Architecture

This is the most direct solution. If you organize a refactoring week, you can resolve and/or prevent code debt. You can do this for every X sprint.

This is an opportunity for the development team to evaluate the architecture, resolve open bugs, and prep for product features that are coming soon. You can ask the team to take the time to consider how a new feature could affect the codebase architecture.

Plus, offering a refactoring week is a way to give developers space to breathe. When they have time to think about code before implementing it, it gives them a chance to consider things from all angles and prevent tech debt.

2. Initiate Technical Debt Talks on a Regular Cadence

If you want to hear your engineers share their expertise, this is a fantastic way to do it. You do not need to isolate these meetings to just the engineers. It is a good practice to include stakeholders, too.

If the engineers are facing dilemmas, it is important to understand what they are and if they can be resolved. The meetings should focus on not only what is going well, but also what is not going well. It should be a safe space to share feedback and not place blame so that everyone can focus their time and energy on improvement.

Engineers could share their accomplishments and explain changes. Open communication regularly helps to prevent technical debt.

3. Track It

For boosting the health of your codebase and simplifying what it takes to solve technical problems for your engineers, track it. This includes adding the complete context when there is a codebase issue, creating documentation for what needs to be done, and adding it to the backlog. Technical debt should be something that your team continually works to resolve.

Manage Your Codebase

If you have technical debt, we understand the challenges you face. We can help you manage it throughout the development lifecycle.

If you have a vision, we can partner with you to make it a reality, and without the burden of accumulating technical debt. Contact us now.

What is a Product Development Team?

What is a Product Development Team?

Product development teams are small, interdisciplinary teams that seamlessly work together in order to craft and deploy complex projects with technical proficiency. The way that a product development team is structured can make, or break, the success of the end product.

At Haystack, we consider product development teams to be pods or groupings made up of individual, hands-on practitioners that are skilled in a specific area of expertise. While each individual performs their necessary skill set at the highest level, they rely on each other to collectively launch custom software solutions.

A product development team typically includes at least 1 individual from each of 4 different functions — Product Strategy, Product Management, Design, and Engineering. At HSTK, our product development teams typically range from 5-7 team members, because we include more than 1 developer on each project.

The best product development teams work autonomously at the project level. This means that they operate as a collaborative, agile unit throughout the course of the project. The product team is responsible for delivering the end product, so they regularly share insights and make decisions collectively to steer the product towards success.

In this way, the best product development teams are not assembly lines that move from strategy to design to development to delivery. In a thriving and effective product team, every function is interwoven and supporting each other. Developers collaborate with strategists at project kickoff. Designers craft experiences with regular input from developers. Product managers are always in the mix to pose questions, highlight opportunities, and devise creative solutions.

What are the key roles and responsibilities of an effective product development team?

Product Strategy

A product strategist is responsible for understanding the ‘Why’ before considering the ‘What’ and ‘How’. A strategic technical consultant is involved in product planning and understands the product’s overall vision. They’re effective at MVP definition, feature selection and prioritization, and overall team alignment.

Product Management

A product management team member tracks the product road map and acts as a guide throughout the course of development. They keep the business goals and users’ needs in mind as strategic decisions are being made. They’re responsible for regular and frequent communication, sprint planning, roadmap documentation, and planning releases.

Product Design

Product designers do more than make things look good on screen. They’re strategically weighing design direction based on user needs and technical requirements to devise simple, intuitive experiences. Product designers have a solid grasp of frontend development to be able to deliver rapid prototypes and design systems.

Product Development

Software or application developers should be involved at the beginning of every project to help with technology selection, product planning, mapping integrations, and documentation. Beyond writing code and understanding modern libraries, frameworks, and methodologies, their technical expertise is required at every step of a project.

Need a dedicated Product Development Team to launch your idea?

We’re Haystack, and our team becomes your team as we collaboratively work together to launch a successful product. Contact us now.

What is a Clickable Prototype?

What is a Clickable Prototype?

The value of user experience design goes way beyond making things look good. A clickable prototype is a UX solution that can be useful for many purposes:

  • A clickable prototype can help product owners to sell their idea to company leadership or investors.
  • A clickable prototype will help to capture the correct amount of screens and workflow steps necessary in an application.
  • A clickable prototype can be invaluable to developers who will be building the back end of a product.
  • A clickable prototype can be a critical stage in usability testing to identify design issues before development even begins.

Hi-Fi vs Lo-Fi Prototypes

A clickable prototype is a visual experience that emulates the full functionality of a finished app. These can be created with several different tools, including Figma (recently purchased by Adobe).

A user engaging with a clickable prototype will be able to click on a part of a screen to get to the next page or next interaction of a user flow. In this sense, you can get a really good feel for the visual style of an app as well as the user experience.

It’s important to note that clickable prototypes only represent the front end of an application. All functionality won’t be available, because no data and back end code exists at this point.

A clickable prototype is also referred to as a high-fidelity prototype because it represents both the interaction design and visual design.

Wireframes are a typical pre-cursor to hi-fi prototypes in the product development lifecycle. Wireframes might also be referred to as lo-fi prototypes. Wireframes are an even faster way to document and represent user flows without interactivity and visual styling.

Why Should You Use Clickable Prototypes?

While clickable prototypes may be more costly than their lo-fidelity counterparts, they are still relatively quick and inexpensive while providing immense value to the overall product development lifecycle. As mentioned above, one of the most important reasons for creating a clickable prototype is that the team can learn a lot about the user experience and technical requirements before moving into the development stage.

When Should You Use Clickable Prototypes?

Usability Testing

It’s never too early to identify potential real users of your application. Once you get to the clickable prototype stage, you can ask them to validate the functionality and flows of your user experience design. Catching any errors and improving the experience at this stage can help you avoid the cost of rework that grows exponentially in later stages of development.


Whether you’re developing your product idea internally as part of a larger organization or you’re an entrepreneur launching a new digital product idea, you need to regularly present and gather feedback on the viability of your project. A great presentation deck might be the first step in presenting your idea, but a clickable prototype will really help to sell your stakeholders as they get a visual representation of the features and functionality of the app.

Depending on the prototyping tool used, you can even include advanced visuals, like transitions, animations, and micro-interactions. These can help further understanding of the app functionality while exciting stakeholders or investors.

To learn more about clickable prototypes — including where and when to use them — and if they might be useful for your product concept, give us a call.

35% of Startups Fail for this reason… how can you avoid it?

35% of Startups Fail due to No Market Need

CB Insights’ latest report revealed that the #2 reason startups fail is due to “No Market Need”. Prior reports had this as the #1 reason, but it was displaced from the top spot by cash & funding issues. No surprise there if you’ve been reading the news.  So, what can you do to avoid this failure trap? We’ll explore this in detail here, but first consider this quote we love:

The world doesn’t need more products. What it does need is better solutions to existing problems. So rather than asking yourself, ‘what product can I sell?’ instead ask, ‘what problem can I solve?’ @grettavanriel

Debilitating fear of failure is what holds so many entrepreneurs back from even starting, and that’s a damn shame!  You don’t need to be first, as we’ll illustrate in an example below, and you don’t need to wait to have it perfect in order to have confidence in your idea. So read on, and don’t fear taking that first step.

How do you determine Market Need?

Channel your mad scientist!

Using a proven scientific method can help to inject some much-needed objectivity into your process. Founders love their own ideas, solving complex problems no one really cares about, solving problems they personally experience (which leads to confirmation bias), chasing a competitor’s success, and so on. No one is immune, and some succeed despite it, but your best bet is to follow as objective a process as possible.

For the sake of this blog post, we’ll share an (oversimplified) history of Intuit’s humble beginnines since it’s an excellent example of determining market need in a scientific way.


Scott Cook got the idea from witnessing his wife complaining about the time it took to pay the family bills and struggling to balance the checkbook.

Ask Questions

Cook wondered if other people felt the same way.

Develop a Hypothesis

Cook’s hypothesis was that many experienced the same frustration and didn’t like the current solution.

Run Experiments

He grabbed a few phone books (it was the 80’s after all) and called people at random asking them if they used the then-leading financial software.

Analyze Results

65% had tried it but only 4% actually using it.


Cook’s research revealed that people liked the idea and what it offered, after all 65% had tried it.  But those same people didn’t like the experience they were currently getting, which is why only 4% were actually using it.  He figured that if he addressed the needs (the “jobs to be done” by a better solution) he had a shot at getting market share. Tom Proulx, a student programmer at Stanford, wrote the first Quicken program in his dorm room and the two launched Intuit in a basement with 7 employees.  Today Intuit is worth $120 billion, and Quicken is a household name in personal finances.


Modern-Day Approach to Determining Market Need

While the example above is excellent in illustrating basic scientific methodology, there are far more information and resources available to us today than in the 80’s, and FAR more competition and options as well.  We can’t just pick up a phone book and call people.  So what can you do instead?

  1. Observe & Ask Questions  You can and should still do LOTS and LOTS of interviews with your target customers. Focus on the problem you’re solving, not the product you will sell, and the “jobs to be done” by the solution. Everyone is a bit harder to get to these days, but its the single most beneficial step you can take to determine market need and must not be skipped. So, hustle… then hustle some more. There’s no magic number to how many of these you need to do, but it’s likely more than you want to, so stick with it!  Consider the following places:
    • LinkedIn & Facebook Groups
    • Meetups
    • Reddit
    • Google Surveys
    • Networking events
    • Ask your connections for referrals
  2. Market Research & Analysis  There is more data available now than ever; use what exists. We do plan to cover this in-depth in a future article, sign up for HSTK Insights to get notified if you’re interested.
  3. Develop a Product-Market Fix Hypothesis  Consider you’re most riskiest assumption that could threaten your success… For [product] to succeed, it is necessary that ____________.
  4. Run Experiments against your Riskiest Assumption(s)  Here are 6 types of prototypes to consider; we cover these in depth in our Prototype Examples article
    • Paper – hey, it’s free
    • Powerpoint – yes, really
    • Wireframes – a very basic, bare-bones visual of the flow
    • Landing Page (a favorite!) – run ads to the site to validate interest, perhaps offer some signups or pre-orders
    • UX/UI Shell – a semi-functional visual representation of what your solution will do once it’s developed
    • MVP (Minimum Viable Product) – a bare bones solution
  5. Analyze Results  What is the experience folks have with your solution? Would they recommend it to others? How would they feel if it were taken away? All of this points to FIT and NEED.
  6. Scale Up  If you’re onto something – GO FOR IT. Scale up your solution.



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Behind the Scenes as a Software Consultant at HSTK

Q&A with our newest Software Consultant, Alex Hoopes

Alex candidly shares his experience and a sneak peek behind the scenes into what its really like to be a Consultant at HSTK (Haystack).

“it was immediately apparent that everyone was genuinely interested in me as a person”

Can you tell us a little about your background?

“I graduated in 2018 with a degree in Computer Science. My first job out of college was with a huge company working as an Automation Engineer working on internal-facing applications to help drive efficiency within the organization on a large team. After that I transitioned over to a large marketing firm working full stack on both front end and back end. I had to work within a specific tech stack due to a legacy product that the company had no interest in upgrading or evolving, so I didn’t feel like I was growing as a developer. All of which led me to Haystack.

Outside of work I like taking my dog out, hiking around Phoenix, and games of all sorts; board, video, you name it and I like it. I’m also a movie buff and recently married.”

What were your first 90 days like?

“Actually, one of the coolest things happened before I even started. My wedding date was approaching around the same time as my proposed start date, and Haystack was happy to push back my start date. Most companies would have needed me to start right away with no thought to my life outside of work.

On day 1 my laptop arrived at 9am, smooth.  Then I had one-on-ones with everyone on the team and it was immediately apparent that everyone was genuinely interested in me as a person. For the next few days I worked to set up my development environment the way I like it. The entire onboarding process was smooth and fast, and I jumped right into projects. At past companies the onboarding involved a lot of “thumb-twiddling” waiting for work, but not here!  My first project kicked off immediately working on the back end of a mobile app for a healthcare startup.  The whole team was quick to respond to any questions I had and lend a hand. Never once did I feel like asking questions was annoying anyone, people genuinely wanted to help me succeed.  As the lead Software Consultant on the healthcare mobile app my first 90 days was all about meeting with clients and other partners and working on the project. Never once was I told “this is the tech stack you will use”, I had the freedom to choose what worked best for the project and gained deep experience much faster than I would have at a larger company.”

Tell us about you typical day?

“I wake up at 7am, take my dog to the dog park and have breakfast. Every morning we have stand-up with the whole team (we span 3 US time zones) for a half hour. Every day there are 1 to 2 short  30 minute or less meetings, but other than that I’m left to focus on development.  I stop around noon for lunch and to walk the dog at leisure. We have the freedom to work a flexible schedule as we need, so some days I’ll take a longer walk or run an errand. After lunch break I get back to the project until I come to a logical stopping point.  We aren’t expected to work outside of business hours, but sometimes I’m grooving and I’ll work later.  On Tuesdays I work with the team at a local co-working space. This is optional but everyone does it anyway; I love seeing the team in person and getting away from the house for a day each week. We do a happy hour after work as a team.”

What do you want prospective developers to know about Haystack?

“Professionally, as a smaller company you’re forced to grow and take on more than you would at a larger corporate environment. You’re encouraged to experiment and learn. I have bi-weekly one-on-one’s with my manager to discuss my short and long term career goals, they’re very committed to helping me grow. As a Software Consultant there is more emphasis on client-facing communication. I love that it cuts out the middleman – you get to hear directly from the customers about the problems you’re solving and their ideas. A lot gets lost in translation in traditional client communication structures, and the whole development process is a lot more collaborative and outcomes-driven versus just being assigned specific tasks from an invisible pipeline. I love being able to work with the context shared directly from the client, and I think it creates better outcomes for everyone.

Personally, being here is tremendously confidence-building thanks to the team that props you up and supports you day in and day out. And unlimited PTO meant I’m able to take my honeymoon sooner because I’m not waiting to “bank” my hours in advance and wait, which my wife and I really appreciate! And the flexible schedule allowed me to support a family member in need. Everyone on the team gets along really well, and we have fun at work but definitely get the job done. I’m really happy here and looking forward to continuing to grow within the company.”

Interested in working for HSTK (Haystack) or know someone who might be?  We’re hiring!