Why I Joined Assemble

Alice Perez
July 21, 2021

Why Assemble?

Have you ever received a job offer and had no idea what to compare it against? Or felt like you had to have multiple offers to get the kind of compensation you were looking for? Or, even worse, been working at a company and found out someone in the same role is making way more than you?

Now imagine the other side of the process for a hiring manager or recruiter. Do they have a compensation band they can reference when creating your offer? Are they keeping track of market data to know what other companies are offering? Is the company making sure merit increases and bonuses are fair across employees? 

Interviewing is stressful enough, so to have the negotiation process be an additional headache for both sides seems unnecessary and broken. I shouldn’t fear undervaluing my skills and experience when looking for a job. And after I’m hired, my company shouldn’t discourage employee conversations around compensation. One of the easiest ways of making people feel like their work is valued is to give their work value

This is why I eventually joined Assemble. Lisa and Enrique know first-hand how compensation is managed and want to fix this broken system. They felt so strongly about it that they started Assemble during the pandemic! 

My own story is a bit more complicated...

How did I get here?

As a college sophomore, I landed an internship in Google’s BOLD program, which is focused on recruiting historically underrepresented students for non-technical roles. At the time, the smartphone market was really starting to take off, Twitter was becoming a news source, and I was at Google’s Chicago office the day Microsoft released Bing. It was an exciting time to be introduced to the industry and I was starstruck. Tech was changing everything it touched and it was creating things I didn't even know were possible. By the time I graduated, I already had a job lined up at LinkedIn as a Sales Development Specialist. I never saw myself in sales but if it meant it was my way into tech, I was going to take it. 

Six years later I had been a part of selling at some of the most recognizable tech brands out there (and some not so recognizable!). I could tell you how these companies made money, who their clients were, and their value propositions, but I couldn’t talk to the underlying technologies that built them into what they are today. I made an effort to learn on my own and the more I dug in, the more I realized that I didn’t just want to get people excited about technology, I wanted to create it. I decided to learn how to code.

In 2017 I attended an engineering bootcamp to help me transition into software engineering and received an offer in Microsoft’s LEAP program that November. I was hired full-time by my sponsoring team there and have been a software engineer since.

Joining the team

This brings me to November 2020 when I got this InMail on Linkedin from an old coworker: 

An InMail conversation between an old colleague and I

Joining a start-up, or any other company, wasn’t really on my mind; six months passed between this message and my accepting the job offer. What changed? I began to feel like I was ready for new kinds of technical challenges and I knew long-term I wasn’t interested in the domain my work was in. I was good at my job but if I didn’t even like what I was doing, why was I there? 

And throughout the interview process I was impressed by the team’s thoughtfulness. After each technical round, Ben sent me follow-up emails of what I did well and what I could work on. This was basically the complete opposite experience of asking an interviewer for feedback only to never hear from them again 👻

I made spreadsheets, talked with friends and family, and sorted out my thoughts on paper. Ultimately, deciding to join Assemble came down to a few questions (in no particular order):

  • Are the problems being addressed by Assemble ones I want to help solve?
  • Do I feel like I can be myself with these people and that I’ll be excited about the work day-to-day?
  • Will I be challenged more, grow faster, and will I be okay with my work-life balance potentially changing in order for that to happen? 
  • Can I accept the amount of risk I am taking financially if the worst-case scenario was to happen? 
  • Do I trust Lisa, Enrique, and the rest of the team with the next phase of my career?  

If you’re considering changing jobs, I hope these questions can help provide you with the clarity that they gave me. And maybe I’ll see you as the next new hire at Assemble :) 

Reach out any time

Questions about joining Assemble? Or want to know more about my transition from sales to software engineering? Or something else entirely? I’d love to hear from you! Send me an email at alice.perez@assemble.inc 

Alice Perez
I’m a software engineer who loves the beach, hiking, and laughing at my own jokes. Outside of work you can find me with one of Assemble's mascots; my ferocious French bulldog, Luna.