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DISCLOSURE: I work for SpotHero.

COVID-19 has hit our partners (and us) hard.

We’ve recently gone through layoffs. Since I arrived at SpotHero in June 2018, we’ve been really deliberate about the team we’ve built. There wasn’t and isn’t a bad apple in our bunch. Sure we’ve all got areas we can grow, but we are a team. The shittiest part about all of this has been that we’ve had to say goodbye to some of those great people.

This is now the 4th of 5 jobs I’ve experienced layoffs. I’ve been on both sides of the layoffs and in both IC and manager roles. No matter what lens someone views layoffs through, it just sucks.

For those that are let go, there’s uncertainty about the present - Why me? - and the future - What am I going to do? For those that remain, it can sometimes only prolong the emotional distress - Why did I “survive?” When are the next layoffs coming and will it be my turn? For those that manage, you bear not only your own emotional weight, but also the weight of those that report to you - How can I do that to someone? What can I do to help those around me not feel bad? Did I do everything I could have to prevent this?

Nearly overnight we went from a growth-mindset to a survive-mindset.
That meant shifting our engineering focus on the engineering team from “How do we scale up by 100% within the next year?” to “How do we make sure this is the right size yesterday?!” As a silver-lining, this is a different, unexpected, (almost) fun technical challenge to serve as a good escape from the things going on around us. We’ve gotten really good at digging into costs using the AWS Cost Explorer. We’ve uncovered some improvements in tagging our AWS resources so that we can better identify slack spend. I’ve gotten really good at renegotiating deals with various vendors and am deeply appreciative of their flexibility in this time.

I’m not sure where this will end. I’m not sure if I’ll have a job when it does. I hope everyone ends up safe and has opportunities to climb back.


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