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My tech-life at The Climate Choice
We live in the digital era. Information technology is a massive driving force for modern day business operations. It is also now that time-critical climate policies and decisions are being undertaken globally. Not surprisingly, there is a clear upsurge of technology driven climate solutions in today’s markets – several of them being start-ups. What is life like as a tech person at one such start-up?
For an IT professional in 2022, today is always the best day for better career opportunities. Then again, what defines a ‘better career opportunity’ is highly subjective. As a personal choice, I would prioritize a healthy work environment where I can grow at my own pace, over and above everything else. And that is exactly what was promised to me when I started working as a software developer at The Climate Choice. Half a year down the road, I find myself in a happy space, surrounded by like-minded people, in what is undeniably the most positive work environment I’ve been part of so far.
Our Working Environment and Team Spirit
Life at TCC is quite different from any other workplace I have had. Even though we all are hired into specific roles, we find the time and opportunity to know about each other’s work updates – be it from any department. We work (mostly) remotely but make a conscious effort to stay connected via virtual no-agenda meetings or informal team gatherings. All of us share a sense of collective achievement in anything positive that drives TCC forward – sales targets being met, new investors, growing public outreach of our company, positive feedback from our clients or just simply experiencing our web app go live with its first few external users being onboarded. We collectively celebrate it all.
Workload at a start-up is inherently unpredictable – and it is no different at TCC. We have our easy going days, and days which are just outright hectic. However, we have the freedom to speak up – discuss blockers, seek help or even grab a virtual coffee (or a real one) with a colleague to take our minds off things. None of it is met with judgment or even remotely discouraged.
A Typical Day in Tech at TCC
From the tech perspective – we always have newer features to incorporate, older ones to improve and upcoming ones to talk about. It’s safe to say, we are never out of tasks. A typical day starts with a round of discussion over ongoing issues via Jira’s Kanban board. The backend team works predominantly with Django (with Postgres), Celery and Redis. The frontend is written in React. We use Sentry for error logging and AWS S3 for storage. We strive to iteratively enhance our web-app as per gathered feedback from both internal and external users.
Our DevOps team continually tries to improve our Git CI/CD pipeline, infrastructure architecture and deployment cycles. We use Docker and Dokku for containerization and deployments. We are gradually moving towards incorporating Kubernetes into our tech stack.
In recent months, analytics has been a hot topic for us. We are currently building dashboards with insights from how users interact with our web-app and products for our internal teams, external users, investors and potential clients. We are using Posthog and Redash for data collection and dashboard prototyping.
A major project scheduled for the upcoming months is the data ingestion pipeline, which would involve almost the entirety of the tech team as per the initial plan. We envision orchestrating an automated, self-sustained system that populates our data lake with companies of interest (ie. from our perspective – companies that could serve as sustainable alternatives for different industries).
Constructive Feedback, Knowledge Sharing & Open-minded Attitude
Besides our ongoing projects, we actively pursue knowledge sharing, providing constructive feedback and maintaining a non-judgemental attitude towards different individuals within the team. Decision-making and planning is done through a bottom-up approach within TCC rather than in the usual top-down manner. Every opinion matters and every new idea is welcomed.
Here at TCC, we are driven by our vision of aiding enterprises and their supply chains to evaluate and monitor their emissions. With the ever growing consensus around climate change and corporate responsibility towards decarbonization of businesses and industries, the IT industry plays a pivotal role. We can help build better digital solutions, drive management decisions through data analytics, and in general, revolutionize how companies adapt their day-to-day operations in adherence to sustainability concerns. We are far from being there, but every day is a step forward into realizing our mutual dream.