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At Encord, we believe in empowering employees to shape their own careers. The company fosters a culture of ‘trust and autonomy’, which encourages people to think creatively and outside the box when approaching challenges. We strongly believe that people are the pillars of the company. With employees from over 20 nationalities, we are committed to building a culture that supports and celebrates diversity. For us, we want our people to be their authentic self at work and be driven to take Encord's mission forward. Rad Ploshtakov was the first employee at Encord and is a testament to how quickly you can progress in a startup. He joined as a Founding Engineer after working as a Software Engineer in the finance industry, and is now our Head of Engineering. Hi Rad! Tell us about yourself, how you ended up in Encord, and what you’re doing. I was born and raised in Bulgaria. I moved to the UK to study a masters in Computing (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning) at Imperial College London. I am also a former competitive mathematician and worked in trading as a developer, building systems that operate in single digit microseconds. Then I joined Encord (or Cord, which is how we were known at the time!) as the first hire - I thought the space was really exciting, and Eric and Ulrik are an exceptional duo. I started off as a Founding Engineer and, as our team grew, transitioned to Head of Engineering about a year later. I am responsible for ensuring that as an engineering team we're working on what matters most for our current and future customers - I work closely with everyone to set the overall direction and incorporate values for the team. Nowadays, a lot of my time is also spent on hiring, and on helping build and maintain an environment in which everyone can do their best work. What does a normal day at work look like for you? Working in a startup means no two days are the same! Generally, I would say that my day revolves around translating the co-founders' goals into actionable items for our team to work on - communicating and providing guidance are two important aspects of my role. A typical day includes meeting with customers and prospects, code reviewing, and supporting across different initiatives. Another big part is collaborating with other teams to understand what we want to build and how we are going to build it. Can you tell us a bit about a project that you are currently working on? Broadly speaking, a lot of my last few weeks has been supporting our teams as they set out and execute on their roadmaps. 2023 will be a huge year for us at Encord, and we're moving at a very fast pace, so a lot of my focus recently has been helping us be set up for success. As for specific projects, I'm very excited about all the work our team is doing for our customers. For example, our DICOM annotation tool has recently been named the leading medical imaging annotation tool on the market - which is a huge testament to the work our team has poured into it over the last year. I remember hacking together a first version of our DICOM annotation tool in my first (admittedly mostly sleepless!) weeks at Encord, and seeing how far it's come in just a few months has been one of the most rewarding parts of my last year. What stood out to you about the Encord team when you joined? Many things. When I first met the co-founders (Eric & Ulrik), I was impressed by their unique insights into the challenges that lay ahead for computer vision teams - they can simultaneously visualize strikingly clearly what the next decade will look like, while also being able to execute at mind-boggling speed in the moment, in that direction. I was impressed also by how smart, resourceful and driven they were. By the time I joined, they had been able to build a revenue generating business with dozens of customers - getting to understand deeply the problems that teams were facing and then iterating quickly to build solutions that not even they had thought about. What is it like to work at Encord now? It's a very exciting time to be at Encord. Our customer base has been scaling rapidly, and the feedback loop on the engineering cycle is very short, so we get to see the impact of our work at a very quick pace which is exciting - often going from building specs for a feature, to shipping it, showing it to our customers, and seeing them starting to use it all happen in a span of just a few weeks. A big part of working at Encord is focusing a lot on our customer's success - we always seek out feedback, listen, and apply first principles to the challenges our customers are facing (as well as getting ahead with ones we know they'll be facing soon that they might not be thinking about yet!). Then work on making the product better and better each day. How would you describe the team at Encord now? The best at what they do - also hardworking, very collaborative and always helping and motivating each other. One of our core values is having a growth mentality, and each member of our team has come into the company and built things from the ground up. Everyone has a willingness to roll up their sleeves and make things happen to grow the company. A resulting factor of this is also that it's okay to make mistakes - we are constantly iterating and trying to get 1% better each day. We have big plans for 2023 & are hiring across all teams! ➡️ Click here to see our open positions
Learn more about life at Encord from our Product Designer, Mavis Lok! Mavis Lok, or ‘Figma Queen’ as we’d like to call her, thrives in using innovation and creativity to enhance the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) of our products. She listens closely to our customers’ needs, conducts user discovery, and translates insights into tangible and elegant solutions. You will find Mavis collaborating with various teams at Encord (from the Sales and Customer Success teams, to the Product and Engineering teams) to ensure that the product aligns with our business goals and user needs. Hi, Mavis, first question is what inspired you to join Encord? When I was planning the next steps in my career, I knew that I wanted to join an emerging and innovative tech startup. In the process, I stumbled upon Encord - with a pretty big vision of helping companies build better AI models with quality data. A problem that seemed ambitious and compelling. I had my first chat with Justin [Encord's Head of Product Engineering], and he gave me great insights into the role, the company, and the domain space, which tied nicely with my design experience and what I was looking for in my next role. I was evaluating many companies, and I made sure (and I'd recommend to anyone reading!) to speak to as many employees from the company I could meet. The more people I met from Encord, the more and more eager I became to join the team. Could you tell me a little about what inspired you to pursue a career in product design? Hah, great question! I was previously in creative advertising and was trained as a Creative/Art Director. During my free time, I would participate in advertising competitions where I would pitch ideas for brands, and I’d always maximize my design potential through digital-led ideas. That brought me to work as a Digital Designer and then as a Design Manager, where I got my first glimpse of what it was like to work closely with co-founders, engineers, and designers. The company I was working at, was going through a transition from an agency to a SaaS type business model, and I found many of the skills I'd developed were actually an edge for what product design requires. Having an impact in balancing business needs, and product development challenges whilst creating products that are user-centric and delightful to use - is why I love what I do every day. How would you describe the company culture? I think the people at Encord are what sets us apart. With a team of over 20 nationalities, it’s an incredible feeling to work in an environment where diversity of thought is encouraged. The grit, ambition, vision, and thoughtfulness of the team are why I enjoy being part of Encord. What have been some of the highlights of working at Encord? Encord has given me the space to throw light on the impact that design can bring to the company and build more meaningful relationships with the team and, of course, our customers. Another big highlight for me is practicing the notion of coming up with ideas rapidly whilst being able to identify the consequences of every design decision. Brainstorming creativity whilst critically is something I hold dearly in my creative/design life, so it’s definitely a highlight of my day-to-day at Encord. On a side note, Encord is also a fun place to work. Whether it is Friday lunches, monthly social activities, or company off-sites, there are plenty of opportunities to have a good time with the team. Lastly, what advice would you give someone considering joining Encord? The first thing I would say is you have to be authentic during the interview, and you should also genuinely care about the mission of the company because there is a lot of buzz around the AI space right now - genuine interest lasts longer than hype. I would recommend reading our blogs on the website; it's a great place to start, as you can gain a lot of insight from it. From learning more about our customers, to exploring where our space is headed. We have big plans for 2023 & are hiring across all teams. Find here the roles we are hiring for.
We sat down with Denis Gavrielov, Full Stack Engineer at Encord, to learn more about his day-to-day. Denis is an essential player on the Engineering team, he has been a part of Encord's exciting journey from a small 8-person team to the dynamic startup it is today. He walks us through the highs and lows of his experiences, the camaraderie he shares with his team, and the thrill of working on some truly fascinating projects. If you've ever wondered what it's like to work at a startup like Encord, strap in and join us for this conversation! Denis, first question. What inspired you to join Encord? I applied about two years ago when the team was still getting started (we were eight people strong — all engineers!). At that time, I wasn't sure if I wanted to join a startup as I had been working in a larger company up until then (Bloomberg). I met most of the team throughout the interview process, and the more I spoke to everyone, the more I felt I'd really enjoy working with them. I also had a great first impression of the founders (Eric & Ulrik) and the more I spoke with them the more I got a sense for how strong their skillset was and how unique and unparalleled of an opportunity it'd be. The combination of team, founders, and opportunity is what ultimately led me to join Encord. I still remember my first week sitting in our 10m2 office space in the middle of Soho without any meeting rooms or kitchen, quite different from today! Very different from now indeed! What does a typical day as a full-stack engineer at Encord look like? Every day is a bit different. Some people like to focus on back-end engineering and some like front-end work — I like to work on both! Typically, I start by catching up with everyone's messages on Slack. I might have one or two meetings in the morning before starting to code. Throughout the day there's a lot of collaboration via impromptu short catch-ups in person or on Slack. During these meetings, I often discuss architectural designs and problem-solving strategies with more senior team members. A significant component of my day is spent coding and solving problems. And I guess you fit in lunch in between that as well, right? That's true, a good lunch break is important for recharging! I usually grab lunch with a few colleagues — if the weather is nice, like during the summer, we enjoy our lunch outside. On Fridays, the entire team gets together in the office for a company lunch, that's always fun and one of my favorite Encord traditions. You mentioned teamwork and customer centricity — how would you describe the company culture at Encord more broadly? The company culture is very collaborative. The founders and senior managers are encouraging and open to suggestions, so it's easy to take (good) decisions independently. We try to maintain a relaxed office culture focused on team success, where people are free to work in a manner that works best for them and for us as a team more broadly. People are always trying to help each other out and break down any silos there might arise — although we've been very intentional though about building the right environment, so luckily there are very little silos in the first place. For example, our engineering and commercial team all work in one big room and getting context or feedback is incredibly quick. Another key part of our culture is being able to adapt quickly. Previously, I was working at Bloomberg in an infrastructure team, where we had to plan everything very precisely. Everything had to be correct from the start, and every decision would need to go through many layers of approval and planning sessions. Speed of progress was naturally quite different. Here at Encord, we are a nimble, rapid team — we move quickly and have been able to achieve things that teams many times our size have struggled with. Customers tell us every week how much better our product is compared to other alternatives they're looking at. It is always very rewarding when we hear this feedback. What we aim for as a team is to be great — ship high-performing industry-leading products quickly, get feedback from customers and prospects early, and consistently focus on building what customers and users really want. I think these are the two principles that stand out to me as an engineer the most. Can you tell us a bit about a project that you're currently working on? One of the projects I'm working on is overhauling of our task management system. The core problem we're trying to solve is that our customers need a detailed overview and a flexible interface to control the annotation and review process for their data operations. The process can be complicated, involving multiple review stages and different levels of scrutiny. So we're developing a system to allow our clients to implement more complex workflows and be able to review the process even faster! In terms of how I spend my time between collaborating and individual development, it varies heavily by what point of the project we're in. At the beginning, a large part of my time is spent brainstorming, talking through the objectives with other engineers and product managers, and listening in on client calls. After gathering ideas and refining our approach, I spend most of my time coding and focusing on the project — while still staying in sync with the rest of the team so that we keep moving quickly in the same direction. Lastly, what advice would you give to someone considering working at Encord? Many people reach out to me each week asking this and there's a few things I think many people don't consider. Encord is obviously in a very exciting position — we're a strong team, in the right market (AI infrastructure), and have a clear vision of what the future will be like and what we need to build to get there. Yet early-stage startups, especially ones moving very quickly, require working-modes and dispositions that the vast majority of people are not looking for nor comfortable with — and that's okay! If you don’t particularly enjoy collaborating on tasks, or you prefer being told very precisely/prescriptively what to do, or you're not at the stage in your career where you want to own processes, then I'd say Encord (and similar-type companies) are probably not the best fit. It really depends on what excites you. Here, you need to embrace pace, ownership, collaboration, and autonomy, often to degrees you may not have considered possible. These are key traits that, I think, have all made us successful in our roles. If you want to own problem areas and find solutions, if you like collaborating and prototyping MVPs quickly to get client feedback early, and if you pride yourself in making the right decisions with limited amounts of information — then Encord may be a good fit! Thank you, Denis! We have big plans for 2023 & are hiring across all teams. Find here the roles we are hiring for!
Encord loves fun events with the team
Do your work when you are the most productive
Work from home and in the office
We equip you with the newest Apple gear
Your health is our top priority
Generous PTO that allows you to recharge
We sponsor visas for exceptional candidates
We buy lunch for the office on Fridays
Cycle to work
Benefit from our cycle to work scheme