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The people behind the tech: an inside look at Conga engineering

Kelli Blystone

August 26, 2019

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At Conga, our team culture is a core part of who we are as a company. We think Conga is a great place to work, and we want to share our experiences—and our team!—with the world. In our Employee Spotlight blog series, we’re introducing readers to the talented folks in the Conga offices, and sharing how they’re finding success on this high-growth, fast-paced team.

Today we’re talking to Josh Ott to learn more about the culture of our engineering and development teams, what inspires him in his role, and what he looks for in a new hire.

Name: Josh Ott
Title: Principal Software Development Engineer

How long have you worked at Conga?

I’ve worked at Conga for almost three and a half years.

What’s a little known fact about you?

I use to be a semi-pro gamer, or at least as close as you could call it back in those days. Not comparable to the big streamers of today or the tournaments with million dollar purses. But I did play on a team sponsored by Subway and took home some cash prizes. I think I even have an old team shirt somewhere. Whenever I bring it up I feel like one of those old guys talking about his high school football days...

What inspires you as an engineer?

Helping people solve problems—it’s really that simple. Whether it’s a problem a colleague is facing or coming up with creative solutions for our customers, I love the challenge of it. I think one of the best feelings is when you’ve been stuck on an issue and you have that “aha!” moment. The sense of accomplishment, excitement, or sometimes just relief is what drives me. As an engineer I’m lucky that there will always be problems to solve.

How would you describe the culture on your team?

I work with our DocGen team, which is actually three teams, so it varies. However, there are similarities I see on those teams and across other teams I get to work with. The engineers at Conga are always ready to collaborate. I can walk into one of our scrum rooms at any time and bounce questions and ideas off of others. When I walk past the scrum rooms I always see others looking at screens together or talking designs over on white boards. One of our core values at Conga is "Passion with a Purpose," and I think it’s one that you can see wherever you look at Conga.

What would you hope a new hire could contribute to the department? 

Whether it's a senior or junior developer, I hope that a new hire joins us ready to inspire change for the better. It can be someone introducing us to a new technology. It can be someone looking to improve one of our processes. It can be someone who isn’t really sure how to make things better yet, but wants to learn, collaborate, and be a part of the process. At Conga we want engineers who are looking to deliver five-star value at every point in the process.

What does your career path look like? How is Conga helping you get there?

As an engineer here at Conga, I’ve always been an individual contributor. I started as a senior, became a team lead, and am now one of our Principal Engineers. Conga has continuously placed challenges in front of me and enabled me to succeed. 

There was a time where I entertained the idea of management, and leadership laid out plans for my transition. They were patient as I vacillated between my options. I ended up remaining an engineer but it was comforting to have support as I looked to my future.

What excites you most about working for Conga?

Our rapid growth is exciting. Day-to-day as an engineer I don’t usually see immediate return on the time and effort I spend on our applications. Watching us grow in the three years I’ve been here, though, I know we are doing something right. The excitement of growth is not only the success, but also the challenges that come with it. Every day at Conga means a customer has a new use case and wants to utilize our applications in a unique way. We get to help solve those problems for them and enable them to be successful.

Help us get to know your life outside of Conga: describe your perfect Saturday.

Sleeping in is life’s greatest pleasure, so I’d definitely be doing that. Making my daughter laugh until she is almost in tears is the highlight of any day. If we’re talking perfect, then we’d get the NFL to have games on Saturday too. Past that, gaming until the wee hours knowing I can sleep in again on Sunday. That’s a perfect day.
 

If you’re interested in a career where you’ll be empowered to make technical decisions and can be seen as an expert in your space, take a look at the opportunities in Conga’s engineering organization! We’re looking for talented developers in mid- to senior-level roles in test automation, DevOps, and management in our Broomfield, Orlando, and Indianapolis locations. Check out the open roles and see where you fit on the Conga team.

Kelli Blystone

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