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Bee-hind the Scenes: Sandra Robotos

by on September 25, 2015

The following is a story from ecobee employee Sandra Robotos. Learn more about life at ecobee!

Sandra – I wasn’t looking for a new job when a recruiter contacted me. Headhunters reach out to me frequently for new positions and openings at their work. Normally I just disregard them, but this recruiter said something that appealed to me, and that was “ownership”. The ownership of projects and providing input into a project from the beginning and at every stage along the way truly appealed to me. I came from an agency, and ownership is not something you get in an agency environment as a Front End Developer. They more or less throw you into projects at any stage and pull you off as they need you.

I’ve only been at ecobee for a short time, and so far it’s been a very positive experience. I’ve already had the opportunity to sit in on multiple meetings to help strategize. It’s great to be involved in a project from the beginning and I’m looking forward to being able to do more of this.

Right now, I’m in a lot of meetings for collaboration and trying to experiment with different User Interface elements and design trends. I’ve taken an interest in Google Material Design and have been creating useful prototypes for ecobee. I think my role will involve a lot more of this and, of course, a lot of coding.

In my last position, I was tasked to build a responsive website for a big client, and I only had a week to do it and I’m happy to say that I got it done in time. It was a challenge, but it was also a great accomplishment. I realized that you don’t know what you are capable of until you benchmark yourself with a great feat like this.

I think that working at ecobee will let me grow in my career. It will also give me the freedom to turn it into whatever direction it might be going. In the next year or two I might discover I want to do more leadership and management. ecobee will allow me to go in a direction that I want and naturally evolve and organically choose whatever role I would like to fulfill.

To me, a Front End Developer is someone who is passionate about the design and the interaction for the audience. It’s important to have a good design and make it usable to people. A Front End Developer is charged with making an intuitive site. I also think that our focus should be on accessibility. For example, when blind people who are using a reader to communicate with a browser, it is my job to code with this audience in mind from the beginning.

I took a class at the CNIB, and they made us use the website with a screen reader to experience the frustration that people who use assisted technology to read a screen experience. If it’s difficult to navigate, you abandon it. I want to make sure that everyone trying to access the ecobee site has the best experience possible. Accessibility shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Everyone here at ecobee has been so nice to me. It’s a welcoming and warm environment, and I think this makes it easy and exciting to come in to work every day. When I came in for an interview, Madeleine (our Office Coordinator) was away from her desk. Every single person who walked by asked if I had been helped or needed anything. There’s no “it’s not my job” mentality here because people care. These little things are very telling about a company.

You need to care if you want to succeed at ecobee. You need to care about what you do and not view your job and work as a place from where you get your next paycheque. I think this is what the company is trying to bring in when we hire new employees. It’s this type of mentality that makes the world of difference for company culture and for delivering the best customer experience possible.