Employee Spotlight: Caitlin Davis, Senior Director of Software Engineering

min read
Employee Spotlight: Caitlin Davis, Senior Director of Software Engineering

The past year at Invoca has been marked by incredible growth. The company has doubled in size and achieved unicorn status, but we haven’t lost sight of what got us here—our people. Invocans have made their feelings about working here clear, as Invoca has been named a Great Places to Work winner for five years running. In the surveys, employees use words like “flexible,” “transparent,” and “amazing” to describe their workplace.

To celebrate our success, we want to shine a spotlight on the people who have made all of this possible. Today, we’re featuring Caitlin Davis, Senior Director, Software Engineering at Invoca. She’s worked at the company for over six years and helped shape our industry-leading product. 

Check out our Q&A with Caitlin below, where she talks about how the engineering department drives collaboration, how Invoca differs from other places she’s worked, and why she’s excited about the future of the company.

Psst… By the way, we’re hiring. Are you interested in joining the leader in conversation intelligence? Visit our careers page to check out our open positions.

How would you describe Invoca’s culture in one word?

Collaborative. Invoca team members want to see everybody succeed together. And that's so different from some of the previous places that I've been at. It's just really refreshing to work with smart, driven people who want to bring everybody up and not tear anybody down.

Can you share an example of how the company culture has impacted or improved your life? 

I've had a really great opportunity for career growth at Invoca since I've been here. I moved into management after I started and was able to grow into the role, thanks to my great managers, peers, and direct reports. 

It's been a huge change in my career as I came in as a senior software engineer and moved up to a senior director. Invoca has given me a chance to build a lot of new skills, like coaching direct reports, guiding strategy, and interviewing top talent. Throughout the process, I’ve always felt like I had the support I needed to succeed.

How has Invoca been different from other places you’ve worked?

My coworkers genuinely care about helping their teammates succeed, making sure everyone’s opinions are heard, and maintaining a good work-life balance. The company puts people first and we value the experiences people bring to work every day. It’s much more supportive than other companies I’ve worked at that had an everyone-for-themselves mentality. In fact, Invoca rewards employees who go above and beyond to help others and be team players. 

Has the culture changed at all as the company has grown? 

When I first started at Invoca in 2016, the company was much smaller and so was the engineering team. Since most of us worked in person together in Santa Barbara, it was easier to take shortcuts and to know what projects were going on just by being in the office and talking to people. 

We now have employees all over the world, but we’ve maintained our same collaborative culture. We use Slack, Zoom, and other tools to make sure that we're still having face-to-face time with teams and staying on the same page. It's helped us keep that small company feel, even though we are larger now.

Do you feel employees have the ability to grow here at Invoca? Explain how that’s unique here. 

Invoca is very invested in helping people build new skills and reach their career goals. On the engineering team, everyone has weekly one-on-ones with their manager, where they can talk about where they see themselves in the future. The manager will give them actionable things to work on towards that goal. And if there’s a project coming up that will help them reach their goal, the manager can make sure they have a chance to work on it.

We also have mentorship programs in engineering where people can talk with employees who aren’t their direct managers and get advice and learn from their experiences. Sometimes there will be an engineer who has already walked the same path that you want to walk, and you can pair up with them to learn the hard and soft skills they built to get to the next level. 

The quarterly coaching sessions are also really helpful. These are regular check-ins to see how things went in the past quarter, and what you should be working on in the next quarter to reach your career goals. I've been at previous companies that just had perfunctory annual reviews, and it was really hard to look back at a full year and remember everything. So, I really like that we have regular reviews where we can check in and see if we need to course correct. This helps us ensure that employees are growing and that they’re on the right path.

Another unique thing about Invoca is that I've seen a lot of people move to different roles and different departments within the company as part of their career goals. For example, maybe they realized that they wanted to move to sales or CS instead of engineering. Invoca is great about accommodating these changes and helping employees do the work they want to do.

As an engineer, do you do the same old thing every day at Invoca or is it more stimulating? 

One of the things that I love about being an engineer is that the work is never finished and there's always more to learn. I've talked with a lot of people who aren’t in engineering and they’re often bored with their jobs because they know how to do everything. They've repeated the same processes a hundred times, and that's just not possible when you're working with software. There are always improvements to be made, bugs to be fixed, and new tools to learn. 

Once we’ve finished a project or deployed a new feature, we celebrate our success. We love helping our customers succeed. After that, we ask, “How can we make it even better?” or “What’s the next thing that we should attack?” or “What else can we do to help our customers?” It’s exciting to always have new challenges to face and to have team members who can help you problem solve to get it done.

What keeps you coming into work every day after six years on the job?

One of my favorite parts about Invoca is our core value of continuous improvement. We're always making adjustments to help things run more efficiently. 

I also love the people that I get to collaborate with every day. They’re some of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with, and they’re passionate about shipping customer value. It’s great that nobody is siloed or on their own island or working totally by themselves. It's really a team-based culture. 

Our company has an egoless mentality. Some of our past interns have had the opportunity to work directly with our CTO who's been here since the beginning. I love the fact that people just want to solve interesting problems and they don't stand on their titles. The CTO will gladly work with an intern because there's a cool project that that intern is working on and he wants to be involved.

What excites you the most about Invoca’s future?

What excites me about Invoca’s future is that we’re continuing to expand our product offering and the type of customers we work with. In the past, we focused on software for marketers, but we recently created a new solution for contact center teams. It's exciting to think about the new processes and technologies that we'll have to explore to succeed in this new space. 

If you could say one thing to someone thinking of working here, what would it be? 

I would let them know that they’ll get an opportunity to grow their career, learn new skills, and do it in a supportive environment. And they’ll meet some amazing people along the way!

We’re Hiring!

As the leader in conversation intelligence, Invoca is a fast-growing company. We’re hiring for a number of roles and we’d love to have you join the team. Check out our careers page to learn about open opportunities. 

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