Hi friends!

If you've been following tech news, y'all know how wild this last week has been. Total bananas. Sure, there have been layoffs happening consistently throughout this entire year, but the recent wave(s) from darlings and giants like Stripe, Lyft, Opendoor, Coinbase, Chime, Twitter, (the list goes on), and of course, Meta, are certainly startling. Plus, FTX's rapid downfall has me stunned and speechless, too! 

For Key Values, Q4 is always the biggest and best quarter... except for this year. 😬 A lot of companies have frozen hiring, or at least greatly reduced their headcount goals, and real talk, I'm not sure how cold or long this winter is going to be. I'm still getting my bearings on whether I'm being overly cynical or overly optimistic, but so far, here is what I know:

First, tech is a bubble, and engineering within the tech world is a bubble within a bubble. Generally speaking, software engineers are first in line when it comes to who companies prioritize when hiring, and are more insulated than other types of roles.

Second, capital is still being deployed by VCs (albeit more conservatively). It's much harder for growth stage companies to raise rounds right now, but checks are still being written for early/seed stage startups! These companies, along with those that raised in 2021 or earlier this year (good timing 👏), are still expected to spend that money in order to grow. And growing = hiring.

Third, while all of these layoffs will understandably spook folks, startup founders are built different. Many will recognize this as a great opportunity to hire people who have been shackled by golden handcuffs at these other giants. Many more will recognize that one of the best times to get ahead is when everyone else is slowing down. So if you have an affinity for small startups, or finally want to get some experience working on an early team, this is the perfect time to do the damn thing!

Lastly, I'm still getting inbound submissions from companies interested in creating a Key Values profile. This is my best signal that companies are definitely still hiring. (For comparison, the first few months of the pandemic were actual crickets. I got zero inbound.) Even in the worst case scenario for me (no one has budget for Key Values and I need to find a new gig myself), it's still good news for job seekers because it means employers are hiring, they're just being extra judicious with spend. (And likely funneling that money toward things like compensating their new hires!)

All of this is encouraging, but I think that things could get even spicier... There is typically a delay or lag due to the way LPs and funds work. When the tech economy first started looking like 💩👎, we were still seeing startups raise growth rounds (like a Series B, C, or D). Only months later are we really seeing those growth rounds slow down. So I'm mentally preparing for things to get even darker and more grim in the coming months...

We'll all obviously have to wait and see how the cookie crumbles, but until then, my advice is to just focus on what you can control. If you've just been laid off and are feeling burned out, I feel you. (I really do.) But don't think you have to wait until the new year to start looking for another role! In fact, it's probably better to start looking now and line something up. Amidst all the craziness and uncertainty, I keep hearing that companies are struggling to hire, and my best guess is that everyone is taking a breather as the dust settles before they start their search. If that's the case, take initiative and make moves now. Be the early bird and beat the rush. There are plenty of companies who are eagerly awaiting your application...

Karat (profile) 📍 Remote (US)
Provides relocation support. Sponsors work authorizations.
Karat is a technical interviewing platform that helps companies hire engineers. During down times, we see companies make layoffs and step away from their diversity and inclusion promises (sigh). But not Karat! They've made zero layoffs, have actually grown, and gone a step further in their commitments this year. With Partners of Brilliance, they fast-track Black engineers with partner companies like Prime Video and Duolingo. (Ps. They're also looking for a summer intern!)

CareMessage (profile) 📍 Remote (Global - Requires Overlap with EST)
Does not provide relocation support. Does not sponsor work authorizations.
CareMessage helps over 10 million underserved patients improve their health with preventive care. Not only are they 70% self-supported, but their status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit also ensures they always put customers’ needs first. After hurricane Ian in Florida last month, they created a free account for a large health center in need of an immediate solution for communicating with patients and staff. ❤️ 

Virta (profile) 📍 Remote (US)
Does not provide relocation support. Sponsors work authorizations on a case-by-case basis.
Virta is working to reverse diabetes in 100 million people by 2025 without medications. Their app provides access to continuous remote medical care, educational resources, and individualized nutrition therapy. For National Diabetes Month (aka right now!) the team launched a three-part series on addressing disparities in type 2 diabetes care. They have several open roles across the board.

Render (profile) 📍 San Francisco, CA or Remote (US)
Provides relocation support. Sponsors work authorizations.
Render’s cloud platform allows independent devs, small startups, and big enterprises to easily host everything from simple static sites to complex apps. (I use Render for Key Values!) Since Heroku ended its free tier, they've made it extra easy to migrate apps over to Render, and yup, the numbers speak for themselves. With 10.5B+ requests served monthly and 1M+ services created, business is good. 👏

Upduo (profile) 📍 Remote (North America)
Provides relocation support and sponsors work authorizations on a case-by-case basis.
Upduo is a peer-to-peer coaching platform to help companies drive measurable business outcomes. Instead of sales role playing, teams use Upduo to pair senior and more junior talent and craft written prompts based on specific business goals. They dogfood their product, so devs can learn about sales or marketing, too. I spoke with Wei (their CTO) today, and he urges software engineers to please apply!

Aptible (profile) 📍 Remote (PT through ET time zones)
No relocation support or work authorizations needed –– they're remote-ok!
Aptible simplifies security management. Hundreds of companies (including 20+ unicorns) rely on Aptible to get code to production faster and safer. There are dozens of Slack channels shared with users, which means even newest hires will interact with customers regularly. Delighting users is so important that they make it a point to openly share their roadmap and enthusiastically take product suggestions.

I have too many thoughts at this late hour (🙈!) but another reason why companies are still struggling to hire despite so many recent layoffs is because they need to hire wisely. They can't afford to make lukewarm hires. Companies needs to hire people who are genuinely good matches for the role, set of responsibilities, team, and mission, and are being as thoughtful as I wish everyone would always be! So continue to be selective yourself, bring your whole self to every interview, and remember that you are more than your past experiences and current skill sets.

To hoping for the best and preparing for the worst! (Because you can't be blindsided by something you were prepared for. 🙌)

Lynne (@lynnetye and @keyvaluesio)
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