TL;DR: I’m working on something I really believe is good at Doist and I feel great.
Some time ago a friend asked me why I joined Doist and I realized it’s kind of a love story so I decided to write the post. 😄
For those who are not aware of Doist, it’s the company behind Twist and Todoist. Twist is a communication tool that aims to make remote communication work better for remote teams and Todoist is the best task manager I know.
I joined the company in July as I said but I’m a Todoist user since 2007 (this link requires yahoo groups membership, it’s free but required) and I always recommended my friends to use it. I tried many task managers in these 10 years but I always get back to Todoist.
When I started my career as a software engineer in 2006, I decided to also look for a better way to deal with my tasks. My memory is not very good, so I decided to look for a system to help me with that and found GTD. For some time I was one of the moderators of gtd-br, probably the biggest GTD mail list in Brazil at the time and was looking for an application to manage my tasks.
I was looking for something clean, lightweight, simple, and with support to keyboard shortcuts. Tried Toodledo, Remember the milk, thinking rock, and some others but none of them were good enough. I was about to create my own when I found Todoist, it was exactly what I was looking for.
As an active user, I was always following the new features and the usage of new technologies in the product. I remember when they started using HTML5 for their mobile application, it was really great to see it.
At some point I found that a company called Doist appeared as the creator of Todoist (it was just Todoist before that) and I started looking to their job board. There were not so many positions and all of them required a good level of Python. My focus was always Ruby and I didn’t have any experience with large Python projects at the time.
Some years passed and I had the chance to work on some Python projects at work and gained some experience. I even created a personal project in Python to do some scrapping for some financial data I wanted, it became a big project but it was abandoned after Google Finance implemented my main feature. :P
When the time for a change came I decided to apply for companies I admire and who believe in the same things I do. I also changed my mindset and decided to not look for technology anymore but for products I believe are really good and can recommend to my friends and family.
I worked for 5 companies in the past and none of their products were something I can really recommend to everyone. Most of them don’t even exist anymore. Others are relatively good in one specific use case and country. I was working for these companies because there were great people, good salary/benefits, or great technology.
When I saw the position to “API & Integrations” developer at Doist I decided to apply. I was kind of insecure about the platform change (Ruby -> Python) but I believe languages are just tools to build stuff and I had enough experience to be proficient with Python. I also love to create tools for developers and did that in the past many times already, so it would be a great fit.
During the interviewing process I found that it was a perfect match of beliefs:
- Remote working
- Async working (not fixed hours, we believe you will do you job and will follow your metrics)
- Chance to travel and meet different people/cultures
- We read nice books and actually apply their concepts (radical candor, the score takes care of itself, let my people go surfing)
- Bootstrapped company
- Amazing perks for remote working
- Almost the same salary I had
I was already doing remote work 70% of the time for my previous company and I also have a freelance job for a company in Netherlands, so I’m used to remote working already. With that said, I took the job. :)
Of course not everything is rainbows and unicorns, as everything in life, but the overall experience is really great. At this moment, I’m writing this blog post in the airplane (airplanes are the bad part :P), coming back from a trip where I met 12 members of the team (we’re 50+ at the moment) in two different countries. I also was the person of contact for all hackers doing our challenge at the HackUPC hackathon in Barcelona, which helped me a lot to collect feedback of our APIs.
The whole thing about the “love story” I mentioned in the beginning of this post is that Todoist helps me since the beginning of my career and now, after almost 10 years, I have the change to work for the company behind it. What is even greater is that the company has the same mindset and beliefs I have.
For this particular case, instead of using technology to retain talent, Doist built the best product ever, which made me consider applying to make it even better.