How a Human-First Approach Keeps Me at Axon
By: Leo Rossignac-Milon, Principal Software Engineer
May 12, 2022
Starting a new job, no matter how positive the hiring experience has been, is bound to stir up some feelings of anticipation or anxiety related to starting a new role. Stepping into an unfamiliar culture is bound to be a little uncomfortable regardless of how happy you are with the fit. So what happens when you realize the position you started isn't a good fit?
Before I joined Axon, I accepted a job with another tech company. Quickly after starting there, I realized the company could not offer me rapid technical development opportunities I was hoping it would. I spoke with my manager and we concluded that my current position simply wasn’t going to set me up for success on my desired career path.
I was hesitant to leave a company I had just started working for, after-all we are taught that staying in a position less than a year or two is a “bad look” in corporate America. But I knew I wouldn't be happy if I stayed at a job that wasn't a good fit solely to appease some informal, societal rule.
Just before I had started with the company I was now leaving, I had turned down an engineering job offer with guess who? Axon. I took a chance and called Axon back to see if there was any chance the offer was still on the table. To my surprise, (and delight), it was.
Today, I'm just a few months shy of my 6th anniversary with Axon. I want to share what I value most about working here as a principal software engineer:
Working to a High Bar
Axon has a high engineering bar. I've always enjoyed solving complex problems. A coder by trade, when I began at Axon I asked my managers to challenge me and keep me out of my comfort zone. They did, and over the course of my 6 years I've grown as an individual and shifted from solely coding to building and overseeing more comprehensive architectural solutions for Axon's software innovations.
Beyond giving me resources to further my career, Axon had provided mentorship. In the past, I’ve worked for companies with competitive teams vs. one large team culture. I'm happy to say Axon is the opposite of this. Just as I have mentors here, I also mentor other engineers to help them solve challenges they're stuck on and grow in their careers. The mentorship and cross-collaboration among different departments and even with customers means that we are invested in the company's mission. We don't see project successes as individual accomplishments. Instead, they are shared wins for social good that help Axon support justice throughout the world.
Greenfield Project Opportunities
At Axon, we like to say we maintain a “startup mentality.” We don’t subscribe to the mantra of "this is how we've always done it, so this is how it's going to be." Axon is a forward-focused company with a huge mission, and leadership gives my team and others the space we need to pivot on projects and shift resources to where they're most needed. This enables us to work efficiently without stifling creativity and problem solving for the sake of deadlines.
I've heard software engineers in the tech industry complain about getting stuck, not having support or suffering from boredom due to mundane tasks. I can honestly say these common pitfalls are not issues at Axon. We have plenty of challenging projects to build out and plenty of challenging problems to solve, and Axon's collaborative nature makes this work not only fulfilling, but enjoyable.
When I think about what sets Axon apart, the human-first approach is hands-down at the top of the list. What does this mean exactly? After my first few years at Axon, I wanted to focus more on work-life balance. For me, that meant moving to a new city, where I'd be closer to friends and family. Rather than entice me to stay in the office, Axon and my manager supported me without constricting my opportunities to contribute. I was one of the first engineers at Axon to work remotely.
More recently, after a rough bout with COVID-19 and lingering brain fog, I felt I'd benefit from an extended time off before diving into my next big project. My team was not only incredibly understanding and supportive as I recovered from COVID, but they encouraged me to take my multi-month leave. I cannot emphasize the value of this human-first approach, and I am looking forward to returning to work with a refreshed mindset.
Axon makes me feel valued as an employee, but more fundamentally as a human being. Six years ago, after my onboarding, I knew I had found a place to call home, but I never imagined we would build such a long-term relationship together. Axon invests in its employees, and it shows.
Building the Company Together
At Axon, we get to solve unique, life-dependent challenges, and we have freedom to explore different methods for solving these problems. If you're willing to rise to a challenge and enhance your skillsets, you will get to see your ideas to fruition. and in time you'll be promoted for your work.
If you stumbled upon Axon in your job search, congratulations! We're looking for individuals who are eager to contribute to building products that change lives, have a passion for helping others grow and have a desire for a career with purpose. And of course, we're looking for people who will have fun while doing all of this! Be sure to check out Axon's careers page. We're hiring across multiple disciplines across the globe for both in-person and remote roles.
We are on a mission to Protect Life. We’re building technology to change the world, pursuing society’s most formidable safety and justice issues with our ecosystem of devices and cloud software. If this sounds like a mission you would like to be a part of, check out our resources below:
- Follow us on LinkedIn.
- Read more about Axon Careers.
- Explore our benefits.
- Search for open positions.