Wish HQ Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Ajay Solanky (Software Engineer)

Below is a post written by Ajay Solanky, Software Engineer at Wish; the piece is about his experience working with the company.

Wish, shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate...

Don’t worry, I’m (mostly) kidding, but Wish really is a beautiful organization, and let me tell you the biggest reason why: Wish has a culture of openness that is difficult to find anywhere else.

I know that sounds a bit cliché, so let me break that down specifically. At Wish, you can learn about whatever you’d like, work on the things that actually interest you, and voice your opinion in any discussion. This kind of company culture stands in stark contrast to what I’ve experienced elsewhere — whether by willful design, or as a consequence of their organizational structure, most other companies tend to silo their employees into areas of narrow technical focus. At Wish, however, things are different.

The openness is most noticeable in the free-flowing conversations that are held around the office. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve been included in a discussion outside of my area of expertise, and even more shockingly, how many of those conversations have broadened my perspective, increased my awareness of how I can contribute value, and given me an opportunity to provide valuable feedback. On the flip side, my coworkers feel comfortable giving me unsolicited but still welcome advice which has helped me to improve in my own line of work. This back-and-forth flow of ideas and perspectives is an important mechanism by which Wish grows more integrated, and thereby more resilient to single-points-of-failure. The more awareness we have about what’s going on around us, and the more consensus we have on our approach to challenges, the more comfortable we feel with taking risks and pushing the business forward.

Wish’s culture of openness also manifests itself in a few other ways. For one thing, all employees are made privy to up-to-date, honest, and accurate information about the performance of the company. Employees also are encouraged to learn about other areas of the business, whose stakeholders are happy to give an overview of how things work. What’s more is that roles at Wish are very flexible, and there’s always room to grow and develop a new skill set.

With Valentine’s day just behind us, I’ll permit myself one cheesy heart metaphor to tie things off with. Try to think of a company as a living, beating heart, and the blood cells flowing through the arteries as ideas, conversations, perspectives, etc. Some companies allow plaque to build up and clog their arteries; this plaque represents bureaucracy, ego, red tape, or any other unnecessary obstacles to communication. Wish isn’t like that though - Wish is heart healthy.

Wish has a glass of red wine a couple evenings per week.

Wish hits spin class on Tuesdays.

Wish eats Cheerios for breakfast.

Wish avoids trans fats and maintains a systolic blood pressure below — okay fine I’ll stop.

Point is, there’s a marathon ahead of us and we’ve got the right cardio to go the distance!