7 Long-Tenured Tech Employees Share Why They’ve Stuck Around

Tech tenures are notoriously short. We talked to seven employees about why they are in it for the long haul with their employers.
Written by Eva Roethler
November 16, 2022Updated: November 16, 2022

Marketing Operations Manager Oksana Osifliak started at FORM in 2009 — the same year Slack was founded, the first Bitcoin was mined and the David After Dentist video went viral. 

Since Director of Customer Solutions Ryan Clarey started at Identity Digital in 2010, the world has witnessed the launch of Instagram and Tinder, the rise and fall of Vine, and the birth of the iPad. Four years after Clarey started his job, Kim Kardashian purportedly tried to “break the internet” while Colorado became the first state to pass a bill authorizing rideshares such as Lyft and Uber — the same year Security Engineer IV Lauren Vicknair joined the team at Greenhouse

Not long after, in 2017, the familiar neon green of Lime bikes started popping up on the streets of Denver and the internet watched the trainwreck of Fyre Fest unravel in real time. It was the same year that AdAction Developer Team Lead Ken Gould and FareHarbor Director of Client Engagement Maddie Amberg started working at their companies.

In addition to watching the industry — and culture — evolve, what do these people have in common? They have all outlasted the average tech company tenure at many notable tech companies, according to research from Dice. 

Candidates looking for new jobs often take note of when employees have stuck around for a while, as high turnover can often be a red flag for job seekers. Not only is longevity appealing to candidates, but a stable workforce is attractive to investors since workforce spending is usually the biggest expense of operating a business. Turnover is costly on a number of fronts. 

But, following the Great Resignation and, now, workforce reductions across the tech landscape, it’s hard to find anyone who has moored in one place for very long. Built In Colorado sat down with seasoned tech professionals from local companies and asked them why they’ve stuck around their employers for so long. 

 

Lauren Vicknair
Security Engineer IV

Greenhouse is a hiring software company. 

 

How long have you been at Greenhouse?

I have been working at Greenhouse for more than eight years.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at Greenhouse in the first place and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

I had just finished a year-long contract at a nonprofit startup and found myself really enjoying the smaller and more flexible workforce. Knowing that, I ended up exclusively searching AngelList, which is geared toward startup companies. Ultimately, it came down to Greenhouse and another company. The true determining factor was the interview process. The other company was a Greenhouse customer and had a very similar structure. However, the people I met during my interviews at Greenhouse, including the founders, stood out more than anything. They made me believe that everyone at the company loved working for the company and truly wanted to do their best work and make the company successful. They made me believe it before I joined, and I still witness it to this day.

The people I met during my interviews, including the founders, stood out.”

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

Speaking not only about my specific team but the entire company, I work with very passionate people. From what I have found, people who are passionate about whatever they are doing not only tend to do their job well but also work well with others, especially when collaborating with other teams or departments. That being said, I would advise individuals to honestly think about where their passion lies, even within the role they are applying for, so that they can leverage their strengths.

For example, cybersecurity is very broad. If you are applying to be a security engineer on my team, we would like to know the areas you genuinely want to work with so that we can better help you do the thing you love because we know more than likely you will do it well. Think of your favorite projects and proudest accomplishments and what specifically you liked about them. Even if it’s across multiple fields or areas, there could be a way you worked or a framework you used that could be your strength to leverage in other projects.

 

 

Oksana Osifliak
Marketing Operations Manager

FORM offers a mobile digital assistant for frontline teams.

 

How long have you been at FORM?

I started with FORM, formerly WorldAPP, in March 2009. I’ve been with the company for over 13 years.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at FORM in the first place and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

When I was a student in Ukraine, one of my friends worked in technical support at a software company with a head office in the United States. I thought that sounded like a great job, as you can drastically improve your English and be paid for it — unlike ordinary English classes. When I was asked if I wanted to work in a software support team myself, I already had an answer.

Initially, I was not thinking about how long I wanted to stay with the company; I was just enjoying the environment. FORM was a pretty young startup back in those days. So it was a very dynamic environment, full of challenges and opportunities. That’s how I moved to the marketing team a year later.

Since then, I have completely fallen in love with what I do. Our product is growing, the market is constantly evolving. Even within the same company, you are always challenged to explore something new and develop new skills. And of course — I love the people! Our marketing team and the entire company itself are like one big family. We always help and support each other, while working on one common goal: our product.

Even within the same company, you are always challenged to explore something new and develop new skills.”

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

If you are goal-driven and a team player, I am sure you would fit in perfectly with the FORM family. We are not that young startup anymore, which brings stability and security. With that being said, we are still not a huge enterprise where you don’t know anyone’s name and can get lost in hidden cubicles. Your contribution will be recognized and all wins are the result of true teamwork!

 

 

Identity Digital is a domain registry and tech service. 

 

How long have you been at Identity Digital?

I have worked at Name.com — a domain registrar that is part of Identity Digital — since August 2010. I had no prior experience in tech, and I started in customer support.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at Identity Digital in the first place and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

It was the chance to learn something new and develop myself professionally. Although, in retrospect, I was allowed to take on additional duties and responsibilities that kept me engaged and challenged. What makes Name.com special is the people; this company’s unique community is undoubtedly a big reason why I have stayed. This place took a chance on me during a transitionary time in my life, and since then, I have been doing my best to pay it both back and forward. 

I always liken Name.com to a garden; it is a place you can develop and thrive.”

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

The domain industry can be obscure and confusing; it offers a vast compendium of institutional knowledge. Name.com is, and has always been, a reasonably small company. The only reason it remains is because of a unique and healthy employee ecosystem of industry veterans from diverse backgrounds. At Name.com, everyone understands that the work is challenging, but we are never alone and approach all challenges with a collaborative and solutions-based mindset.  Empathy and understanding tend to drive the day to day; since it is a small company, your impact will be felt, and everyone who has been here long enough understands this and is quick to run alongside you. There is a steady flow of engagement, collaboration, encouragement, and education between all teams and departments. 

I always liken Name.com to a garden; it is a place you can develop and thrive both personally and professionally, and ultimately you get what you put into it. While work ends every day, the support you get from the relationships you make here doesn’t have an expiration date or a clock-out time.

 

 

Photo of the AdAction team.
AdAction

 

Ken Gould
Developer Team Lead

AdAction is a mobile marketing platform. 

 

How long have you been at AdAction?

I have been working at AdAction for five years. I started as the sole full-stack developer for one of our products and now lead a team of four developers.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at AdAction in the first place and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

I accepted the role because I liked the engineering feel of the company. We were working on cool ideas with our choice of technology to create a brand-new product.

As the tech team has grown, we’ve created a culture of learning without judgment. We have a rule: We judge the code, not the person writing the code. This is an important distinction. It allows our team to focus on submitting the best solutions possible while soliciting and implementing constructive feedback.

We’ve created a culture of learning without judgment.”

 

We also reserve one day each sprint for cultivating our own personal skills. For example, we currently have one developer studying domain-driven design, while another just earned an AWS certification. These growth opportunities are the result of prioritizing professional and personal development. They make the team stronger.

In the end, though, the most important reason I’ve stayed at AdAction is the people. I enjoy working with everyone here from the top to the bottom of the company.

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

We look for developers who write code with a deep focus on the people and processes that use it. Be a developer who contributes to the team’s success without compromising its cohesiveness. Be a developer who desires to be both teacher and student — helping to expand the understanding of others while broadening their own.

 

 

Maddie Amberg
Director, Client Engagement

FareHarbor is a tourism software company. 

 

How long have you been at FareHarbor?

I have been at FareHarbor for five years. 

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at this company in the first place and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

I originally applied to join FareHarbor as the manager of FareHarbor sites. At the time, it was an idea that the company had but they were looking for someone to come in and turn that idea into reality. The role aligned well with my skillset but was absolutely going to be filled with new challenges. 

There are two main reasons I choose to stay at FareHarbor. The first is that I am constantly challenged and given opportunities to learn and grow within my role. As the director of client engagement, I am always looking for ways to successfully communicate and educate our clients on ways they can grow their business. My team is constantly testing and iterating on new channels and communication methods. 

The second reason I have stayed at FareHarbor is that I genuinely love the clients we work with. People who run tour businesses are fun! FareHarbor’s goal is to help our clients save time, save money and grow their businesses. When I get to talk to one of our clients who has been able to grow their passion into a successful business with the help of FareHarbor, it really hits home the value and impact of the work I do on a daily basis.

I genuinely love the clients we work with.”

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

Do your research! My team and the work we do is public-facing. When I interview a candidate who knows about Spark, our yearly user conference, or has feedback on our most recent blog post, it shows that they are serious about a future at FareHarbor. It also provides me with a glimpse into what it would be like to actually work with you! If you can give feedback and workshop an idea well with me, it makes it easier to imagine you as part of the team!

 

 

Tortuga AgTech builds agricultural robots. 

 

How long have you been at Tortuga AgTech?

I joined as a mechanical engineer in September 2018 and have been here for over four years. I have been the hardware lead since mid-2019.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at Tortuga AgTech in the first place and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

In 2018, I was looking for a new role where I could make a big, positive impact on society. I wanted to be challenged to grow, and to work with a team of other ambitious people to build something great. I started my search with my intellectual passion for robotics and Tortuga caught my attention, so I reached out.

I was very impressed by the care and rigor Tortuga put into the interview process. It was invigorating to talk with a team of talented people who are all dedicated to a shared mission, particularly one I found very exciting. I was convinced the business strategy was sound and the company had the right mindset to make it happen. When the offer came, I made the jump!

Over the past four years, the company has grown tremendously, allowing me to learn and develop significantly. Everyone on the team truly cares about each other and our mission, which is to build a healthier society and a thriving planet through smarter farming. There’s a pervasive growth mindset and we have company values we strive to uphold. While the journey has been challenging at times, I feel as excited and confident as ever that Tortuga is a great place to work, grow, and make a difference!

I wanted to be challenged to grow, and to work with a team of other ambitious people.”

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

One of our company values is “Get it Done,” an aspect of which is that we “measure success by real, tangible results.” Some of the best interviews are ones where the candidate can clearly describe concrete examples of actual past projects with real results, whether they were in a personal, academic, or professional capacity. I personally love it when candidates share a portfolio that they can confidently and passionately speak to.

We also recognize that our success depends on our ability to work effectively together. We all strive to communicate clearly, listen actively, and respect and support each other as we collaborate on solving really challenging problems. I find it empowering to work in an environment like this and we heavily consider these characteristics in everyone we add to the team.

We’re always on the lookout for highly talented, passionate people, especially those who bring fresh and diverse perspectives to the conversation. We want people who are excited by the mission and by the difficult problems that need to be solved along the way. Even if we don’t have an open role that’s a perfect fit for you, we encourage you to reach out!

 

 

Photo of the StackHawk team.
StackHawk

 

Zachary Conger
Solutions Architect

StackHawk is an application and security API security testing SaaS company. 

 

How long have you been at your current employer?

I came to StackHawk in November 2019. I was employee No. 7, and just as we became big enough to move to a bigger space, we all went home for COVID-19. I am thankful to have had at least a few months to connect personally with my co-workers.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at this company in the first place and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

Some of my best jobs have been at Todd Vernon companies, including Raindance and Lijit, which is now Sovrn. I had seen firsthand what a powerhouse Joni Klippert was in her role as Vice President of Product at VictorOps, as I had been an alpha tester and long-time user of their service. So when I heard that they were launching StackHawk, I already knew I wanted to be a part of it.

A few months later, StackHawk had a compelling alpha product, and an open position for a DevOps engineer, so I sent in my resume. During the interview process, Joni, Scott, Ryan, and KC articulated a product position and a strategy for quickly iterating to meet their goal to disrupt the world of application security testing. They made it clear that the journey would be challenging, but tons of fun.

In the past three years, my high hopes for this job have been validated. It has been fun, exciting, and occasionally a little frightening, like taking off from O’Hare on a windy day. Some of those frightening moments, when I wasn’t sure I could deliver, have been some of the best.

Thankfully, those spikes are balanced out by a strong and supportive team, and time off when I need it to recharge and prepare for the challenge.

It has been fun, exciting, and occasionally a little frightening, like taking off from O’Hare on a windy day.”

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

If you are interested in what we are up to, if you want to be a part of modernizing app security, and if the role looks like something you could sink your teeth into, please do reach out to start a conversation! We’ve got a great team, but we don’t have all the answers, and we could use a hand.

Once you meet some of the people you will be working with, you will know right away if it is a good fit. Everyone in this nest is a key player.

 

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