An interview with Lauren on making the move to California
The tech scene in L.A is growing rapidly which has made us naturally drawn to it. The US market offers a familiar culture and language; there’s geographic proximity and a flourishing job market that we want to join and grow with.
Since inception SODA has grown from strength to strength. I joined the ‘squad’ in the initial 18 months of its life. When I joined SODA I was employee number 6 in London HQ and I have had the privilege to be part of its rollercoaster of growth to what it is now – a company of 35 people across 3 locations (London, Dublin and Manchester) and now we are launching our biggest adventure yet (IMO anyway!) - in Los Angeles, California.
So why the US you may ask? The US recruitment industry, generates a whopping $147bn per year and offers SODA significant opportunities to build on the amazing success we’ve built in the UK by leveraging an existing client base and outstanding delivery track record.
Specifically, after a huge amount of research into opportunity, investment and growth we decided on the California base. (Not that this has anything to do with the fact it has stunning beaches. I promise.) The tech scene in L.A is growing rapidly which has made us naturally drawn to it. . The US market offers a familiar culture and language; there’s geographic proximity and a flourishing job market that we want to join and grow with.
· What markets will we be focusing on?
First and foremost, we will be focusing on DevOps and Software Engineering sectors, introducing our other sectors as we scale and grow. Both markets are lucrative and buoyant and we already have an excellent reputation in these specialities across the UK and Europe. We will also be able to establish States-side our globally successful networking platforms, Soda Social and the unique, internationally-recognised Women in DevOps which is confronting gender imbalance in the tech world head-on.
· Where are we based?
We will be based in the City of Irvine down in OC. It’s one of the fastest growing tech hubs outside of San Francisco, and with Santa Ana airport nearby we can get anywhere in a jiffy to see our clients and candidates and build our community.
· What’s the work culture like?
Our culture at Soda is great, we encourage creativity, innovation and passion for what we do. It’s an environment where integrity and trust is of the upmost importance and having fun is at the core of everything we do. So looking at building on this stateside. We can’t wait to started and meet our US community.
· What are you most excited for?
I’m most excited to establish some really strong relationships with new people, new brands and new agencies. Our unique value proposition enables us to have an edge on our competitors. We are multi-award-winning and 100% committed to the highest standards.
For me personally, Diversity and Inclusion in the technology space is one of my greatest passions. I founded Women in DevOps in 2017 aiming to help close the gender DevOps gap, empowering women, creating innovative solutions, encouraging firms to retain and promote women and boost gender equality.
Recently, the US market has already reached out to us to collaborate with our Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, including Seattle, San Diego and Kansas City. Now that we don’t have to worry about the logistics of times zones, we can go full speed ahead.
Our D&I initiative empowers and inspires the female DevOps leaders of the future, so I’m over the moon to take our movement on a new adventure and journey into the US.