I joined Safegraph!

A few reasons why I accepted the position

14 August 2021

I recently accepted a new position at Safegraph, a data company that seeks to democratize access to geospatial data. This is an exciting opportunity for many reasons. I wanted to write a brief post that outlines a few important factors that went into my decision.

Safegraph is a data-first company

Data has become a hot topic in the age of web-scale companies and rapid advances in machine-learning techniques. Many companies are hopping on the hype train and incoporating aspects of this trend into their products. Unfortunately, most of this activity plays out in marketing departments while engineering teams churn out half-baked tech that looks really shiney but lacks substance. Needless to say, this is frustrating as a data engineer.

Fortunately, I am confident that I have found a small haven in Safegraph where the data comes first. It is clear to me that the company puts enormous value in the accuracy, accessibility, and breadth of data. As far as I can see, there are no auxiliary services, secondary products, and marketing widgets. Data is the product, and it's baked into the ethos of the company.

Academic friendly

The bulk of my "career" so far has been spent in academia. While interviewing, it is obvious that some companies value this type of experience, while others seem to count it as lost years. At Safegraph, many of my coworkers have advanced degrees. Additionally, the company makes most of its data freely available for researchers in academic settings. Even the business model aligns with the ideals of making knowledge (data) accessible to everyone, not just government entities and large corporations.

Smooth interview process

As a interview candidate, you have very little knowledge of the company's inner workings. I believe that your experience during the interview process is a small reflection of what is happening underneath and your best indication of what it's like to work for the company. If the potential employer is asking you to spend ten hours of your weekend on a test project ... what do you think it will be like when you're employed there? (this actually happened once and I promptly said "no thanks")

The interview experience at Safegraph was great from start to finish. Quick turn-around on scheduling, interviews always start on time, the questions are engaging, no unnreasonable requests, and of course everyone who I interacted with was very friendly. An interview process this refreshing makes me that much more confident that I am signing on with a quality company.