Hey y’all! I’m Tori Fluharty, and I recently joined FireHydrant as a Software Engineer. I’m writing this post to tell y’all a little bit about myself, why I chose to join FireHydrant, and how I came to learn so quickly that I won the jackpot in regards to companies to work for.
First things first, let me help you get to know me a bit. I’m a recent career changer who is incredibly passionate about learning and continuous self-improvement. In my “previous life,” I obtained two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree over the course of five years and worked as an athletic trainer for three years before deciding to make the switch to software engineering. What attracted me to software engineering the most was the expanse of things to learn and the overall attitude that the learning process never ends no matter how much experience one has.
Somewhere along my journey, I began to learn publicly with the intention of helping others through sharing my new found knowledge. My preferred way of doing this was through technical blogging which quickly became a passion of mine. Over the course of nine months, I garnered over 10,000 followers on the technical blogging platform DEV.to. Luckily enough, my blog and passion for learning in public are what led to me connecting with the CEO of FireHydrant and, eventually, interviewing and accepting a position.
Throughout the interview process at FireHydrant, I got to meet with several of my now coworkers and it quickly became apparent that this was a company who’s values aligned very well with my own. When I say this, I mean that not only does FireHydrant look for people who love to learn, but they also highly value having employees who enjoy the process of sharing their wealth of knowledge with others.
Another aspect of FireHydrant that really drew me in, is that it’s a SaaS product that helps make incident response easier for site reliability engineers. Why would this interest me as a new engineer? Well, my long-term professional goal is to become a site reliability engineering. After my final interview, I truly felt that this was the right place for me to kickstart my career and very nervously waited around to hear back. You obviously know how this story ends since you’re sitting here reading this article.
We all know that as I’m sitting here writing this we are currently living through a pandemic. I want to take a moment and share with y’all how COVID-19 has affected me personally and how these events led to me realizing that I am working with an absolutely phenomenal group of people. This isn’t an easy story for me to tell as it’s all still pretty fresh, but I want y’all to know how amazing the people at FireHydrant truly are.
Two days before my final interview, I found out that my great grandparents tested positive for COVID-19. Four days before my start date, my family thought that we were going to lose my pap (great grandfather) and my manager offered to move my start date. I declined this offer because my pap’s health started to get better and things were really looking up for him, or so we thought. On my fourth day at FireHydrant, my pap passed away.
My manager and the rest of the FireHydrant team gave me the freedom to take whatever time I needed to care for myself and my family. I also had several coworkers and my manager check in with me often to make sure I was doing alright and that I wasn’t feeling pressure to work because I was new to the company. Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I had a FireHydrant employee tell me to make sure that I was taking time to care for my own mental and emotional health. This is when it truly sank in that I hit the jackpot when it comes to companies to work for.
FireHydrant truly cares about the overall well-being of it’s employees and, it is my belief that happy and healthy employees do great work which, ultimately, leads to producing a great product. All in all, I am so incredibly grateful to work for a company that supports it’s employees while also deeply caring about building a product that helps improve the lives of the individuals and teams who use it.