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Laura Du Ry for Appwrite

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The evolution of team Appwrite

2024 has begun, and as it goes with a new year, many people search for a new job. Statistically speaking, January is the most popular month of the year for new job seekers. Reasons vary from New Year's resolutions and increased hiring activity to bonus payouts. At Appwrite, we notice this, too. That said, throughout the year, the team gets numerous hiring requests in their DMs, so many we cannot respond to most, let alone do we have vacancies for all these people. So, in response, we decided to write this blog. We will give you insights into how many current team members joined Appwrite after helping out in the community and contributing. But please note they never did this with the intention of getting hired. This was just the outcome of their actions.

The very first Appwrite employees

To kick off, the very first Appwrite employee, Eldad Fux, started his own open-source project and worked relentlessly to get Appwrite where it is today. Aka, the Founder & CEO of Appwrite, aka contributor zero.

After the first funding round, there was financial power to hire the first engineers of Appwrite. Here is an overview of the very first engineers who joined the team and how they stood out.

Christy Jacob is currently the Lead Engineer building out Appwrite Cloud. But before that, he was one of the very first active contributors to Appwrite, and at only 23 years old, he joined the team as a Founding Engineer. After being hired, he went above and beyond to help Appwrite grow. Besides coding, he handled social channels and took care of most of the copywriting work, as well as other marketing and growth-related work.

Damodar Lohani is a Flutter enthusiast, and in his search for a proper Backend-as-a-Service, he discovered Appwrite. Not much later, he dedicated an entire YouTube channel to videos on Appwrite and Flutter and contributed to Appwrite’s Flutter SDK. If you want to know what to do to get hired by Appwrite, or any other OSS company, he is a leading example. Making contributions in both code and content definitely gets you noticed.

Jake Barnby was a rather tricky one logistically. Being the only one in the southeast Pacific time zone, working together with him was an unforeseen challenge. When most of us log on, Jake logs off. However his contributions to the Android SDK and his wide knowledge of languages and platforms helped him land a job at Appwrite. He contributed to every single SDK and API, and even frontend work. He got promoted to Lead within a few months. It is a classic story of dedication and hard work that pays off.

Bradley Schofield dropped out of college because he wasn’t learning enough. We have heard that story quite a few times in the developer community, but did you know he was only 16 when we hired him? That’s a first for us. Now, he has been around for three years, and as a full-stack engineer with a love for data, he is the go-to engineer for anything growth-related.

Like many products in a staring phase, Appwrite had some bugs. Our current front-end lead Torsten Dittmann decided not to sit around and wait for a fix and started contributing by fixing bugs for Appwrite. Today, whenever you open your Appwrite Console, you can see Torsten and his team at work.

As the team grew

If you know Appwrite, you know Steven Nguyen. Not all heroes wear capes, but we should get Steven a cape. Not only does he work on code at Appwrite, but he also answers everyone’s questions on our Discord server. He started doing this a year-long before he joined Appwrite. As you can imagine, he is a welcome addition to the team.

Khushboo Verma is someone you’d love to have on the team. She creates content, does public speaking, is an engineer, and is a valuable addition to the Appwrite team. She discovered Appwrite through another Appwriter, Aditya, when she invited him to join a liveshow for GitHub’s Education channel. Appwrite’s community-driven culture drew her curiosity, and she started contributing to Utopia-PHP. She immediately joined the Discord server, where she connected with the rest of the team, which helped her expand her skillset and she contributed yet again by adding the PostgreSQL database adapter. She felt that this was a rewarding experience, and soon after, she joined Appwrite as she knew that Appwrite would be the right place for her.

Wess Cope is more than an engineer, a father, content creator, mentor, aspiring dev advocate, and Batman. He is probably the most experienced engineer we have on the team. Name a framework, and he will know how to code it. He joined the community and started asking many IoT questions, and while waiting for answers, he just started helping others. Again, like the others, he got noticed, especially with all of the knowledge he possessed.

Matej Bačo started tinkering with Appwrite as a freelancer and ran into some obstacles. Thanks to Appwrite's Discord server, he could learn from others and understand all the concepts rapidly. To show appreciation for all the support maintainers gave, he decided to help with all the community questions he possibly could. This led to him being a valuable member of the Appwrite team.

Contributing in general

Now, we don’t only hire people from our own community. We, and other tech companies, appreciate contributing in general. Thomas G Lopez, a front-end dev, is one of the people who has made notable contributions within the Svelte community. He even built Melt UI, an open-source collection of accessible and customizable component builders for creating user interfaces with Svelte. His contributions earned him the notable title of an official Svelte Ambassador.

If you have been around the Appwrite community, you must know Aditya Oberai by now. He actively participates in the larger tech and hackathon community and stumbled across Appwrite by chance on X. Now, one thing you need to know about Aditya is his unfair advantage: he is a networker. So when he discovered Appwrite, he noticed that he already knew many other contributors, which drew him in further and helped him land a job at Appwrite.

Dennis Ivy is not just a class teammate but also an amazing tutor to so many devs, as he has produced hundreds of videos that have helped others in the community learn how to code, including tutorials on Appwrite. Need we say more? Contributing is more than just code!

Sara Kaandorp joined as the first non-technical hire. Now, She leads our Design team and, with it, brings our brand and visual identity to new heights every day. She might not have contributed to the community, but as a designer, she put the work in with her portfolio. Also, she understands development as she has a background in it. Therefore, there is no better designer we could wish for to lead all of our efforts.

How to stand out from the crowd

Finding the right team members is crucial for tech start-ups. When you are still building your company, there is little room for error, especially when building your team. Hiring the right people determines future success. So it’s about finding the needle in the haystack for employers like Appwrite, and for you to be that needle, you need to shine brighter than the rest.

Now, this is not an unhealthy testimony to working day and night, every day, no fun, or any of that. On the contrary, we stand for healthy life balance and will force you to take leave if you like it or not. To stand out is to deliver quality work consistently, not quantity, to be eager to learn, receptive to feedback, and supportive of others. And if you missed this point, one thing is for sure: contributing to open source increases the chances of getting hired into a tech job.

Doing more with your skills

So, how do you stand out? Be active in the community you want to work in. Contribute to open-source projects with code, content, support, or whatever works best for you. To learn more and get inspired, follow people like Eddie Jaoude, Danny Thompson, Ruth Ikegah, Santosh Yadav, and our very own Eldad Fux. However, if you decide to contribute, keep in mind: keep it healthy.

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