Last week, thousands of people came together to learn, support, and celebrate Idaho’s growing startup ecosystem. As you know, recently we opened an office in Boise, Idaho so it’s important to us that we get to know the startup/tech community. Better yet, the crowd was full of eager new engineers and soon-to-be college graduates who are interested in pursuing work at local tech startups.

Jateen Parekh, Jelli CTO and co-founder, was the keynote speaker for the Boise Startup Week Tech Track. He talked about his experiences working at different startups and some of the things he learned along the way. Here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways.

If you’re going to work at a startup, keep these things in mind:

Work on something you love and use every day

If you’re passionate about what you’re working on, it shouldn’t feel like just another job. This is why when you no longer love or believe in what you are doing it’s time to move on.

Engineers have the opportunity to be especially picky about what they are working on. If you’re an engineer, find a project that speaks to you and dive in!

Stay curious, innovative, and audacious

No one should tell you that something can’t be done. Work for an organization that values innovation. It’s important to experiment and prototype new ideas because everything always has to evolve. When it feels like something doesn’t quite add up, dig deeper and use data to deliver big improvements.

Don’t panic!

When you work for a startup ambiguity and chaos is normal. Learn how to define constraints and clear goals to measure your success along the way. Embrace planning, process, and documentation best practices to make things easier.

Unique growth opportunities

Startups allow you to take on as much as you can, learn a lot, and constantly challenge your technical capabilities. You will have a large impact and receive high recognition and value for your work.

Culture is important

Every organization has their own unique culture, but the best way to summarize it is a shared way of doing something with passion. It’s very hard to undo bad culture, so don’t take it for granted.

This doesn’t exclude engineering. It’s important to develop an engineering culture that aligns well with the rest of the organization. Startups are full of change and chaos, but great culture makes it easier to navigate.

Have fun! 

We guarantee that you’ll work really hard, so be sure to celebrate your wins! Keep in mind that some of the best brainstorms occur in informal settings and socializing at work often leads to a better appreciation of your colleagues.

Boise Startup Week - Work at a startup


The best part about speaking engagements is always the questions that follow. Here are a couple of our favorites.

How are startups different now than they were twenty years ago?

A few things come to mind. First, fundraising requires more than just a good idea, you need to demonstrate much more in place before you can raise money. Second, finding the right talent can be more challenging because there is a lot more competition surrounding particularly tech startups. Lastly, the need to balance work and life. It’s easy to get caught up in work and forget that it’s important to take the time to refresh.

How does a startup keep going when you leave?

It’s all about the people. Hiring a team of people who are smarter than you is the best thing you can do for yourself and the company. If you’re thinking about leaving, look for the right kind of people to take over so you can provide a clean handoff without burning any bridges.

Ready to work at a startup? You’re in luck, we’re hiring! The perks are great and the team is even better. Keep an eye on our job listings, we’re constantly updating them. Feel free to follow along with our LinkedIn page as well!

Categories: Jelli News, Life at Jelli


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