Earlier this year, Reward Gateway acquired MoveSpring — the leading fitness tracker platform for corporate wellness. We wanted to introduce you to the people who've helped shape, create, and power MoveSpring's stratospheric growth and today we introduce you to Liz Roper, a member of our Engineering team.
In 2020, Liz decided to change careers completely, leaving her accountancy job in Chicago to learn software engineering. Now based in London, with MoveSpring becoming a Reward Gateway company, we caught up with her to discover how the journey has been.
Hey Liz! Tell us about what you do at MoveSpring — what does the day-to-day gig look like for you?
I’m primarily a backend integrations developer, so I’m usually working on the things that go on behind the scenes. Recently I’ve worked on features that allow our customers to issue points and create challenges for their employees, plus I’ve helped implement a service that lets us access better audit records of events that happen on the platform.
The really interesting thing about our dev team is, historically, we’ve mainly hired career switchers or bootcamp grads — people that have taken non-traditional routes. I mean, I was in accounting for eight years before this and wasn't finding it as fulfilling as it had been early on. I wanted to change careers, so I went to a development bootcamp and from there met MoveSpring. So, everyone on the team kind of works on everything, nobody is pigeonholed by their role, and so coming from these non-traditional backgrounds I think really helps bring new perspectives and encourages a learning environment that’s super supportive.
It sounds like it’s thriving, but it must have still been a big, possibly scary moment to be acquired by a larger company like Reward Gateway. How did you find that process?
MoveSpring is about 22 people right now, so we were pretty used to being this very agile, small team; being able to move and pivot quickly. So, of course, when RG acquired us I think we might all have been a little nervous that maybe our culture would change or we’d lose our autonomy — but ultimately, it seems like a really good fit; we [as businesses] have a lot of priorities aligned.
More than that, I think it allows us to grow way more than we could have alone. Not just in the sense of our budgets or financially, but also all the other resources that you get with a bigger company like RG; They bring their expertise in the rewards and recognition space, and we can bring our unique wellness platform to both become part of an even bigger picture.
To move from a core team of twenty to a company of hundreds, how do you stay abreast of the work you’re doing, whilst also making sure it’s still very much a MoveSpring product at heart?
We're still pretty autonomous in our work, continuing to make MoveSpring a great product, and that’s always going to be important to us. But now we’re also ramping up our work and ideas to integrate more with Reward Gateway; realigning our goals to make sure that we fit into the larger RG ecosystem (and vice versa). Generally though, it hasn't changed much day to day; we haven't lost the agility that helped us grow in the first place. That said, the nice thing about being in London is that I’ve now been able to go into the RG office, and still aim to go at least once a week — building that rapport, meeting people IRL and going to the social events has been great.
How have you found that transition between the two businesses? Do you find you’ve been able to maintain that company culture whilst also getting to know RG’s?
Definitely. What I was surprised about and really appreciated is — I've worked at larger companies prior to MoveSpring, and the transparency from the executives is often lacking. But here, Doug, especially, is so open and so transparent with the company. That was certainly a worry of mine before; to move from such a small company to a larger one (and in a different country). But the way that the leadership communicates has been really, really great and really eased those concerns.
Now that you’re an RGer too, have you been able to take advantage of any of the benefits?
Absolutely! Pluralsight is a big one — we used it at MoveSpring. But since merging I've absolutely loved the book benefit — I use it for Audible. It's such a unique benefit; I’d never heard of it being offered anywhere else, and whilst it maybe doesn’t sound like a huge deal on paper, it's just such a nice and genuine offering that shows that RG really wants their employees to be well rounded, enjoy their time outside of work and grow in other ways besides just what they do for their job.
Finally, what do you look for in a new teammate/colleague?
I think the biggest thing is just being a team player; everyone here is ready to jump in and do/help with whatever they can. There are no fixed roles in terms of: X must only work on iOS, Y is only a Web Developer; everyone helps where they can and has each other's back. And beyond that, it’s just about your enthusiasm and desire to learn — the tech world is always changing, we're always looking to adopt new libraries, new software etc. Bring the ideas, because it's a really supportive environment.