#WorkItWednesday featuring Kimberly Escobar (she/her), Sr. IT Specialist
#WorkItWednesday is Grindr's feature on employees and programs at the heart of the work we do to connect the LGBTQ community with each other and the world around them. In this edition, we chat with Kimberly Escobar about her experience joining Grindr and how the IT team is looking to grow and scale.
Meet Kimberly Escobar (she/her), Senior IT Specialist!
Kimberly joined Grindr almost four years ago in May 2019. While in undergrad, Kimberly had the opportunity to complete internships at film production companies both in and out of IT. Upon graduating from California Lutheran University with a BS in Computer Science, Kimberly started as a Service Desk Engineer at a company that focused on solving production IT challenges for the media and entertainment industry. While her prior professional experience was centered around the film industry, she found it a natural transition to Grindr, which focuses on entertainment of a different variety!
Learn more about Kimberly’s journey below and check out the open role on the IT Team today!
Have you always worked in IT? What drew you to IT for tech or the dating space specifically?
I started working in IT during my undergraduate career in a few internships with media production companies. I was initially drawn to IT roles because they allowed me to work with so many different people, at all different levels across the organization. I really enjoy getting to work with and support so many functions of the business while still getting to work on challenging tech problems.
After a few years in the media and entertainment industry, I realized that I wasn't passionate about media production and wanted a change in environment. This led me to start interviewing with Grindr. While I had heard of the Grindr brand, I never realized the impact the company made on the LGBTQ community. I wasn’t intentionally transitioning into the tech or dating space, but I’ve found that being at Grindr has made my job feel so much more meaningful and helped me feel connected to the people and communities around me.
Tell us why you joined the team at Grindr. What do you love most about your work, our mission, or culture?
There are so many things that I love about being a part of the IT Team at Grindr. Our team works almost entirely in cloud/remote systems (which helped make the company’s transition to a remote-first working environment nearly seamless). This, along with working in a small team, has allowed me the opportunity to manage tools that I otherwise would have never had any access to. The experience I’ve gained over the last few years and the support I’ve received has helped me take on new challenges and grow in my career.
On a personal level, it’s been incredibly rewarding to work alongside such open, knowledgeable, and passionate people. The team at Grindr genuinely cares about the impact that we are making for the LGBTQ community and for each other. Conversations are always engaging and I’ve learned so much about empathy and perseverance from my colleagues. It is something that I have not seen at other companies and one of the reasons that makes me want to be here.
Give us a little background on the day in the life with your role at Grindr. What areas do you support and how do you collaborate with other functions in the business?
Being in IT has the rewarding dynamic of working alongside all teams within the company at some point or another. Starting from day one, where we support the onboarding of new hires all the way through their ramp-up in the organization. This definitely keeps the day-to-day both challenging and interesting.
One of the great qualities of Grindr’s IT team is the way that we segment and deliver our work. For the most part, our team splits up work into day-to-day support and ongoing projects. We have a role to play in keeping operations running as expected, but our team has also been working dilligently toward automating our workflows to ensure that the other teams at Grindr can continue to run smoothly. This has included learning how to effectively manage projects and reviewing any repetitive tasks or requests we get so we can convert this to our automation system. We view the employees of Grindr as our “users”, and just like our engineers who support the app, we are continually thinking of new ways we can keep things accessible and updated for their needs.
What are your goals for growing your team?
We are excited to grow our team as the company continues to scale. In order to deliver high-quality support, we need to add folks who strike the right balance of keeping things moving while continuing to innovate on the automation piece. The primary qualities that we look for when interviewing are curious individuals who enjoy collaborating and adapting to the company's needs and developing technology. Since our employees are our users, we’re working on elevating their experience, so someone that is curious about or familiar with the tools we use and scripting is a big plus.
The other key piece of success for Grindr is that we continue to bring in folks who truly believe in the work that we are doing. Grindr has become such an important part of our users’ daily lives. Oftentimes people come to Grindr looking for love, sex, friendship, or simply to connect, but even deeper than that, maybe they come to Grindr because they are not able to live as out and open in their daily lives or maybe they do not live in a place with a highly visible queer community, so they turn to us to find that. Hiring folks who celebrate and believe in the mission of Grindr is going to continue to be key to our success.
If you are interested in working as a part of a collaborative team while developing innovative solutions to interesting IT problems, you should consider applying today!