What it’s really like to work at Giant Swarm when you can’t code

The Team @ Giant Swarm

Dec 1, 2021

Here at Giant Swarm, we’re in the business of "Frictionless Kubernetes", which is a snappy way of saying we’re a very tech-heavy company. However, as we love to point out in interviews, you don’t necessarily have to be a 'techie' to become a Swarmer. In fact, just take a look at some of our latest career opportunities

It takes all kinds to make an innovative company, and so it requires all kinds of skills (beyond tech) to bring this to life. What we do require is a common love for learning and a passion for what you do, and despite our different areas of expertise, we seem to have that in bucketloads. 

We spoke to some of our Swarmers to get the inside scoop and share their thoughts. 

heather Heather — Content Writer, Team Rainmakers 💸

1. What first appealed to you about working for Giant Swarm?

The job posting sounded really interesting and the questions were creative, and hate to admit it, kind of funny. Then, when I studied the website, I really admired the work culture and the fact that it is such an innovative company.

2. What were some of your initial concerns in terms of it being a tech company?

Honestly, that I was out of my depths and wouldn't be able to add value. Especially since I mimicked that blinking man meme in most technical conversations. 

3. What excited you about working in the Kubernetes/tech space? 

It’s such a new and exciting space with so much room for creativity and innovation. Also, it’s fun to completely shut down a conversation at a dinner party when asked what I do. 

4. What have you learned in terms of working in an industry out of your comfort zone?

Don’t argue for your limitations — you can learn almost anything if you want to, at least to some level of understanding, but if you approach the subject matter with self-doubt and insecurity then you’re already at a disadvantage. 

5. What advice would you give to non-tech candidates looking at positions at Giant Swarm?

Don’t be intimidated! Or, maybe that’s what I’m still telling myself. Giant Swarm really fosters a culture of learning and it’s a great opportunity to expand your field of knowledge and explore your potential. 

tommy Tommy — Inbound Marketing Manager, Team Rainmakers 💸

1. What first appealed to you about working for Giant Swarm?

I didn’t know what Kubernetes was, so I did a Google Trend search to find out how ‘cutting edge’ this company was and I was amazed at the trendline — emerging tech incarnate. Once I started digging more and more into the culture of Giant Swarm,  I got very excited about an opportunity to work with such an international team. But I knew that they weren’t just from all over the world but also very smart — I definitely wanted in. 

2. What were some of your initial concerns in terms of it being a tech company?

As the first marketer on the team, I needed to gather information from my dev colleagues to be able to craft messaging, edit content, and draft CTAs that made sense to a tech audience. I was a bit nervous about calling basic tech terms the wrong things out-of-context. Easy words like; platform, software, service, etc. Calling one or the other the wrong thing, it can make someone seem pretty incompetent — no pressure! I have a few accounts of these terms in an article I wrote after my first 100 days working at Giant Swarm.

3. What excited you about working in the Kubernetes/tech space?

I had been working in the .NET space moving into IoT and secure networking so was used to being in deeper tech scenarios. Once I told my old colleagues what Giant Swarm did, they were all really impressed. At that point, I knew it was legit, I was going to work in an even more highly-technical company. As a marketer, being able to move with these tech trends is a real honor. Slinging high-tech is so much better than the alternatives.   

4. What have you learned in terms of working in an industry out of your comfort zone?

Since this is not my first rodeo, I know that many people working in high tech companies are happy to teach and are often open-minded to us marketers who don’t totally get it. I’ve found that poking fun at oneself and just being the ‘marketing guy’ always gives a little more wiggle room for dumb questions.

5. What advice would you give to non-tech candidates looking at positions at Giant Swarm?

Be ready to sit in discussions that are 100% over-your-head while being comfortable with it. Also know that culture trumps knowledge. We’re all learning here.

dr-anna  Anna — People Development Manager, Team Team 🧞‍

1. What first appealed to you about working for Giant Swarm?

For me, it was the 100% remote approach. I have been working in tech companies for the past eight years and fell in love with the concept of agile leadership during that time. Lately, I had been asking myself why putting in so many hours at a location-bound office was even necessary when everything was done digitally anyways. I became intrigued by the idea of being able to work irrespective of the location — and I find that it has positively changed my life in so many more ways than I had anticipated. 

2. What were some of your initial concerns in terms of it being a tech company?

I have gotten used to working in an environment where I never fully understand the technical things that I am working on and I have learned that I bring a set of unique qualities to the team that doesn’t require a deep technical understanding in order to add value. After my first few years in tech, I had an epiphany thanks to a former colleague of mine who once got pretty angry about somebody calling me the 'non-techie' in the team. She said that as I am working every day in a team that solves deep technical problems, I should damn well consider myself a techie! And indeed, I feel very much at home in the tech industry, not just as a bystander. Ever since, I don't 'apologize' for being non-technical anymore, especially considering that I have been talking about containers, dockers, repositories, databases, WYSIWYGs, clouds, bugs, and other weird things day-in-day-out. What was different for me when starting with Giant Swarm was that I wasn’t even able to explain to my parents what the company even does. I think they still wonder if I’m working for a real company. 😉

3. What excited you about working in the Kubernetes/tech space? 

What has always excited me the most about working in tech was that the kind of discourses that are taking place are always extremely interesting, complex, and very relevant in real life. I feel like we are part of the immediate future every day. Everything is new and unconquered territory and the things we do affect the entire world. And this mindset also affects how we operate in general. At Giant Swarm, we dare to think for ourselves — which is unfortunately not the case in every company — and try out new things, both technically with our customers, as well as operationally in terms of how we structure our company.

4. What advice would you give to non-tech candidates looking at positions at Giant Swarm?

Join with passion, dare to ask the silly questions, and you'll be fine!

👋 Would you like to join Giant Swarm? We're hiring a bunch of positions. Apply now

You May Also Like

These Stories on Inside