We recently placed Bronson Duran as a Senior Front End Software Engineer at Flock Freight. Coming from a background at Tesla, he knew he wanted to stay in the social/environmental-impact space.
NATALIE: Hi everyone, my name is Natalie. I do marketing for Climate People and I'm joined by Devika our lovely Climate Tech Recruiter and Bronson, who we just placed in a role at Flock Freight. So thank you so much, both of you for joining us. We're just excited to learn about Bronson’s journey getting a job on climate and some of the barriers he had to overcome and all of that. So, would you mind just starting out by telling us a little bit about yourself?
BRONSON: Sure, I started as a designer in college, and transitioned into software engineering. I love the design process. Kind of what got me into social impact projects was a course in college where we paired with partner organizations. We went out and did the finding to identify problems in the surrounding community and then we designed and built solutions to those problems. So that kind of got me started on why I want to do work in a social impact space. More recently, in the last two years, I decided to focus on the climate because I feel like that's one of the more pressing problems that we're facing.
I do work in the sense that I can't do work unless it's worthwhile, like working on a problem that I find meaningful. So I guess climate is that for me.
DEVIKA: Absolutely. I mean, it's been quite an extensive journey, just kind of trying to get a feel for what the right fit is for you. I know that you had a lot of different things on the table that was all great and they all came down to impactful jobs and roles. So can you kind of talk to us a little bit more about this transition into climate? I know that you have this background from Tesla, so what made you make a move in this direction?
BRONSON: Yeah, for sure. So I mean, Tesla's a climate-driven company. Its mission is to transition the world to sustainable energy. So I guess, before that, I was at a company that was doing data center optimization, like performance optimization, which is fun from like a technical point of view. At some point, I was like, okay, this is fun from a technical point of view, but I need purpose in my life. I feel like just working on a problem that a lot of people are gonna be facing in the next 5 to 10 years motivates me.
So I guess for me, it comes down to just working on an impactful problem and just helping people.
NATALIE: Was there anything specific that was a barrier when you were trying to get this job? Was there anything difficult to overcome in terms of working on climate or was it kind of a seamless process?
BRONSON: Not really, I guess, coming from Barefoot Networks and Tesla. Tesla was the only company that I applied to, and I got the job. So that worked out well. I knew I wanted to work in climate ad then after Tesla, I knew I wanted to stay in climate, though I did also have potential opportunities in cybersecurity.
So I guess for me, I just decided I knew the climate was the problem I wanted to work on and I didn't consider other options.
NATALIE: Yeah, it's a pressing area that we need a lot of hands on decks. So yeah, would you mind touching a little bit more on the job that you'll be taking and what exactly you'll be doing?
BRONSON: Sure. It's a Senior Front End Engineer position, I'll be working on primarily their carrier platform. Essentially, what Flock Freight does is optimize freight logistics such that it reduces carbon emissions by reducing the number of shipments that people need to make and reducing risk for shippers because they only load and unload truckloads once.
So yeah, as far as responsibilities, I'll be working on the front-end codebase, kind of just implementing their interface, working closely with the designers to kind of flush out their carrier platform a little bit more as well.
DEVIKA: Can you kind of expand a little bit more about yourself? What attracted you to that team at Flock Freight?
BRONSON: Honestly, I think it was just how quickly they responded and how well it felt like their process went. Natalia was super awesome. She was persistent after they made the offer but wasn't pressuring me. I just got really good vibes from the rest of the team as well as Natalia. It seemed like the role was a really good fit for my skill set. They're a little bit of an early-mid to a late-stage startup where they'll need design work and I like doing design work so I can kind of exercise that skill set, as well as just the team, seemed awesome. Everyone that I met was cool.
DEVIKA: Awesome. Kind of jumping back a little bit to this other opportunity in cybersecurity. Can you talk to me about what outweighed these two opportunities at the end of the day because both are important and impactful in their own way? But what were some takeaways that continue to push you in this direction of climate?
BRONSON: For sure. Yeah, I think as far as the problem space goes, both are very motivating. I think with the current situation with like Russia, Ukraine, even China, North Korea, and Iran, cybersecurity, to me, seems important to protect our critical infrastructure as well as our financial infrastructure. So as far as the problem space goes, definitely really motivated. But as far as the company goes, it did feel a little more corporate. I kind of wanted to try and get away from that corporate environment where you have a little more freedom to work on different things, as well as their tech stack was a little bit outdated. Flock Freights Front End tech stack is a little more modern, something I'm more familiar with less of a learning curve, as well as more transferable skills. So that was one of the larger considerations was just kind of the technology I'd be working with on the front end side of things. But as far as the team goes, everyone that I met at the cybersecurity company was awesome. So it's kind of on par there.
DEVIKA: Awesome. How was your experience working with Climate People?
BRONSON: Yeah, it's great. It was awesome. I think it's super cool that there's a dedicated platform where their sole purpose is linking people with climate opportunities. I think that's super useful and super valuable. Especially someone who, for example, before I found Climate People, I was just looking at LinkedIn job boards and just like reams and reams of job postings. I was like, yes, they show the role of what I'd be doing. Still, they rarely show what the company does and what its mission is. That, to me, is much more important than the actual role, although the role is essential, to me, I think it was super awesome to find a platform dedicated to linking people to climate solutions.
NATALIE: Yeah. I feel like having a recruiter is kind of just having a job search partner, you have someone on your side to help navigate the hundreds and hundreds of listings and find something that's tailored to you. Do you have any memorable call-outs from your time working with Climate People or anything along those lines?
BRONSON: I think overall, just a generally positive experience like linking me with all the different opportunities. They're all very relevant to my skill set kind of all exactly what I was looking for in terms of mission. So I think everything seemed relevant. I didn't think there were job postings that were not relevant. For example, I had worked with another recruiting agency where I said I'm interested in working with climate tech and they're like, okay, well, here are some of the jobs and I'm like, that's not what I'm looking for. So I think it was just as pleasant to be able to work with an agency that was exactly what I needed.
NATALIE: Awesome. Yeah, having the niche focus is helpful when you're looking for climate tech jobs. Perfect, while our main mission is to get people working on climate, we're also super proud of our partnership with 1% For The Planet. So essentially, we donate 1% of every placement fee to an environmental nonprofit. We sent over a few environmental nonprofits, I can give you a quick little refresher if you need it, but did you have a chance to look and see?
BRONSON: The Honnold Foundation, the one focusing on solar energy. Yeah, like I love solar.
NATALIE: Yeah, you checked all the boxes. They're an awesome organization too. So we will send that over and donate to them in your name. So thank you for your donation.
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