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Candidate Testimonies: Cody Booher
Meet Cody! We recently placed him as a Senior Software Engineer at Optera. Originally, Cody didn't know that there was a space for #softwareengineers in climate. He is now excited to use his story to inspire others.
DEVIKA: Hello. My name is Devika. I am a climate tech recruiter with Climate People, and we recently had the pleasure of working very closely with Cody Booher. Who's here joining us today right before he starts tomorrow with Optera as a senior software engineer. So Cody welcome. It's great to have you.
Yeah. So we wanted to kind of hear more about how your experience was getting a job in climate. What kind of barriers did you experience and overall how this process was kind of entering into this new market space that is practically booming right now.
CODY: Yeah. So I think a huge hurdle that people run into is just not knowing there really is anything out there, to begin with. A lot of people go with the individualistic idea of fighting climate change, and they don't realize that there are other people who also like actively working in their jobs to do those things. And so just knowing that there's more out there is a huge obstacle.
And then yeah, also having someone to help you understand, like what those opportunities are, is like super, super helpful, because it could be that they just need, like, you don't know how you can fit in, even if there is a role for you with your technical skills.
DEVIKA: Have you worked with recruiters in the past?
CODY: Not, not really. Actually. Most of the time, I search on my own.
DEVIKA: So can you kind of talk to us and share a little bit more about what were some of these key resources that you found helpful to navigate your search? This experience of jumping into climate?
CODY: Yeah. Your question made me think of this as well. A huge thing is a lot of people, move on to a new job because they know someone at the other location or something like that. And so having someone that is already familiar with the companies that you're looking into helps because then you don't have to do as much research into each company. And also like, you don't have to vet each one on it's like, okay, are they just here for the money? Do they only care about climate change because they want to get rich and they're investing or did they actually care about the product?
It's similar to having a referral essentially of someone, you know, that already works at that place.
NATALIE: That makes a lot of sense. So I know how you touched on, the money thing, which is funny because there is a lot of money in climate and that's something that a lot of people don't know either. They assume that if they switch to a career in climate, they have to sacrifice their salary and that's not always the case. But then yet it goes both ways. A lot of people want to join because they want to make that impact.
What was the driving force behind you transitioning your career?
CODY: Mostly the climate impact. Obviously, I'm changing jobs to work in climate is the main reason I was searching for a job. But I mean, as you said, there still is money. I'll be making more at the new job than I was making at my old job.
NATALIE: So best of both worlds!
CODY: I get to do something that I feel is right as well as make more money doing it.
DEVIKA: I mean something that a lot of candidates or just people in the market don't always seem like that, you know, with these jobs and climate, you do have the potential to make more financially in these roles, but also have something that's meaningful. You know, I think that there's been such a large transition within the workforce to want to do things that are meaningful and impactful that actually do good socially and for the environment. So seeing that transition and also having, you know, these market force leaders who are so well equipped to make these changes, they're at like, literally the pinnacle of innovation in this space.
Working with recruiters especially at a climate tech startup, like ourselves, who are trying to connect, you know, candidates that are super interested in this mission. You know, we help take that burden of research off your hands to really just connect you across the board with all of these different companies.
So yeah, super grateful that we came across you. And also if you want to share a little bit more about how you found Climate People, that would be great.
CODY: I don't remember if I'm being honest. I was searching around for climate jobs and it's a lot easier if a lot of that is aggregated for you and Climate People was one of the places that I saw made that a lot simpler and I guess that's yeah, that's what made me stay and apply to positions.
DEVIKA: So can you kind of talk to us more about the job that you took and what kind of drew you to Optera? Yeah, so there are lots of different ways to fight climate change. If I'm being honest, I probably would have been happy with most of them, but Optera is awesome because they're trying to solve a complicated issue by working with companies to reduce their carbon footprint. It's something that isn't as straightforward of a solution but should make a large impact when it comes to the percentage of emissions and also like the percentage of the impact on climate change.
So a single company changing versus another, another project or another company where they're focusing more on individual behavior or let's say some of the companies that I've looked at as well are like solar companies and stuff like that, where those are still great and they are working on the systemic issues, but having a, a company that's working with other companies to solve the systemic issue, It makes it complex and also very interesting and hopefully a big difference.
NATALIE: Yeah, that's awesome. It's like their effect is affecting other companies as well. What exactly is the job that you'll be taking?
CODY: So I'll be a full-stack developer. I'm not sure the exact position. I have a fairly good understanding of what I'd be doing, but, they are building a lot of new teams currently.
They're working on transitioning to new products and stuff.
DEVIKA: Yeah. I think something really cool about Optera is that the culture is super collaborative there. So across the board, you could be working with a couple of engineers working on the legacy product, but then you can also talk to the designers and be able to see the full product life cycle, and really get to not only stretch out your skillset but you get to be involved in all of the action that's happening within the company as well, to see that impact and how it directly translates from your work to companies and then expanding outwards.
NATALIE: Could you touch a little bit on your experience working with Climate People?
CODY: I mean, yeah, it has been fairly straightforward.
We had an initial call just to kind of get to know you, where I get to know Climate People and y'all got to know what skills I have and also what I was interested in going towards and what kind of positions I was looking for.
I had applied to a number of different positions and so it was just working through those initial ones, as well as finding other companies that were interested in working with me and applying to those and, and helping me find those. So, yeah, it's more the initial effort was just finding you guys after that you did a lot of the work of finding things that fit me better.
NATALIE: So yeah, you did the leg work initially to find us, and then we took it from there. So that's perfect. So, yeah, as I said earlier, our main goal is to get as many people working on climate solutions as possible.
However, we're still super excited about our partnership with 1% for the planet. We donate 1% of every placement fee to an environmental nonprofit. We sent over a few environmental non-profits to you. I can give you a quick refresher.
We have Soul Fire Farm, which is a localized farm that is working to end food deserts and just kind of bring food equity across the United States. And then we also have the Honnold Foundation, which is a solar energy nonprofit it's created by the professional rock climber, Alex Honnold. They're basically just trying to make solar energy more accessible and available to everyone. So those are the two options in very different fields, but both are very impactful.
CODY: Let's do the first one Soul Fire Farm.
NATALIE: Perfect. So yeah, we will donate to them in your name. So thank you so much for not only doing that but switching your career to focus on climate. It's very, very important. And the more people we have, obviously the better.