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Red Nova Labs Responds to Tremendous Growth by Hiring Local Talent
Since the spring of 2013, more desks in Red Nova Labs’ Endeavor workspace have found new owners. Along with two talented engineering interns, 16 new faces were welcomed during the summer months. In a short span of time, the RNL team grew by 50% and the collaborative environment strengthened.
With new talent, Red Nova Labs can concentrate its energies on providing better products and customer service. As the team continues to expand, StorageAhead was launched, StorageFront is undergoing a complete rebranding, and several groundbreaking products are in the offing. With the rapid growth of RNL’s products, the need for advanced features and designs continues to grow. New hires are a crucial element to meeting this demand.
There’s no better group of people to have observed RNL’s growth and migration to a single vertical market than the founders, CEO Dan Miller and CTO Robert Zhou. “In the past - even in the recent past - we committed too much time to community-driven social events at the expense of core development and customer satisfaction,” Miller indicated. Zhou reflected on the shift, “The majority of RNL’s efforts are now focused on self storage markets. We needed to become more useful as a business. Developing and improving more products for the self storage industry moves us in that direction.”
Meet Our New Marketing Director
Red Nova Labs’ new Marketing Director, Megan Garden, was initially hired on as UI/UX Graphic Designer. After graduating from K-State with a BFA in Graphic Design, Garden worked at LivOn as a designer as well as TouchNet where she shifted into print design. Garden’s background in design and her acute attention to detail led her to the position with RNL in March 2013. “Red Nova Labs was a natural progression for me. I loved the UI/UX side of marketing and was intrigued by the rapid growth and direction of new products.” Though her responsibilities have multiplied and diversified with the move up to a manager role, she is still just as hands on with the team as ever. “I love design and find the challenges of RNL’s industry and projects to be really fulfilling from a design perspective.”
Garden is responsible for managing a diverse department. “We’ve carefully put together an extremely talented marketing team made up of designers and writers, as well as social media and SEO experts. Together, we can do just about anything, with no shortage of humor and enthusiasm.” Garden, as with all RNL employees, is driven to live up to this statement every day. “I’m personally pushed, or shoved, out of my box every day. But my favorite quote is, ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone’, so I guess I’m asking for it. The growth is immeasurable.” What’s her favorite part of the entire experience? “We’re pushing talented professionals to be even more talented. It’s a young - but eager - team. As a result, each day is filled with many growing opportunities for everyone.”
The Operations Team’s Fearless Leader
Beth Donnelly is, perhaps, the most unexpected hire for a tech startup. She completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in classical languages: Latin and Greek. “I discovered that I love languages and that I hate grammar. But, most importantly, I found that I love to teach and learn.” Following a stint at Sporting Innovations as a project manager, Donnelly learned of a similar opportunity at Red Nova Labs and quickly applied for the position. “Technology fields are great because there’s always room to level up, to learn more, and to move around as your interests and strengths change. In my previous positions, I took on roles like customer service manager, QA, and project manager. These allowed me to just gain more and more insight to a number of different departments. I love it; the learning process is so unexpected and exciting.
“The way we do things here, I can already tell, is very different from most places. We encourage people to learn new skills and to learn everything they can about how all the departments work,” remarked Donnelly. With experts in each department and bright individuals present around every corner, there are many strong opportunities to spread the knowledge. “After working in environments where you’re meant to stick to one role and never break out of the box, I know how nice it is to try something new. As manager, I’ll gladly do everything I can to help my coworkers dabble in all sorts of exciting opportunities. If they fail, I couldn’t be prouder. Failure at least means you’re working for it.” With Donnelly’s philosophy funneling down to her entire team, a cyclical process will ensue: learning leads to competence, which then leads to teaching and, in turn, more learning. Put that cycle on repeat and you have RNL in a nutshell.
New Engineering Employees Allow for More Projects
Tim Banks, Director of Engineering, addressed the newest additions to his team, which saw three full-time developers hop on board along with two summer interns. “Before the new hires, we were a small team made up of senior-level guys. It was a very collaborative environment, but it didn’t allow us much room to focus on large projects together.” With new products making their way to Red Nova Lab’s repertoire, a batch of new programmers was vital to improve and maintain the existing products.
“It took us a long time to find the new additions because it’s never easy to find good developers. In addition, we brought in extra QA staff to stabilize our many WebWorks projects.” The engineering hiring included a pair that RNL employees lovingly call The Joe Bros., Morgan and Istas. “Both of the Joes were fairly inexperienced when we brought them in. But they had great referrals and seemed enthusiastic to take on the task. We kind of threw them into the fire, but they’ve both survived - and excelled.”
Looking for a job?
So, is Red Nova Labs done hiring for the year? “Absolutely not,” says Miller. “We’re still looking for more programmers, designers, media relations experts, and sales people. We expect to hire between 10 and 15 new faces before the year is up. We are also completing build-out of another 3,500 square feet of office space to house the additional hires.”