Boot, Scoot and Boogieing into Austin, Texas
March 21, 2017 | Express Scripts
In December 2015, I sat in an interview listening to how the position I was applying for would help the company evolve in coming years. As I listened, the wheels in my head started turning. You see, the needs and goals being described to me suggested a gap in the company’s technical talent. I shared my vision on how to solve this problem and was given an intriguing offer a few days later: join Express Scripts and help the company build an office in Austin, Texas dedicated to filling the gaps around technology, usability and user experience.
Fast forward about 14 months and Express Scripts’ location in Austin has approximately 30+ employees in design, user experience, usability and research and software engineering. We are right in the heart of Silicon Hills, Texas at the Domain. While the progress we’ve made has been tremendous, there is still much to accomplish. Over the next few years, we are focused on continuing to move Express Scripts further into the digital space. With our emphasis on technology, we expect to see the Austin footprint grow to about 200 employees. We’re on the lookout for visual designers, UX research experts, UI engineers and architects, technical product owners, scrum masters, content writers and technical writers to help with this digital transformation.
We’re TECHnically Awesome
It’s a really exciting time to be part of the Express Scripts team for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, our senior leadership is counting on us to design and build new software platforms to support our digital products, which make an impact on 85M+ lives regularly. The talent we are in the process of bringing on board, although new to our organization and often our industry, are highly skilled experts from various technology verticals.
The organization has recently adopted common development tools (like JIRA, Confluence, HipChat, Git, Jenkins) and continues to look for areas to further improve legacy processes and overall developer culture.
We are also heavily invested in test and behavior driven development, while leveraging build automation tools, to help improve speed to market velocity and the quality of products we offer our clients and their employees.
A Push Towards Digital
As we work to move the company further into the digital space, there are several exciting initiatives we are focusing on in 2017. First, we are looking at things like client communications, which are being sent in letter form today. Over the next few months, we want to put these messages into a digital format that can be received through various digital channels (e.g., email, SMS, etc.).
Additionally, we are implementing a Content Management System (CMS) for various healthcare applications across the company, which will be at the core of our transformation efforts. CMS will enable the company, as well as our clients, to react quickly and deliver health critical and life supporting information to consumers in a rapid fashion.
We did something similar late last year when we created a digital benefits guide, an application which allows members to download a digital member ID card to be stored on their mobile devices. Any updates to their health plan or benefits will automatically update the digital card on their phone, eliminating the need to mail members a new card every time there is a change.
It’s All about Collaboration
When stepping into the Austin site, it doesn’t take long to realize it looks and feels much different than traditional office settings. Instead of the typical cube farms, we have long tables, writable walls and several TVs throughout the office space. It’s an “open seating concept,” offering a unique start-up feel.
Implementing such a workspace has allowed collaboration between teams to flourish. You can often find people gathered around a TV or a white board wall drawing pictures, graphs or workflows, while discussing a new concept or an idea.
Work Hard Play Hard
As a leader at the Austin site, I live by a work hard, play hard mentality. If my team members are working hard and delivering great work, they’re going to be recognized. There’s a lot of transparency, trust and empowerment going up and down all levels and across different teams.
When employees need some time to reset their minds or are stuck on a problem that needs solving, you might find them taking some time to play Ping Pong, challenging a teammate to a gaming battle on the office Xbox, or simply spending time solving puzzlers from our “brain teaser” wall.
Our goal in Austin is to create an environment where people don’t just clock in, clock out and go home. Instead, we want to create an environment for employees to feel comfortable and challenged to not only do great work, but also be able to recharge when they need a break.
Connect with Us
Over the last few months, we have gotten ourselves equipped to life in Austin and can focus on hiring great talent to take an active part in our technology transformation efforts. Throughout the year, we will be hosting a series of hackathons to network with individuals in Austin. If you would like to be involved in our upcoming hackathons, or if the work we are doing sounds appealing, I’d love to hear from you. Connect with me on LinkedIn or visit our careers site for a complete list of open positions.
Igor Krasnykh, Director of UX and Web Development Strategy – working on building winning teams and a stellar culture.
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