In 2016 as part of an effort to create a more robust, multi-disciplinary development team, Shiftgig began hiring in the burgeoning start-up hub of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The team began to take shape mid-year, and by the end of 2016, six people were hired, with more on the way.
“We were looking for a diverse and talented group of developers. While we have a core team here at our Chicago headquarters, we felt building a team in Buenos Aires was the next step to help grow our overall product velocity,” said Brian Eagan, VP of Engineering, who oversees the Buenos Aires office.
Building the Team
The new year brought a new round of hiring for Eagan and the Buenos Aires office. Now at the end of Q1, the team has grown to 17. One key hire was Facundo Calvento as the Director of Technical Operations, who oversees the day-to-day operations of the South American office.
“Buenos Aires is a great place not just for developers, but IT professionals in general,” Calvento said. “The community here has a number of assets that make it an ideal partner for working with a company in the US. In particular there are a host of very solid engineers, cultural similarities, and reasonable time differences that make the working relationship ideal.”
Creating a Culture
In an effort to create cohesion between the two offices, Eagan and other members of the Chicago team plan to make regular trips to the Buenos Aires office, and the team there will also visit the Chicago headquarters. Eagan’s first Argentina trip was in September, when there were only four team members. Earlier this month he returned for an eight-day trip to meet the newly-expanded team and spend time with each of them one-on-one.
“The goal of the trip was to ensure that both of my teams have everything they need to be successful,” Eagan said. “And, of course, I also want to make sure that they are having a little fun while working to build the Shiftgig product.”
Currently, the team is in a co-working space called “AreaTres” in the neighborhood of Palermo. According to Calvento, Palermo is a great spot for new companies.
“The mixture of a convenient location, accessibility, and a high ratio of IT and audiovisual companies makes it ideal for a company like Shiftgig,” Calvento said. “We hope to have our own office space in the same neighborhood soon.”
Eagan echoed that the startup culture in Buenos Aires made the location a desirable one.
“The primary purpose of the Buenos Aires office is to be a place where Shiftgig can hire the best and brightest engineers, user experience designers, and product managers in the Argentinian start-up space,” he said. “The scene itself is quite lively and we’re excited to be part of it.”