In January 2021, Ludovic joined the Payflip team as its very first employee. Six months (and a lockdown) later, we are listening to Ludovic to find out how he is doing at Payflip. Keeping a finger on the pulse of our employees is of crucial importance to us! Below, Ludovic talks about the transparent culture at Payflip, his role in the team and starting a professional career in a startup.
Hi Ludovic, what exactly do you do at Payflip?
I am a software developer at Payflip. Together with Jon (CTO at Payflip), I am working on the further development of the user interface and the digital tools that we make available to Payflip's customers.
Why did you choose to join Payflip in January?
When Jon contacted me in November to sound out my interest in the vacancy of full stack developer at Payflip, I was not actually looking for another job (nvdr, Ludovic worked at an IT consultancy firm as a software developer). However, Payflip's company culture and Jon's innovative view on IT at Payflip attracted my attention.
During the first interview in the three-part application process, the founders immediately explained that they did not want any hierarchy or bureaucracy in the company. Everything is horizontal, and everyone's opinion is sought regarding important and less important decisions. There is a huge emphasis on transparency in the company. Everything in the company is based on transparency, from salaries to evaluations of founders.
The smooth course of the application process and the fact that in each of the three interviews with the three founders I was listened to so sincerely about what I consider important as an employee in a company made me jump with full enthusiasm.
How important is that open, transparent corporate culture to you?
Extremely important. In a large company, you are often in your 'cocoon'. You have very little contact with other aspects of the company such as marketing or customer support. In fact, it is often assumed that you are not supposed to be aware of this.
Because everything is so transparent at Payflip, I finally have an insight into the different aspects of a company, from the cooperation between marketing and sales to the finances of a company. The fact that the company is so transparent (in fact, every Google Drive folder is publicly accessible), is a huge opportunity for me to learn.
This transparency is also evident in the evaluation process of myself and the founders. The evaluation process is quite rigorous at Payflip. Just the fact that I can see and read all evaluations, not only of myself, but also of the rest of the team, feels very right to me. In this way, Payflip really shows its trust in me as an employee. During the evaluation, my efforts are also recognised by the entire founder team, and that feels good.
With Payflip, I don't have the feeling that I am just working for someone else and that others are benefiting from it. I also benefit from it myself!
Finally, at Payflip I really feel that I am being listened to, even on subjects that are less than my expertise. That is such an added value in my personal and professional growth process.
Apart from the quirky company culture, what have you learned in your first 6 months at Payflip?
Especially from a technical point of view, I really learned a lot. Before I started at Payflip, I had mainly worked with other technologies and I had little feeling with the technologies we use at Payflip. It was really a relief to master and use all these new technologies. This is one of the pillars of IT at Payflip, always learning and maintaining a full stack mindset towards the different software challenges.
I have also grown a lot in managing software projects. Since the technical team is still quite small, we have to maintain everything, from infrastructure to helpdesk. That is something I was really looking forward to, to have just that range of responsibilities. The first six months have been a great experience in that respect.
Especially the cooperation with Jon played a big role in this. Jon really took his time in the beginning to teach me the tricks of the trade. And he still does. He is patient and likes to challenge my interest in the different technologies. I also feel that he really engages me in the decisions we make. We work closely together and it feels good to be able to think about certain decisions, and not just apply decisions made by someone else. He is a great mentor for young software enthusiasts like me.
Was there anything you were worried about when you started at Payflip?
I was worried that if there were problems between the founders, things might get out of hand in such a young company that has yet to prove its mettle. But I soon noticed that the team is very professional. When there are problems, nobody freaks out, it's just a matter of finding a solution in the most efficient way, and not getting hung up on blame.
Another concern I had, since I did not have much background in the technologies we use, was that I would not be productive right away. But that feeling soon faded. I was very easily accepted into the team. I was allowed to write product code very early on. There was no two-month onboarding where I just had to watch and passively follow. I was able to roll up my sleeves very quickly and felt like an added value.
What do you like most about working at Payflip?
I feel free and valued in the initiatives and decision making at Payflip. I can discover and explore new technologies, and I can suggest new ways of working. For example, when we have an idea, we try to make a prototype quickly and improve it from there.
I don't feel restricted by a particular business system or by decisions that come from above. That is really refreshing for me. This is something that keeps every day exciting: applying new ideas that you think can contribute positively to the company and the products we are building.
It is also cool that we are completely free to decide from where we work. The fact that at Payflip we can choose how often we want to work at the office, or how often we want to work from home, ensures that you can determine your own balance. I need social contact with my colleagues, but I also need time at home to do my laundry, let the handyman in, etc. This freedom is much less stressful than in my previous job.
What would you like to tell future candidates at Payflip about the ins and outs of the company?
I would tell them that the company culture is really great. There is no hierarchy or bureaucracy that I see elsewhere.
In addition, it is simply very exciting to work in a company that is growing so fast, and to be involved in the opportunities that cross its path. Being able to live this growth mindset to the full, together with people with a similar vision, is invaluable to me.