Music to a techie’s ears: Real talk on what it’s like to work at TouchTunes
Compensation and cool office space are obviously essential – but we often hear that TouchTuners want more from their jobs. There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with working here. We asked four talented developers in our Montreal tech hub – Ankita, Connor, Pierre-Marc and Valeriu – to share what drew them to TouchTunes, and what made them stick around.
1. Clean code. Cool tools. Plenty of tech.
A common thread links many of us at TouchTunes: a deep, abiding love of tech. How do we make sure TouchTuners can indulge that passion daily? By providing the tools needed to deliver great work, being open to fresh ideas, and staying at the bleeding edge of tech.
A robust tech ecosystem
With 2 mobile apps, 5 websites, thousands of digital jukeboxes and millions of users, there’s no shortage of interesting tech challenges at TouchTunes – and we make sure our teams are equipped with the necessary tools to conquer the missions at hand. Pierre-Marc, a Software Architect, notes that while decisions at huge companies are often influenced by politics, our manageable structure and team size (~200 TouchTuners worldwide) means we can be more experimental and innovative.
Clean, stable + well-written code
A significant aspect of our success and longevity derives from the solid foundation on which our code is built. As Connor, a Software Developer, puts it: “It comes down to having the right tools that allow us to do things in the right way – with proper, clean code. Part of the draw of working at TouchTunes was the opportunity to bring legacy code up to date. Our code base is obviously large, but it’s very stable, and it’s well-written. Now we’re developing the next gen, and we’re starting from scratch – but with a wealth of knowledge from 20 years in the industry.”
2. A balanced, supportive and healthy culture
As we collectively retire the “glorified burnout” stereotype that’s historically plagued the tech industry, more and more companies are getting the picture: when we avoid micromanaging and simply trust our teams to get the job done, it creates a healthy culture.
A deep commitment to listening
Stagnation kills. That’s why TouchTunes embraces the plethora of ideas shared with us by the many creative thinkers in our midst. “Decisions here are team-driven,” says Connor. “The team gets to participate, make suggestions and be listened to.” Ankita, a Salesforce Developer, says TouchTunes is a company that cares. “I can freely reach out to my manager or HR if I need anything,” she says. “If I have suggestions, they’ll listen to me, and if there’s a particular tool I want to use to help me do my job better, the company is very supportive.”
An open and supportive leadership style
Our management style is transparent and accessible – and critically, our leadership is knowledgeable about the tech we work with. “You’ll often see your managers sitting right there at the table with everyone else,” says Pierre-Marc. Techies know – when the boss is clueless about tech, things run a little more slowly.
Low stress = room to experiment
Obviously, we’re serious about the work we do and the music experiences we create. We also know our industry isn’t life-changingly critical. If something does go wrong, someone may not get to hear their favourite tune! (Disappointing, sure; life-changing, not so much.) A high tolerance for things not going as planned is what allows us to experiment, innovate, and grow.
3. The ability to choose your own adventure
TouchTunes is a twenty-year-old company – after all, we did create the first-ever jukebox app – but we couldn’t have stayed in the game this long if we weren’t prepared to push boundaries and invest in continuous improvement, both creatively and technically.
Lots of tech = lots of opportunity
TouchTuners say they appreciate being able to sink their teeth into a variety of projects, rapidly gaining experience along the way. “At bigger companies, you’re a cog in a machine, and you tend to hyperspecialize in one thing,” says Valeriu, a DevOps Specialist. “Everybody comes to you for that thing – you’re that guy. But here, you can get into a lot of different projects and interact with a lot of people. It keeps things fresh and interesting. My job is never boring or monotonous.”
Encouraging professional development
TouchTuners love to approach us with ideas for how they can develop their skills, and we love to support them in those goals. “My job is not just codecodecode, developdevelopdevelop,” says Ankita. “Every day is a challenge. Working at TouchTunes has helped me tremendously in my professional growth.”
TouchTunes is home to individual contributors, developers who look at the bigger picture, and folks who choose the management track. Whether you thrive on novelty or prefer to focus on developing a particular skill set, there’s a path for you here. “At TouchTunes,” Valeriu says, “any of those career ladders are available to you.” As Pierre-Marc points out, “There’s a lot of flexibility in terms of career trajectories, and opportunities to take on more responsibility.”
Valeriu chooses to stick with tech, as does Ankita, a self-described tech girl who’s passionate about coding. Connor, who began his TouchTunes career coding physical jukeboxes, is focusing more these days on developing next-gen tech. “It’s a chance to get my hands dirty,” he explains. And Pierre-Marc, a nine-year TouchTunes vet, has taken on a range of challenges, from tech to management and back again.
4. That sweet, sweet sense of accomplishment
Exciting tech, good vibes and room to grow – these elements are all essential to the TouchTunes experience. And ultimately, they’re the building blocks that set up the real goal: we want our people to see and feel the impact of their contributions and achievements.
Valeriu plays a foundational role, supporting our back-end developers – he knows he’s providing value to his team. He’s tech support – but for developers.
For Ankita as well, it’s about solving problems and supporting her customers. As she puts it: “When it all goes smoothly – when all systems are integrated, and the information flows from one system to another – and when a user appreciates my work, I feel complete. This is what I’m here for.”
Connor takes pride in releasing a stable product, successfully shipping a feature, or being able to create something new with just a couple of lines of code. “There’s a sense of accomplishment in being able to do something cleanly and efficiently,” he explains. “It’s not about rushing to get something out there – there’s a commitment to the long term, and to our clients.”
And as Pierre-Marc puts it: “This is a team where each person’s contribution is valued. One person’s effort means we’re able to ship a new feature that people will use and appreciate. You never feel like a drop in the ocean. You’re able to see the fruit of your labour.”
We’re incredibly proud of the culture we’ve built here at TouchTunes. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.
🎵❤️ If you can imagine yourself learning and growing with us, take a look at our current openings, and drop us a line.