Why I Work at Metromile: Choosing Meaningful Work

Metromile was Matt Stephens’s first job out of college. His degree in computer science from the University of Michigan gave him options, he said. He looked for jobs in cities he’d like to live in—Boston, L.A., or San Francisco—before accepting the engineering role at Metromile.

“When I interviewed, I thought that the people I spoke to at Metromile, the people who I ended up working with, were far and away the best team that I had talked to,” he said.

Five years and a couple of promotions later, Matt, who’s based in Boston, is a senior iOS mobile developer and also serves as the Squad Lead, relaying updates from the mobile team and coordinating with the rest of the organization.

“One thing we talk about a lot on the mobile team is the ‘fiercely loyal customer’ goal,” Matt said. “What the apps do is they create brand awareness—if you’re in the app store and you’re looking for car insurance apps, we’re among the top results—and I think of myself as adding that extra bit of brand loyalty that can turn a potential user into a joining member of Metromile.” 

Part of building a “fiercely loyal customer” is providing a high-quality product. That motivates Matt to keep innovating and tweaking to deliver on those expectations.

“Just the act of designing and building something out, that’s something I’ve always liked,” he said. “It’s a motivator for me, seeing something I put a lot of hours and thought into actually be usable, it’s a kind of instant gratification. It’s gravy that, working here, it often goes directly to the users.”

That commitment to quality is a feature of the Boston Metromile office, Matt said, along with a warm culture. This is true even now with the whole office working remotely.

“We have a good culture of welcoming people to the Boston office. We’ve had people move to Boston from San Francisco, and every time someone pipes up in the Boston Slack channel to say hello, make introductions.”

Metromile is Matt’s first career job, but it wasn’t his only interview. Metromile stood out because it was clear Matt would get to do meaningful work that he could own.

“At some of the bigger companies, you get the feeling you’re not going to be a very important member of the team. They have 3,000 engineers and they’re hiring for a team that’s going to build out a tiny feature of a very narrowly used product,” he said. “For some people, they want the prestige of that big name on their resume, but none of that really resonated with me. After those big tech interviews, I knew I wanted to be on a team that was small, but doing impactful work.”

It’s sometimes hard to gauge company culture from the interview process, but Matt knew Metromile was where he wanted to be.

“If you like working on your team, that’s crucial,” he said. “Especially on the mobile team, it’s a highly collaborative team. I was the new hire, fresh out of college. They were all eager to teach me the right way to do things, rather than being really protective of their own knowledge. They were more concerned with making sure that I had the tools necessary to do my job well. Ultimately when everyone’s a high-level contributor, it’s better for the entire team than when one superstar is carrying all the weight”