In 2006, I left a great gig at Expedia to start LiquidPlanner with a fellow Expedia colleague, Charles Seybold. Having spent years at Expedia working to make travel booking technology faster and more scalable, Charles and I witnessed first-hand how difficult it was for the all of the teams within Expedia to plan and execute work accurately.
At the core, we had no reliable way of capturing all of the work that each department wanted to complete in a given month, quarter or year.
Sure, we did our best muddling through the process with complex spreadsheets that were out-of-date as soon as they were built. We even tried tools like Microsoft Project, but fundamentally ran into the same deal-breaker issue: none of these schedules were up-to-date. The data within the project plan was virtually useless because it was static. It wouldn’t have been a massive issue had the company been small, but the Expedia business was scaling so fast that keeping the plan up to date proved to be a task for which the effort required didn’t justify the end result.
In other words, it was like the Wild West of project management. We realized that the current generation of tools and methodologies just couldn’t keep pace with the amount of change at the company.
We choose to build LiquidPlanner in Ruby on Rails for a few reasons: It’s relatively easy to learn, the open source community is fantastic, the language is expressive and the Rails framework enabled us to move from prototype to working app concept really fast.
We didn’t really realize it at the time, but we built and launched the company using many of the concepts that Eric Ries later elegantly defined in his 2008 book The Lean Startup. This spirit of gathering customer research, prototyping a minimum viable product, deploying and iterating lives on.
It’s one reason why I think developers like working here—every challenge is unique and there is no shortage of opportunities to build elegant solutions that impact hundreds of thousands of customers daily.
In the past decade, we’ve grown from just a few people crammed into a Bellevue office to a successful, growing company of nearly 70. I’m proud that we’ve been named a Washington Best Place to Work winner for the past few years by both Seattle Business and the Puget Sound Business Journal.
The Road Ahead
So if you fit this bill, we’re hiring! In particular, we’re looking for a senior software engineer that loves shipping customer focused SaaS apps, believes in and subscribes to agile development and is committed to quality and a pragmatic approach to building great technology. So, if you’re itching for a new role in which you will directly impact the direction of our growing software company, this could be the gig for you.
If you’d like to learn more about the product and methodology our engineers bring to life, download our white paper, Managing Risk and Uncertainty in Technical Projects: The LiquidPlanner Approach. LiquidPlanner is the only predictive scheduling engine on the market. See how we do it.