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Natalie Lavery
Natalie Lavery

Posted on • Updated on

An Interview with a Software Engineer in Climate

Meet Philip Calouche, a Senior Software Engineer at EnergyHub!

Transcript:

DEVIKA: Well hello my name is Devika, I’m a technical recruiter at Climate People. We had the pleasure of working with Philip Calouche and we recently placed him as a Senior Software Engineer at EnergyHub.

So, Philip welcome, and thank you so much for being here! It’s so good to finally meet you face-to-face. We would love to hear how your experience getting a job in climate was and any barriers that you experienced during the job search and while putting your foot forward into the climates space.

PHILIP: Sure, so like a lot of people out there, I didn’t know that there was much of a field out there for Software Engineers to get involved in ClimateTech work. It was you, Devika, that reached out to me on LinkedIn and showed me a bunch of different things that are out there that I would not have probably found on my own, to be honest with you.

I worked in different areas before like finance, health care, defense, and things like that but I knew I wanted to find something different in my next job. I don’t want to just be making money for another company or making money for myself, but rather can I build something I'm interested in that can actually have a greater purpose.

That's what appealed to me about a lot of the ClimateTech jobs you were showing me. There are a lot of different companies that had different endeavors they were doing that were all interesting in their own way. I wouldn’t say there were really any major barriers just kind of getting through the interview process and just trying to find that company that you fit well with.

You know just getting through those interview processes can be challenging in a sense in its own way. Some days you have good days, some days you have bad days, but I believe that the interviews that go well where it's a good fit are just meant to be. The ones that don’t go well for whatever reason, there just not meant to be. As long as you have the skills and can present yourself well, something is going to work out for you.

DEVIKA: I mean Philip, you have quite the extensive background and industry knowledge within the healthcare space and I know at the end you had two offers one was in healthcare and one in energy. So can you talk to me about why you wanted to make this transition to focus your career on climate?

PHILIP: Yeah, so it was a tough one for me because I did have a part of me that was definitely into healthcare. I have worked on it before and just know the benefits it can bring to people. I think what it kind of boiled down to is just that they're both good offers with good groups but I had an itching to try something new and ClimateTech was something I had never done before. That was what pushed me over the edge a little bit.

NATALIE: Well we are definitely excited that you did. What job did you end up taking? Can you touch on that a little more and explain what you will be doing?

PHILIP: Yeah, the company that I will be working with is called EnergyHub. I’m still trying to piece it all together fully, I just have a high-level picture. My general understanding is they do work with reducing the load on the power grid. They do it in such a way that it benefits the consumer and the energy companies as well. From an environmental standpoint, if you're not using resources you don't need to use that's a win-win for everybody. They try to do this by managing devices remotely.

The biggest thing they have going for them right now is this thermostat remote control. During peak times, whether it's the winter or the summer, your HVAC units are going to be sucking up a lot of power, and if there's a way to regulate that remotely that's a good way to go. It’s all stuff that people can enroll in on their own accord, nothing is forced.

NATALIE: Well yeah that's awesome and really needed, so that impact piece that you were touching on earlier really fits in here. Congratulations! Can you touch on your experience working with Climate People? Have you ever worked with a ClimateTech recruiter before or anything along those lines?

PHILIP: Nope, this was the first time! I have worked with recruiters from different areas before. I did find that there not all from the same mold You guys are very communicative and kept me up to date with the status and told me what I would need to do to prepare for the interviews. It was a very fluid process from when I got reached out up until I accepted the job. It was very organized and professional.

DEVIKA: I'm glad you felt so prepared going into every interview, I’m so glad they were able to get you an offer that you accepted and that you’re super excited for. So this is all fantastic stuff. In terms of the key resources that really helped you solidify joining the climate space, could you elaborate a little more on those?

PHILIP: I think it was just the information you sent me. For example, on your site, you have good biographies of the companies themselves and just the information you give out was extremely helpful. But it’s also the intangible stuff you told me about the hiring managers, their background, and just what the group is like.

I think the job descriptions that I ran across seemed to match up very well. Sometimes you get a job description that's just very vague or not actually what they're looking for so that was good to see.

NATALIE: As we touched on earlier, a lot of software engineers, or people in similar positions to you, don't know that these jobs are out there. Luckily, Devika found you, but do you have any suggestions for people who are in a similar boat? What information would have been helpful for you when wanted to get into the climate space?

PHILIP: That’s kind of hard to answer cause I mean one thing that I was really surprised about is not only are there opportunities, but they're really competitive opportunities.

I don't know why I didn't stumble upon it before. I usually am kind of in the know about the trends and stuff but this just hadn't hit me. I knew there were probably people doing stuff I guess I just didn't know to the extent they were until I got more information from Devika.

NATALIE: Totally fair, that just means we have more work to do to get the word out there.

DEVIKA: While our sole mission at Climate People is to get more people working on climate, we’re really proud of our 1% for the planet program. We donate 1% of the placement fee to an environmental profit that supports our DEI initiatives. Did you have a second to take a look at the two options I sent you and if so which one did you want to choose?

PHILIP: They both look really good to me but I think if I had to pick one out I would go with the Soul Fire Farm option.

DEVIKA: Wonderful we will donate that in your name so thank you so much for that!

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