I am Ryan Rilllera, a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer at unitQ. I used to work for unitQ founders Christian and Nik at Skout, a social networking mobile app they had founded and later sold. Working for them and that company was fun. We “worked hard and played hard” as you call it. Our teams would make sure to get all the new features and improvements out every release, but also made sure we went on fun team outings like wine tasting, river rafting and scavenger hunts.
Skout was a very diverse and inclusive environment — which is why I decided to join unitQ and work for the same two founders again. I am happy to see that we are baking the same Skout culture into unitQ. Many of my unitQ colleagues are remote, but that does not mean we cannot still have fun together. We take part in activities both in-person and online every quarter. We play the two-truths-and–lie game with all the new employees who join the company.
Recently, it was AAPI Month (Asian American Pacific Islander) and Pride Month. I try to celebrate these two occasions every year because I am a Filipino American as well as a gay male. I organized my first AAPI potluck at our Burlingame, Calif., office. I made Filipino-style spaghetti, while other people brought to our Silicon Valley office things like Ube cake, Japanese snacks and homemade hummus.
Then for Pride Month, my coworker and I hosted a pride bingo lunch with prizes, as well as a lunch-and-learn on LGBTQ+ fundraisers. We talked about the San Francisco AIDS/Lifecycle, and the AIDS Walk, San Francisco. We discussed the events’ history, the routes, how much we’ve fundraised and much more! We hoped people enjoyed the lunch-and-learn and will participate or donate to these events in the future. Both events support local organizations who are helping people living with HIV or AIDS.
Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus
In our unitQ Slack app, I created a #coffee-chat channel. This turned out to be a huge success and everyone loves it. The Slack bot randomly pairs people in the channel every Monday, and the pairs decide on a date and time to have their Slack coffee chat. During the coffee chat, people have an opportunity to learn more about each other. It was very easy to set up, and I recommend every company have a coffee chat channel of their own.
Another thing you may not know about me is that I am part of the Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus, and love to share our concerts and photos on Slack. My co-workers show their support by replying with uplifting emojis and words of encouragement. A few colleagues actually attended some of my chorus events, which makes me feel good to know that I have coworkers who support me both in and out of the office.
Being in an open, diverse and inclusive environment allows me to be who I am and be part of a family of sorts at work. I look forward to coming to the office everyday and working with my coworkers to improve and grow the company. At the same time, we are cultivating personal and working relationships — all reasons why I am working with unitQ’s founders, again!
If you’re interested in a career at unitQ, check out our jobs page!
Ryan Rillera is unitQ senior quality assurance engineer.