- Jackson Melcher and Timothy “Reno” Renollet head RingCentral’s Development Operations team which focuses on making systems work more efficiently for employees.
- The team is currently expanding to India and seeking both specialized and generalist developers to continue improving the daily work lives of the whole team.
Not all heroes wear capes…or get the recognition they deserve. Jackson Melcher and Timothy “Reno” Renollet, the dynamic duo of RingCentral’s Development Operations (DevOPs) team, spend their entire working days (and then some) striving to make the day-to-day lives of their fellow employees smoother, more efficient, and less stressful.
From that extra authentication that’s not slowing you down to the pile of emails that aren’t clogging your inbox, the Internal Tools team does the behind-the-scenes work that makes RingCentral’s internal functions run smoother, smarter and more efficiently. It takes skill, user focus…and a willingness to build a duck. (We’ll explain that in a minute.)
Serving Customer Zero
Development Operations, in this context, is the art and science of getting disparate programs to work with each other securely, effectively, and intelligently. It’s the same sort of thing we do for our customers, but this team’s focus is on RingCentral itself. “We focus 100% on Customer Zero: the RingCentral employee base,” says Jackson. “[The goal is] making their lives simple and removing the need for access to multiple apps to facilitate their job functions. Making everyone else’s job easier to do is our mission.”
Time is money
The Internal Tools team is constantly finding solutions that smooth out the workdays of every single RingCentral employee — so you’d think people might have heard of them.. “99% of the company doesn’t know us,” says Renollet, “but when we really nail a solution, our work saves the company a ton of time – and money.”
“[We create] really niche integrations for teams within the company,” Jackson adds, “and the way that I measure it is how much time can I save people. That time is converted to hours and then converted to dollars.” This snowball effect might make it tough to identify the crucial work of the Internal Tools team at the beginning, but it’s undeniable in the end.
Building a duck
Every company that uses multiple apps has a team similar to RingCentral’s. But not every company takes RingCentral’s bespoke approach. “Typically, companies approach their issues with “canned” integrations.” says Renollet. “And if they only solve part of the problem, well, sorry, that’s all that can be done.” “[At RingCentral], we build just about everything from the ground up. Instead of regurgitating somebody else’s code and trying to make it quack like a duck, we build something from scratch. We actually build that duck.” This flexibility gives developers more creative freedom to design customized solutions which translates into improved efficiency for the entire team. “It’s uncharted territory,” says Melcher, “but the work is more fulfilling— and it has a huge impact on thousands of employees.”
A particular set of skills
There are people who are perfectly happy to follow a by-the-numbers approach.
Internal Tools is not looking for those people. They’re looking for people who want to show what they can do. If you’re a software engineer, DevOps generalist (or specialist in a specific area like Salesforce,) who wants to test your particular set of skills, this just might be your moment to shine. Maybe even build a better duck.
Originally published Mar 01, 2022