Team + Culture

Employee spotlight: Krystal Raphael


minute read

The magic behind every message comes from our talented team. We believe you don't have to be a Wizard at everything—just your thing. Our Employee Spotlight series invites you to take a peek behind the curtain and learn more about our people, what they love about their jobs, and how they’ve grown professionally.

Meet Krystal Raphael, a software engineer here at Wizard. With a background in sales and business development, Krystal didn’t plan for a career in tech. But after moving to Silicon Valley in 2013, she learned to code, landed a job as a software engineer, and began an impressive career in software development.

After bouncing back and forth between large companies and startups, Krystal appreciated the energy of early-stage companies and was eager to take ideas to production quickly. And when an opportunity with Wizard came along, she knew she’d be able to hit the ground running.

There’s a huge area of opportunity in conversational commerce, and it’s exciting to be a part of it. Once I met the team, it solidified my decision to make the jump.
- Krystal Raphael, Software Engineer

How’d you get your start at Wizard?

Before Wizard, I was an Engineering Manager concentrating on API design to support Mobile and Web Community products. Before that, I was a Full Stack Javascript Engineer at a large tech company, and at several other startups as a UI Engineer, Technical Mentor, and Curriculum designer. 

I started at Wizard when the team was pretty small, with only three in-house engineers. But it grew so quickly! It’s pretty wild to think about now.

How would you describe your team?

I’m on the application engineering team, so I work on a lot of internal dashboards and such. I work less so with the data science and ML/AI teams. I would describe my team as very collaborative. We all need each other to be able to push projects through to completion, so working together and staying in sync is pretty important.

What does a typical day at Wizard look like for you?

Since our team is pretty distributed across the country, I work on a task-based system. In the mornings, I check to see if there's anything needed of me in terms of are we turning on any features, any prompts that need to go out? Are we creating any new items? I'll check to see if anyone needs me to review any code or product. 

I do that in the morning because I know I lag behind a little on the West Coast. So I try to reserve my mid-afternoon and evenings for heads-down feature work since my east coast teammates will be pretty quiet by then.

What do you like most about working at Wizard?

I have an appreciation for smaller, early-stage companies. I've bounced back and forth between bigger companies and smaller, but I really like startup energy.

I appreciate the different Slack channels to keep us all connected. I love seeing the fun Friday photos, and I love seeing milestones from the growth team, like the sales breakdowns and new merchant announcements. It seems like everyone here is so excited to see other people succeed and you don't always get that where you work. And it's across all teams. You're constantly hearing shout outs from the growth team, the CX team, or the engineering team, and it’s nice to be part of a company that’s so supportive of each other.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?

I’d have to say automated prompts. It's still kind of ongoing and ever-evolving, but I feel like it really fulfilled a need at the company, which is nice. You always want to do work that's going to make a direct impact. It took a lot of work to get it ready to release and have it in a stable environment. 

It’s very satisfying when you finally get to release something into the wild and make an impact on the business. Being able to tie your work directly to customer impact isn’t something to take for granted, especially as an engineer.

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What have been your biggest accomplishments at Wizard?

Probably the prompts project, and enabling subscription integrations for merchants. Completing that was a nice, quick win. I feel like there's constantly things that can be tweaked and improved, but completing prompts and subscriptions pretty early on in my time at Wizard felt good.

How have you grown professionally since you started working here?

Having the opportunity to see the company from a broader scale. Not many companies make sure there’s visibility into what everyone is working on and accomplishing. In my past experiences, everyone's been kind of siloed, just working on their own projects. But even though I'm not doing certain things, like sales or business insights, our leadership makes sure that we’re all passive participants.

They keep us updated on the state of the industry and what our competitors are doing, as well as what other internal departments are working on. Getting to see the bigger picture, and the business side, has helped me grow and I’ve learned a lot.

What do you like about Wizard’s company culture?

I work remotely, in California, and I really appreciate the flexibility Wizard offers. With an 18-month-old at home, flexibility is really important to me. They trust that you’ll be responsible and get your stuff done well and on time, and they give us the autonomy and the space to get it done.

I also really like the monthly virtual lunches where you get paired with a different group of people. Wizard is growing fast and it’s hard to formally meet new employees—especially when you don’t work in the office—so it’s been a great way to get to know people. They don’t put any pressure on you to attend, but it’s nice to not feel forgotten as a remote worker.

Being able to tie your work directly to customer impact isn’t something to take for granted, especially as an engineer.
- Krystal Raphael, Software Engineer

What’s one thing you wish you could buy via text?

I’m definitely in baby land right now, so shopping for kid stuff by text would be great. I’d also love to be able to buy greeting cards over text. It’s something I always need. Right now I have to go out and buy cards for one-off gifts, but if I could just text and have them delivered, that’d be perfect.