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Working Remotely: Shawn Welch

Introduce yourself. How long have you been working at Cash App? What team are you currently part of?

My name is Shawn Welch. I have been at Cash App for almost six years.

I was an iOS Developer for my first four years at Cash App, and then I made the transition to be an Engineering Manager a couple years ago.

How distributed is your team?

I’m in Kansas City, I have four or five people in NYC, someone in Toronto, four or five people in San Francisco, there’s someone in LA right now, we just hired somebody in Atlanta. We have somebody in every single time zone in the US.

As a lead at Cash App, what are the challenges of leading a team remotely?

Our team’s culture is evolving. Before, we had a culture that was based on an identity of everybody being at the same location. Now we’re expanding that identity; real conversations are happening asynchronously.

When you’re in a remote environment, every interaction you have with somebody is scheduled, it’s intentional. You have to know what that conversation is about. In a remote environment, that’s really important.

Time zones are the number one thing to solve with remote distribution. You just find blocks that overlap and, if you have to meet, you make sure that those are sacred times. If there’s a meeting with more than 10 attendees, we record it, so it can be watched asynchronously by people who weren't able to be around.

Tell us how being part of a distributed team plays an important role in your life outside of work.

When I started, I wanted to stay remote, because I was going to propose to my girlfriend. I didn’t have to sacrifice the joy of living where I want to live in order to work where I wanted to work. At the end of the day, that made me a happier employee.

I’ve gotten to see parts of my kids’ lives growing up through their early years that I never would if I’d had to go to the office.

Ultimately, working remotely is allowing me to have an identity outside of work that I’m proud of.

How do you see Cash App redefining the world’s relationship with money in what you do?

I joined Cash App because I loved the team I was working with, but I stayed because I genuinely feel good about the work we’re doing.

We built a debit card, and this is the first debit card that some people have ever had in their entire life. That makes me feel good. For the first time, somebody is able to participate in the economy, because we gave them a debit card.

And we’re just getting started! I can work here for 20 years, and we wouldn’t have even cracked the surface of the potential. I’m excited to see what else we can do for different segments of the community.