Our Backend Engineerings give shape to our products and set foundations of what we need to do to achieve every project’s main goals. They are a key pillar for us, as they build a structure and help us all set a direction to follow. In collaboration with a wide variety of departments here at Strands, they are essential to successfully deliver our product offerings in a set timeline. This week we interviewed Xavi Sánchez, Jonatan Arroyo and Miguel Ratia, to get to know more about their working culture and which challenges they face on a daily basis.
The fact that the tasks we perform are rarely mechanical and repetitive is the biggest challenge to constantly overcome.
Are there any Strands values you cherish or benefits you’ve received from Strands?
XS: If I need to highlight one of them, I will say team work spirit without any doubt. Sometimes the IT industry can be a little bit individualistic and you can fall into environments where everyone is just looking at their own work or project without taking care about what is going on around them. In my opinion this is not the case at Strands as team work is in his DNA like the tiki-taka.
The Finance Suite Backend team is a good example of it, where all the members are aware about their collages and have no doubt to help each other when needed, always with a beginners mind, good mood, optimism and without selfishness.
What does a typical day at Strands look like?
JA: Each day brings new possibilities of solving a series of puzzles and/or problems, most commonly known as bugs, as well as the possibility of creating something new that a client or the product itself needs (features).
The tools are everything that you know and everything that you may learn from your colleagues or from your own research. Having limited time in our daily sprints to “solve these mysteries” just makes it more exciting. That is why you need to always be in the right mood, as focused as possible. Once you reach this state of mind, then the magic happens.
Have you faced any work challenges at the company? How did you overcome it?
MR: I know it may sound like a cliché… but every day is a new challenge. Despite the fact that we usually work on the same projects, each new feature, each modification or each bug most of the time presents a new challenge. The fact that the tasks we perform are rarely mechanical and repetitive is the biggest challenge to constantly overcome.
What is the team’s working style?
XS: The Finance Suite Backend team style is fresh like Jonatan Arroyo with a clean white t-shirt in the morning, decided like Albert Gelavert climbing mountains and confident like Miguel Ratia in a karaoke session. These facts (apart from good vibes) allow us to face any challenge taking decisions all together and helping each other as a team with respect and camaraderie.
How has it been working remotely or in hybrid mode with your team/clients? Do you enjoy working this way? Do you have tips/tricks you’ve found useful?
JA: Working remotely is great, it adds flexibility to personal life and all the team is keeping all its communication habits. I really enjoy this way of working. We don’t hesitate at the time to contact a colleague or the whole team through chat or video, so we keep our pace.
In my personal experience, the key to success is sustaining some habits the same way as if you were in the office. For example, having a shower and breakfast just like if you were heading to the office. Dedicating a special place to work at home as similar as possible to the office set up (I bought the same screen model that we use in the office during the pandemic). Having a defined time for starting to work, another for finishing, and taking short breaks to keep your mind fresh, that’s all.
When you first joined as a new employee, what impressions did you have of the company?
MR: My first professional impression was that Strands was a real software company because of the way the code was developed, the tools used, the methodology followed to work, the division of departments and how much I could learn from all that. On a personal level, the first thing I noticed was that the atmosphere among colleagues was absolutely friendly. From the first day I felt comfortable and welcomed in the company.
How does the engineering team collaborate with other departments? Which one is the most important and why?
XS: Strands being a software company, the Engineering team collaborates with all departments, but there are some departments with whom we collaborate more closely than others. The best example is the QA department, as it could be said that we maintain a symbiotic relationship – we can’t live without each other. Hence, Engineering and QA team members work together from the first to the very last step of every project.
Another example of a how we closely collaborate with a different department is with the Product team and his fabulous Product Owners, as we work together to define roadmaps and implement our amazing products. I also cannot forget IT, of course, as they are like Santa Claus for us: if we behave well they bring us toys to play with and if we break some by mistake they even repair it, we definitely love them.
However, if I was to choose the most important to the Engineering team, I would also have to mention the Professional Services team. It is as simple as they are our client, in consequence our job is to make them happy delivering magnificent pieces of software on time to them.
How is the engineering team organized?
XS: The engineering team is formed by a complex ecosystem of software engineers specialized in different layers. We have, for example, the data engineers focused on the persistence layer, if you need help to organize your socks you should ask them how to.
In the middle we have the backend engineers, responsibles to implement the business logic and ensure that the data flows between systems until the final user, like bees recollecting pollen from flowers to do honey.
And finally we have the fancy front-end engineers developing user interfaces… we can say that they are like a Ferrari, where power and control is as important as beauty.
But the most important fact to highlight is that they all work in harmony spreaded into different work streams organized by business areas and collaborating with each other to provide together new functionalities to the Finance Suite.
What skills do you think are most important for an engineer in Strands?
JA: Besides some technical skills it is very important to be a curious person, not scared of facing new challenges nor ashamed of asking for help.
Being able to use and find the right resources is more important than knowing the most recent programming language update. It is all about having the ability to find the answers searching through different sources like your colleagues, the net, a Udemy course. Being a team worker is mandatory. It is also important to be able to manage yourself sometimes. Be always in a positive mood, tolerating frustration and always looking for the best solution.
What is the most recent project that you’ve been involved in that you are most proud of?
MR: It is not the most recent project but I have to mention this one above the others… It is FS-API. It is a project that I have been working on since its beginnings and for a long time and finally the time has come for it to see the light of day and go into production.
To get to the point where we are now, it has been a long way to go and I have wonderful memories of it. During the development of the project I have learned a lot, I have felt valued and fulfilled, I have bonded with my colleagues and I felt that we were doing something of great value. It does not mean that it has been an easy journey, there were difficult situations, but looking back even those difficult situations give more charm to the whole story and bring more satisfaction.
Become part of the team
You will be working on many new and exciting projects as we seek take our solutions to the next level in order to benefit our clients and their customers. And you could help us! We’re looking for different positions in our offices worldwide. Take a look at open positions and don’t miss out!