Out of our 26 employees, about 22 have an engineering background and 18 of those are our software developers. We are currently transitioning to autonomous teams to give engineering teams control over which projects to accept. Usually, engineers support project managers when it comes to feature planning, or when it comes to what we can sell to the client. This mostly depends on the team, the project, and the client we are working with. (Some clients are more open than others to our suggestions. ;)
Besides that, both founders have a strong technical background. Stephan and Mathias are long-time friends who had a small company selling hardware and software to friends back in the mid-90's. They later went on to study software engineering at a university of applied sciences. During that time Stephan became very interested in the context of web development while Mathias was more focused on software generation techniques. They wanted to create a software generator for e-commerce applications, and bitExpert was born. These days bitExpert builds custom applications for our clients and helps bootstrapping products as well.
With passion and expertise, we transform our clients' ideas into business value by using state-of-art technology. We use PHP, Java, Angular, and ExtJS developing web applications. Docker is currently playing a very big role in development as well in our production environments. Regarding databases we like to use PostgreSQL with all it's latest features (e.g. JSON support), but also use MongoDB and Redis.
Our company was started by engineers, for engineers: to make it easy to add email, contacts, and calendars to any app. We have spent the last five years developing an API that is clean, performant, secure, and makes the lives of other developers easier. Since a user’s inbox has more data than your typical startup, we’ve had to solve some pretty challenging big data, high speed, and availability requirements. We’re still a relatively small company (~ 40 people) who thrive on applying what we’ve learned within engineering to growing our company.
They are both technical and customer facing, which allows us to dive deeper into customer issues and resolve them with very little back and forth. To recruit a DSE who has both a customer service background and a deep drive to learn software engineering, we recruit actively through groups like HackBright and HackReactor. This lets us find candidates with non-traditional software engineering backgrounds to increase the diversity of our teams. Our goal is to have our DSEs grow into Software Engineers and we’ve instrumented a formal mentorship program to support this over the long term.
Branch was founded by four engineers who set out to solve a difficult engineering problem - how to make linking into a native mobile app as easy as linking into web content. Over the last two years we have seen exponential growth and our platform now receives over 6 billion api requests every single day! While we are no longer 100% engineering and have hired an amazing sales team to continue this growth, we have an extremely high technical bar for everyone at the company.
Along with an engineering mindset, also ingrained in our culture is our data driven decision making. Most decisions across the company - whether product, sales, engineering is driven around data... We regularly do build-an-app hackathons, where everyone at the company builds an iOS or Android app and integrates our SDK. Check out our testbed app Branch Monster Factory came out of one of these hackathons. Our product is built with app developers in mind and as a result, engineers are making vital product decisions and designing the future of mobile app discovery.
12 Open Positions
We only have one product manager and don’t plan to hire more in the near future, which means our engineers have a significant influence over the design and decision making process. There's really no limit to how much influence you can have in your role, especially if you show value and strongly advocate your ideas. We use metrics and models to drive decisions and are transparent about how decisions are made, not only among our team but across all departments in the company.
Transforming endpoint security with big data analytics
Waltham, MA; Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; and Hillsboro, OR
In 2017, we hired a new Chief Product Officer whose goal was to restructure our teams and give them more influence on Carbon Black’s roadmap and products. Part of this change was to go through a major Agile Transformation. We hired a number of Agile and Scrum coaches to help restructure our teams to be more efficient and versatile. This change was embraced and directed from the top up, including our leadership team, and was communicated throughout the company. The Chief Product Officer went as far as to educate the whole company on what Agile was and how to effectively work with our engineering and product teams who were adopting this.
To better adopt the Agile change, our company invested in Big Room Planning (BRP). BRP is a major event that happens every three months at Carbon Black. We fly in every single person on engineering/product throughout the world and bring them to our headquarters in Waltham, MA for a couple of days.
At BRP, everyone gains clarity on the vision for our products, individual teams come together to plan out their 12-week sprints, and teams communicate and partner with one another based on their goals. BRP has not only been instrumental in giving our engineers a voice when it comes to Carbon Black’s vision, but it also gives engineers the ability to dictate what they personally want to focus on for their upcoming sprint.
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of work to plan these events and is a large monetary investment. Not many companies invest in events like these, especially companies of our size and scale. Despite this, we at Carbon Black believe in the importance of bringing everyone together and providing a level of transparency to our engineering and product teams so that they can influence decisions and build stronger relationships with one another.
49 Open Positions
Rather than assembling mechanical devices, we’re assembling biological components, and with all the complications that it brings! This means our engineering efforts span software, hardware, and biological systems, all of which have to work together in harmony if we’re to succeed in our goals.
We engineer for a purpose, we automate to free up our science team to work more on the truly cutting-edge parts of our process. We also engineer to standardise, remove bias from the process, and make things more repeatable, testable, and reliable. Our engineering efforts also help to drive the acquisition of data, which as mentioned assists in trying to quantify our processes, as well as to reassess any assumptions we may've made.
Given how we're pushing the boundaries of both the technical and scientific fronts of the business, having a sound engineering approach is key, to avoid losing focus, and to remove error and risk from what we do.
1 Open Positions
Our product drive is backed by technical depth and quality. Making cryptocurrency simple for users requires us to do heavy lifting technically. Examples of our engineering challenges include:
We have continuous integration, unit tests with >80% coverage, and multiple daily automated deployments to production.
Feature flagging and toggle management for continuous delivery
Oakland, CA / London, UK
One of the cool and novel parts of LaunchDarkly is our streaming architecture, which allows us to serve feature flag changes instantly. Think of it like a real-time, in-memory database containing feature flag settings. The closest comparison would be something like Firebase, except Firebase is really more focused on the client-side web and mobile, whereas we do that and the server-side.
We use several technologies to drive our streaming API. The most important is Pushpin / Fanout. These technologies abstract us away from managing these long-lived streaming connections and focus on building simple REST APIs.
We also use Fastly as a CDN. Fastly is perfect for us— we can use VCL to write custom caching rules, and can purge content in milliseconds. If you're caching dynamic content (as opposed to say cat GIFs), or you find yourself needing to purge content programmatically, or you want the flexibility of Varnish in addition to the global network of POPs a CDN can provide, Fastly is the best choice out there. Their support team is also fantastic.
When assembled together, these technologies allow our customers to change their feature flag settings on our dashboard and have their new rollout settings streamed to thousands of servers in a hundred milliseconds or less.
13 Open Positions
Since great ideas come from many people, that means encouraging collaboration and feedback. Project designs are posted for comments before work starts. We write both unit and system tests, and all code is reviewed by other engineers. And we keep ourselves honest by measuring our performance and error rates week over week to make sure we're maintaining our standards of quality.
1 Open Positions
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