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Engineering: The Team Driving Technological Innovation

Our engineering team are our builders, responsible for taking the product on its journey of constant improvement. This requires understanding the needs of our customers and building software that satisfies those needs in the simplest way possible.

Our customers want a product that makes their lives easier. Working in a high performance environment, our software developers are trusted to deliver these solutions in fast iterations, while ensuring each solution is reliable, maintainable and flexible.

The Ongoing Quest For Innovation

We’re working on much more than innovating our product, we’re innovating the technology we use to govern, facilitate and deploy our product. This has the net benefit of allowing us to develop faster, and deploy solutions quickly and safely.

 

Working on our technological environment and always seeking ways to do every aspect of software development better, has allowed us to focus more on the product and less on technical issues. The rewards of a constant drive to innovate can be seen throughout the company.

A Day In The Life: Mini

It has been a journey with lots of laughs and fun since I joined Re-Leased Napier office in February 2020 as a Senior Software Developer. I’m a Sri Lankan who migrated to New Zealand with the Re-Leased job offer.

I arrive at 8:45am after driving for about 25 minutes from Hastings to Napier. I come in with many layers of clothes because I am still adjusting to the cold weather having lived only in tropical countries!

In the 9.15am stand-up meeting, we will share our work from the previous day and the plan for the day. Then dig into work and get the most out of these few hours because I know that I’m most effective during this time. 

Lunch is my favourite part of the day. We gather in the kitchen area to have lunch together hearing crazy stories from friends. We will talk about how each of us ended up here coming from different countries and cultures while ignoring the mouth-watering food smell from each of our lunch plates.

In the afternoon I will try to finish coding for my task for the day during this time so that I will have enough time to test.. Sometimes I put my desk in the standing position if I get a bit sleepy after lunch.

A Day In The Life: Courtney

I’m a software developer here at Re-Leased. I’ve been with the company coming up 2 years now, joining Re-Leased and moving to The Bay is one of the best decisions I’ve made.

The day kicks off with a team standup at 9am so we can check in with each other.  Luke often tells a joke to set the mood for the rest of the day. 

After standup, there’s a mass migration to the coffee machine. Our team’s focus is around keeping the Re-Leased engine well serviced and squashing any bugs!  At lunchtime usually head to the gym.  

Back to the office to dive back into the problems we’re tackling. This will often be mapping out solutions on a whiteboard before writing tests and smashing out code

A Day In The Life: Shahn

The Secret To Remote Working

After my wife and I moved to New Zealand I started working at Re-Leased’s Napier office. It is the heart of research and development at Re-Leased and a super fun, engaging place to be.

However, due to our personal goals, my wife and I recently moved to the South Island and to full-time remote work. Luckily for us, it has worked out well and Re-Leased have been incredibly supportive!

Setting up remote teams

Hybrid-remote teams enable companies to hire great people from around the world and also give the individual more options and flexibility.

For these reasons, Re-Leased was interested in setting up remote teams. I have experience working in and leading remote teams and so I joined the project team to ensure that our remote teams were enjoyable for the individuals and effective for the company.

Here are our 5 top tips that we are experimenting with and which seem to be working:

 

1. Is anyone remote? Then everyone’s remote.

If even one person needs to join a meeting remotely then everyone does the same. Why? The remote person will not be able to keep up with the conversation as well as the people in the room. They can’t see faces properly to read expressions, the audio clarity is not as good, and network latency means they are always slightly behind, especially if it is a fast-moving conversation.

It’s never nice to be the one person on the conference call and everyone else is in a meeting room, you struggle to keep up with conversation and inevitably are not able to participate equally.

2. Set goals and take action

Unless the meeting is a casual catchup we find great value in having a clear agenda and documented outcomes.

Having a meeting agenda as an editable online document enables people to contribute and prepare, and documenting the decisions and outcomes keeps those who were unable to attend informed. It also helps reduce misunderstandings about what actions should be taken and who will be taking them. 

3. Instant messaging channels

When discussing a work-related topic, instead of discussing it in person we rather do it on the relevant slack channel. The reasoning behind this is that it includes those who are not nearby, whether they are out getting lunch or working remotely full time. At the very least they are kept up to speed, at best they might have some highly valuable contribution you would have missed out on.

Calls/in-person chats

Of course, some things are better to discuss over a call or in person, we find this works fine so long as the important/relevant information is then shared with the rest of the team.

4. Statuses

Something else we are finding quite useful is leveraging Slack statuses to make it easy for others to see if you are available. To make it more fun you can include an emoji or icon, for example, a chef emoji when you are on lunch or a set of dumbbells’ to say you are at the gym.

5. Online Whiteboards

There are a lot of great online tools for helping with communication, especially with half the world currently working remotely. Some of our favourites are:

💬 Google Jamboard can be effective when you are struggling to describe something and feel the need to reach for a pen and paper.

💬 Tools like Miro have a variety of uses such as collaborative mind mapping or anything you might use post-it notes on a wall for.

Communication is one of the cornerstones of an effective team. The better the quality of our communication the more cohesive and effective we are.

We will keep experimenting and testing our ideas to see what works!

Career Opportunities & Rewards

Our engineering team is growing. We are also supportive of anyone taking the initiative to drive innovation. If you have good ideas and are able to communicate them clearly, it’s very likely you will be given the opportunity to make them happen.

Working as part of our team is a fantastic opportunity for people who have the drive to get things done. We’re growing and want to hear from talented people who thrive on the opportunity to better themselves and Re-Leased.