With the COVID pandemic accelerating the digital transformation of companies, developers, also known as programmers or software engineers, and the job they do have come under the spotlight. In a fintech company like Dalenys, where the value proposition has been based on its payment platform’s technology since its creation, the tech aspect is essential. For International Programmers’ Day 2021, we invite you to immerse yourself in our team to better understand their job, their challenges and what drives them every day. Our programmers Romain, Oussema, Paul, Zdravko and Abdelhakim share their experience with us.
An organisation based on autonomous ‘squads’
A software engineer at Dalenys transforms functional needs into technical solutions, and keeps fintech platforms running smoothly. The Dalenys payment solution is used by large e-commerce and digital firms such as Veepee, Maisons du Monde, Interflora and Kiwi.com, so it must be robust, efficient and innovative.
To achieve this, programmers, alongside the product owner and the quality analyst are organised in small self-managed teams we call ‘squads’, in line with the agile software development method. ‘Lightbox’, ‘Stargate’, ‘Backtothefeature’, ‘Suicide-Squad’, ‘The Hobbytes’, ‘Go Horses of Rohan’ are some of the fun names the programmes themselves choose for their squads, and these make up the Dalenys tech lab.
Romain is part of the Lightbox Squad. This is a ‘full stack’ team, which means it works on both the backend and the frontend.
‘The full-stack aspect of the Squad was something I had never done before. It’s a good opportunity to discover more about the front office. I also work on some of the platform’s APIs and on Cockpit, our new unified web interface. My tasks are very diverse’.
The tech lab has therefore used the ‘agile method’ for several years. ‘In this methodology, the changes to be made are shorter, and it’s faster – we can deliver in under a week (compared to the V-cycle).’ ‘This allows us to address business needs at a finer level, thanks to our small teams’ (specifications are not a thing in Agile). ‘What changes is mainly the time it takes to design, test and implement a feature, and above all the possibility of accepting changes along the way’, Zdravko explains.
A changing environment, with platform transformation and the move to cloud computing
The Dalenys technical platform is in a transition phase, with a reverse engineering process underway. The idea is to move the entire data ecosystem (stack) to new applications (the ‘Discovery’ applications) to propose more efficient and responsive solutions. ‘We’re moving from a centralised and rigid architecture to a more flexible microservice orchestration architecture, which will greatly improve the maintainability and scalability of the platform’, Zdravko explains.
‘The platform’s technological overhaul poses a lot of challenges for the teams. I find it very interesting because I like to work on different development levels, which require different skills. I’m free to propose solutions and to convince people that these are relevant solutions’, he adds.
Did you know? In terms of technology, the possibilities are many at Dalenys! The tech lab uses a long list of languages and other technologies: MongoDB, GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine), Java, Nifi, Google Cloud Platform, Git, Airflow, Python, Scala, Maria DB, PHP, RabbitMQ, Cloud Composer, Terraform…
Another major topic that occupies part of the tech lab: Dalenys has chosen to host its applications on the Google Cloud Platform.
‘The advantage of this model at Dalenys’, explains Paul, ‘is that the cloud allows us to scale the platform more easily for more power, to deliver features faster, reduce costs, and make the developer more autonomous in delivering features.’
‘Before the cloud, we had the ‘on premise’: companies themselves looked after the machines hosting their various applications. Today, with the Cloud, it is the provider who takes care of the management of the machines, which allows the company to concentrate on its core business and also reduce the costs associated with managing the infrastructure’, Abdelhakim adds.
As a Senior Data Engineer in the Dalenys Tech Lab since January 2021, Abdelhakim is participating in the design of the new Dalenys cloud-based datalake (centralised system for storing and exposing data from different sources). The datalake gathers data from two platforms that currently coexist at Dalenys as well as data generated by some third-party tools that the teams use (Jira, ticketing and CRM tools, etc.).
At the same time, we must keep the existing datalake alive, migrate date to the new datalake, and centralise production data in the cloud to meet the needs of the various business lines.
Regardless of what our developers are working on, the aim is the same for all of them: ‘Guarantee performance for customers, so they can do more transactions’, says Oussema.
‘The fintech sector offers many challenges for tech workers’
Is passion required to be a good programmer? Perhaps not required, but it’s certainly an important driver for many. ‘I chose this job out of passion. I also like the creative side of the job, having the satisfaction of implementing features and seeing them used in production’, says Paul. “This is particularly true at Dalenys because the fintech sector offers many challenges for tech workers: security, availability and performance are all important’, he adds.
For Oussema, ‘What thrills me about Dalenys is that we are at the heart of the payment process, we deal with technology and impactful projects, like Java and MongoDB’.
Romain summarises the qualities required to be a good programmer: ‘You need a good analytical and logical mind in this job to take a need and translated it into code. The technical world changes very fast, so you need to be curious and keep up to date with these changes’.
What are a developers profile and prospects for 2022?
There are many possible career pathways for a programmer:
- Architect: a cross-functional position focused on designing and developing the company’s technical solutions
- Manager/Team Leader: a more managerial option where one supervises a team of developers.
- and many other opportunities, such as moving towards methodology (Agile, Sage), DevOps, Technical Analyst, QA Automation…
‘The Dalenys team is open enough to allow you to take on other responsibilities’, says Zdravko. ‘A programmer can become a scrum master or designer and become a product owner if they have enough knowledge of the business’.
For example, Romain has held various positions within the company: programmer for a year in the platform support team, technical project manager for 3 years, and now programmer and scrum master for 2 years.
And don’t hesitate to visit our Welcome to the Jungle page for more information on our job opportunities.