Blog / culture
A glimpse into the life of a software engineer at Ravelin
What does a day in the life of a Ravelin Software Engineer look like? We chat with Alice Cheung to find out...
Our software engineers are at the heart of what we do. They work closely with fellow engineers, data scientists and product managers to make online transactions safer and help our clients feel confident serving their customers.
To find out more about the day-to-day role of our engineers, we had a chat with Alice Cheung, software engineer and engineering manager about her role.
Here’s what she had to say!
Can you tell us a bit about your role at Ravelin?
“Sure! I’m a software engineer and engineering manager and very hands on in my role. Currently I’m on the dashboard team, working on the interface our clients use to access our product. My role ensures our clients’ fraud teams have a great experience when accessing their data, ultimately allowing them to make efficient data-driven business decisions.
“The management side of my role includes managing engineers of all levels — championing them to achieve their career goals. At the moment I’m managing two software engineers, with more onboarding soon.”
How did you come to join Ravelin?
“I’ve been at Ravelin for two years now. I actually wasn’t looking for a job at the time, but a friend invited me to a hiring event in the form of speed dating. That really intrigued me, so I went along and met some of the Ravelin team. I asked around after the event and found that people only had good things to say about the team and its tech — so I went ahead with the process and the rest is history.
“In terms of experience, I had one previous role in the industry — at an insurance tech start up. But before that I spent 10 years working in finance. I had a feeling that wasn’t for me anymore. And after talking to some software engineer friends, I decided to take the plunge and learn to code. I hadn’t had that much fun in a long time! I fully immersed myself in coding and within a year I had a job as a software engineer.”
What does a typical day look like for you?
“Every day we begin with a short ‘stand up.’ This is time to share what we’re currently working on and anything we might need help with. It’s been especially useful throughout the pandemic with us all working from home.
“After this, I get to spend most of my day coding, which is great. The team knows what they’re doing, so we’re all free to get stuck into whatever project we’re working on. And there’s no worries if we need help, people at all levels are more than happy to lend a hand.
“I’m currently working on an exciting project producing analytics for ‘rules’ our clients have in place. It’s useful for fraud teams to see exactly how these rules are performing, instead of us just saying ‘trust us.’”
How has your role changed since you started working at Ravelin?
“I began my career at Ravelin as a software engineer, so a lot of the fundamentals are the same, but I’ve now started my progression down the management track. This allows me to broaden my experience as a leader and pick up new responsibilities. Within the business, there’s a technical track for those who just want to focus on coding, as well as a management track for those wanting to experience managing people.”
How has the pandemic changed the way you work?
“There’s been a major change with the way we work. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. A lot of us software engineers have enjoyed being able to code from home. And as our culture is great, we’ve still had the opportunity to be creative in the way we socialise. This includes planned activities like virtual escape rooms and cook-along nights to fill in the social aspect of the job.
“Ravelin’s also been very supportive of our needs throughout the pandemic. We were initially provided transport to take our equipment home, as well as being given a budget to buy anything else we needed to make our new work lives easier.
“As well as equipment, we’ve got generous new health insurance which includes mental health support. People are always approachable and understanding when it comes to talking about any issues you may have.”
Software engineering is a fairly male-dominated world. How have you found it?
“I came from the world of finance, so the ratios have been pretty similar. But to be honest, the geeks are my people, so I’ve never felt the odd one out because I’m female. I’m part of a great team where gender doesn’t matter — just your passion for coding.
“It’s also nice to know that we are making a conscious effort to hire more women, so I’m sure we’ll see change going forward!”
What’s the best thing about working at Ravelin?
“The thing I love about working here is the culture. It’s very tech focused, which stems from the founders being engineers themselves. They’ve been in our shoes and share our passion for delivering quality software. Obviously, we try to turn projects around quickly for clients. But this won’t be done at the expense of the tech. We do it right.
“I also enjoy the open nature of the company. We have demo sessions every week and “ask me anything" sessions with the founders. (we really do ask anything) It’s also very transparent in terms of where the company is at and where it’s going. I find this really refreshing.
“And of course, the people are great!”
What does the future hold for you at Ravelin?
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time so far. It’s a great place to work and I plan to continue progressing along the management track. My managers are very supportive of my career goals and I’m confident there’s a bright path for me to follow.”