Jed Maczuba, May 13, 2022
I recently sat down with Keith Cline at VentureFizz to talk about Advisor360º’s Engineering team, our culture, and why now is the time to join.
Our Engineering team is just over 300 engineers. Roughly 80% of my group—whether they are software engineers, QA folks, or architects—is building the product. The other 20% is in data management. In my career, I've been pigeonholed into specific roles which I did not enjoy. My goal at Advisor360º is to give my team the opportunity to explore different pieces of engineering. We work in a team-based model where people can learn different parts of the platform, learn different skills, and have the opportunity to move around.
If you asked me three years ago, I'd classify us as a .NET shop, soup to nuts. Over the past three years—due to the nature of the data industry—we've been investing in new technologies. My philosophy as CTO is to use the right technology to do the job. The type of engineers that we want to hire are the ones who are really interested in working with the latest and greatest technologies. Over the last couple of years, primarily around data in our service layer, we’ve introduced Python. I approach things as an engineer would. I don't want to test applications over and over again—I want to spend time building products. Because of this, we’ve built our own automated test harness using Python. We’re also looking to do more development using Kafka on Kubernetes, Docker, and Angular. Additionally, we are developing for mobile devices in iOS and Android.
The challenge is that each of our clients has a unique set of requirements that are not just simple configuration driven changes but different workflows. To solve these types of problems, we built our own low-code generation tool that allows us to feed in the requirements of our users and then build the end-to-end processing around their workflows. What we built here—and to me this is one of the most important parts—uses great engineering practices that bring creativity to the table. For the folks that worked on this project, there is a real sense of value and pride in finding a really unique way to solve a problem.
The interview process starts with a basic phone screening. We want to make sure that we understand you as the candidate, put a name and face to the resume, and that we get to give you a better understanding of who Advisor360º is. Then we schedule the interviews to have you meet both individual contributors that are working on the team as well as managers. Next, we will give you a short coding exercise that doesn't require any preparation on your part, but really gives us a sense of what skills you bring to the table. For senior roles, the process is a little more extensive. I try to meet everybody on my team so that you get to know how I approach running an IT organization, what our mission is, and how we're going to grow. The key thing that we want to do is make sure there's a good fit.
That's an interesting question and it's really tough to describe. We're a start-up, so our culture is developing, but at the end of the day the culture is influenced by the people that we hire. We try to hire people that really love engineering and love business problems. We are looking for people who will lean in—who aren’t going to sit on the sidelines but are going to get in the ring and get their hands dirty. We are learners, we are builders, we are innovators, we are client-obsessed, and we have fun. At the end of the day, my job is to get rid of all the distractions so engineers can do what they love—create software that people use.
Why join Advisor360º? I've already talked about how we have a great product that clients are willing to buy, how we have a large pipeline of opportunity, and how we are in the growth business. One thing that you will not hear me say is that our job is to just maintain efficiency. We want people who are going to build new products for our clients. It’s a start-up but not a start-up. We have customers, we're profitable, and we are financially stable, yet you still have the opportunity to take the kinds of risks associated with traditional start-ups. But why join Advisor360°? Because it's a chance to create something great.
Jed Maczuba is Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer at Advisor360°, overseeing global technology to ensure our long-term mission, vision, and objectives align with the technologies of our business partners and clients.