Updated: Apr 30
Scale By the Bay 2019 doors are officially open and we are very excited to see the community coming together to connect, learn, and share their ideas. Speakers, attendees, sponsors and media partners are all part of the conference and what makes it worthwhile, and today we'd like to give you a glimpse into the life of our Partner Sponsor - YoppWorks.
In this interview, we spoke with Chris Andre, a Senior Software Engineer at YoppWorks. Chris has been in the software development field for the past 15 years and loves to solve software problems. At YoppWorks, Chris is part of the services team, sharing his knowledge with customers who are often on the same learning path. If you'd like to know why YoppWorks are "building an open-source future where every voice counts", how much the software landscape has changed, and why moving industries toward open-source software is the solution, then read on and meet the YoppWorks team on the expo floor at Scale By the Bay.
Please tell us about yourself and your role at YoppWorks.
I have been in the software development field for the past 15 years and love to solve software problems. I was first introduced to Scala 9 years ago while doing some research on distributed computing and discovered Akka along the way. In the past year at YoppWorks, I have been working on high-level projects and on our in-house incubated products, such as GoSpaces. At YoppWorks, we practice what we teach having created a ready to market App for Workplace Development and Sustainability. As part of the services team at YoppWorks, I have been consulting and training clients to build responsive, resilient and message-driven applications.
In YoppWorks' team's own words, YoppWorks are "building an open-source future where every voice counts". Can you tell us more about it and what the company's and your personal views on open source are?
YoppWorks is inspired by the Doctor Seuss story, Horton Hears a Who, and the importance of how every voice counts. In the story, Horton, the elephant is determined to save a speck as it has a whole world living on it. The ‘Who’s’ that live on the speck are too quiet for anyone other than Horton to hear. But once the whole town of Who’s come together they are able to make aloud enough ‘YOPP!’ that the rest of the jungle hears them, and ultimately saves their speck.
YoppWorks operates on a flat structure so that every voice is heard and every voice counts. Myself as a developer can communicate with Jack, our CEO, in just one step and my voice, opinions, and ideas are heard and treated no differently then if it was senior management speaking.
YoppWorks supports the individuals who are a part of the open-source community and encourage all of us to make time to learn more and participate within the community.
At YoppWorks, you help companies build Responsive, Resilient and Message-Driven Applications. Why is that important and what impact do resilient applications that you help build make on companies' overall success and performance?
The software landscape has changed and we believe that moving industries toward open-source software is the solution. Currently, the old systems have gigabytes of data that are mostly at rest and long window maintenance. Where the new systems have petabytes of data that are mostly streaming and are working at 100%. We help our customers move to the new systems to increase their sales and reputation. With the old systems softwares are slow and time is money. If the software is slow or unavailable, users will move on and find another software causing a loss in sales and customer satisfaction. We work hard to ensure customer systems are working faster and more effective which in turn results in business growth.
What is the most exciting thing your team is working on at the moment?
A lot of our current customers are being introduced to the reactive architecture mindset and its a real shift in the way they think, which is very exciting. Some aspects of the reactive architecture are counter-intuitive, such as embracing the ‘eventual consistency’. Working with our customers and explaining the reasoning behind such aspects, they discover this whole new world, and even though we have been in this world for a few years it’s always so exciting to see when they have the ‘gotcha’ moment.
What is the main challenge you are facing in your work? How are you addressing that challenge?
The main challenge for me is to stay up to date with the technologies because it’s mostly drinking from the firehose. Every day I am learning something new but we do still need to stay productive and ensure deadlines are met and work is completed.
We are very lucky at YoppWorks, where we have a program called YOPP which allows us to continue our professional development and to address the challenge of keeping up with the number of new technologies. The YOPP program allows us to take time to attend conferences such as Scale By The Bay, and time to further advance our knowledge, take training courses and contribute as individuals to open-source projects. For me, this past year I’ve had 3 training courses through the YOPP program: one Kafka, one on reactive architectures and one on Kubernetes. This is part of our contract with our customers that we take time every month so that we as consultants are familiar with the latest technology.
What is YoppWorks' culture like?
Well in one word, YoppWorks culture is FUN! For many years I have worked in environments where you could have fun but within boundaries. And in a sense, YoppWorks is similar, as we have fun but we are also very focused and ensure our deadlines are met and we are exceeding customer expectations. However, at YoppWorks we work with like-minded people and people who love what they do, that getting the work done is part of the fun. With great powers comes with great responsibility and with great fun comes great work!
What attracts the engineering talent in YoppWorks the most?
I would say that the freedom that we have here is YoppWorks is extremely attractive. A lot of us work remotely and we have the freedom to organize our workloads in a way that best fits us individually, as long as the work is getting done. You can organize and very often you can use whatever tool you would like, however being remote does not mean we are separate from the rest of the company. In larger cities, such as Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver we try to organize get-togethers. I can speak for my city, Montreal and on a regular basis, we plan events and weekend get-togethers where we either go kayaking or for hikes to stay connected. Additionally, the company holds what we call a ‘Hullabaloo’ every 6 months which brings everyone in the company together. Our last Hullabaloo was in Orlando, Florida where we organized a small conference to share the projects, research we were working on or just things we are passionate about. This is how the company stays so close even though so many of us work remote.
What does the company look for in a candidate?
We are always looking for diversity within our team. We currently do have a strong diverse team with those from different backgrounds and different experiences. YoppWork prides itself on finding the best talent in our ecosystem. This is not only that the candidate has the technical skills for the job, but also that they fit into our company culture. We look for candidates that are invested in growing their toolbox of open source technology and are passionate about the changes we are making to clients' environments. YoppWorks is always looking for new candidates to join the team so if you think this is the place for you we would love to hear from you.
Who should come to YoppWorks booth at Scale By the Bay? What should they expect?
Well Everybody should stop by the YoppWorks both as we would love to meet you!
But more specifically, those that are interested in our consulting services we are here to help. We have a wide range of competencies, general technology knowledge and love to solve problems.
Also, any engineers who are interested in being part of a fast-paced, growing company should stop by and say Hi. At YoppWorks, employees are never treated as a number, every voice counts and an engineer with great input and innovative ideas can make a change within our company. We are experts in what we do today, but we are always learning for tomorrow. For example, a few years back I didn’t know about the functional aspect of Scala, I just used Scala as a "better Java". And recently I have been introduced to these libraries and am very excited to be working alongside people such as Justin Heyes-Jones who will be speaking at Scale by the Bay this year. This company works as a two-way street where we can learn from you and you can learn from us, which is something I'm very excited to be a part of.
On top of that - we are always open to having a great conversation regarding really anything in technology. I’ve heard we will have some really cool swag too, so be sure to stop by for that!
Anything else you'd like to add?
At YoppWorks we are one of the only companies that practice what we teach, or some would say ‘eat our own dog food’. We have created a product using the tool libraries we work with every day. GoSpaces is a workplace engagement application that uses gamification to engage employees, maximize real estate and allow conversations during workplace transitions. We aren’t just a services company we are also a product company that was built off the foundation of embracing Reactive Systems.
We love sharing and building on our knowledge and libraries so much so that we have created a product we are pretty proud of. If you are ever interested in learning more about YoppWorks and the developers that I work with, we have a lot of have a lot of great white papers, webinars and videos on our website that invite you to check out.
You can also take a look at our product if your interested at gospacesmobile.com.
Do not miss the YoppWorks at Scale By the Bay: meet the team on the expo floor at Scale By the Bay!