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By Netlify People Team in Opinions & Insights

Meet our Netlifolks: Aarushi Kansal

In this Netlify team interview series, we’ll be giving you a sneak peek of a day in the life of some of our teammates. Next up: meet Aarushi, a Senior Backend Engineer at Netlify.

Aarushi Kansal headshot photo

What was your path to Netlify and what were your first impressions of the company?

I was working for a start-up in Berlin and realized after kicking off my job search that someone I follow on Twitter works at Netlify. I was a Netlify user previously but it had never really occurred to me that there’s an entire engineering team behind the product until seeing the tweet. When I checked out the postings I really resonated with the authenticity of it, especially when reading about how the team actually cares about making sure that you’re not burning out. Coming from a start-up, it’s really important to hear that work-life balance is top of mind. I also love the concept of what we’re building to make development more accessible for everyone.

My first impressions of the company was that everyone was incredibly friendly from day one! The team shared an introduction that I had filled out on my first day, which was great because I received lots of pings from team members who read my intro and made an effort to ask questions and get to know me. It was quite nice. In terms of on boarding, it was wonderful to see that everything was so well documented. Since it was my first fully remote experience, I liked that I didn’t feel like I had to constantly ask team members questions and instead could seek out the documentation first. Even though there is completely open and transparent communication here where I can ping anyone if ever needed, it’s always nice to be able to be proactive and dig around on your own first. I also loved that I was able to have on boarding meetings with every single department, where I could learn about other teams like marketing, developer experience, and sales, which was cool.

Tell me more about your role & your team.

I’m a Backend Engineer at Netlify. With our development teams, we’ve recently transitioned into a pod-based model, where each pod has product management support, documentation engineers, as well as both Backend and Frontend Engineers. On my pod, we’re working on thinking about the developer workflow following the journey from user sign-ups to building your website and working with all of those pieces that go into collaboration on the platform. The main project I’m working on is a Ruby API with lots of little Go Microservices and some Rust.

On my team, we’re all distributed around the world so in terms of communication, everything is always well documented. My team is mainly based throughout Europe and North America. We have our video calls and will pair lots throughout the week. Slack, Notion, and Zoom are our top go-to tools. We’re also really big with being careful to document on GitHub as well, which is where all of our discussions happen and because it’s public anyone within the company can see what’s going on.

What does your day to day look like and what are some interesting technical challenges that you’ve worked so far?

For my typical day to day, I’ll start working around 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. my time. It’s nice to get quite a bit of work accomplished before my meetings start, which are usually scheduled in chunks at the end of my day. I quite like the option to schedule my day like that, where it gives me a certain structure that I can stick to rather than just having meetings scattered across the entire day.

With the time differences, when I start my day US-based engineers may have had an entire discussion while I was sleeping, so I’ll catch up on those to see what was accomplished during their day. It’s nice that we have a clean handoff of projects between timezones. We have an incredibly open culture and I’ve never felt like I couldn’t bug anyone with my questions, which has been great.

With some of the technical challenges we’re working on, everything is in a phase of massive growth so it has been a real highlight to see how we’re handling stability and overall scaling out of some of our code. There’s lots of scope to improve, along with refactoring, which has been really interesting. It’s nice to have huge variety when it comes to working on really complex technical projects, since I’ve never really had experience working on a product with really high traffic and scale like what we’re working on.

What has your experience been like working remotely?

This is the first fully remote position that I’ve had working for a distributed company and I’ve not actually met any of my teammates in real life yet. I started knowing I needed to have a solid routine so it wouldn’t be overwhelming where I get up at a normal hour and make sure to not work too late into the evening either. With my current routine, I try not to always work from my apartment so I can spend time at local remote-friendly coffee shops in my neighborhood, just to be able to change up my environment. It’s been really great to work with teams all over the world.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to join Netlify?

I quite enjoyed how my interview process wasn’t stressful or daunting. My advice during the interviews is that you should really be focusing on showcasing what you know. It was great that none of my interviews tried to trip me up but instead really focused on what I did know and how my skills and interests could add to the team.

What are your passions outside of work?

I’m passionate about traveling and this is the fifth country that I’ve lived in so far. Lately with the COVID quarantine, I’ve really been enjoying Korean dramas on Netflix!

Follow Aarushi and @Netlify on Twitter to keep up to date.