Making sure INSTANDA lives up to its promise of being a world-class platform takes consistent investment. Not just in developing new features and solutions but also in making sure any technical issues are quickly identified and resolved.
We catch up with Atul Bhat, Development Lead for Technical Incidents, to discover what it’s like to work in a team that’s grown from three to over 40 in just six years!
I do a lot of things. I always start my day, though, with an SOS (Scrum of Scrums) call. People join from various departments across the business, including Platform Support, DevOps, Security, and Testing. Together, we discuss any top priority issues our clients or internal teams are facing and agree who’s going to take the lead in resolving them.
If an urgent client issue is escalated by the Platform Service team, I am usually the first to look at it. Depending on the urgency and nature of the issue, I either assign it to a functional expert engineer, or I take it on myself to investigate and solve.
When there are no top priority client issues, I assist the Architecture team by picking up refactoring tickets to improve the code quality and performance of the platform. I also perform Root Cause Analysis (RCA) on all tickets addressed and delivered as hot fixes to identify any underlying issues.
I joined INSTANDA as a Senior Developer in July 2013, and I was one of three developers. Now there are over 40 of us. You could say it’s been a fast-paced journey.
I’ve been instrumental in growing the team. Before I was promoted to my current role, I was Development Lead for team Starks (all our teams have a Game of Thrones name!). My job used to be 60% people management, and I conducted almost all the telephone interviews for developer candidates from 2015 to 2019. The rest of the time I spent designing, estimating and delivering new platform features and functions.
I have also been involved in project managing and delivering various platform releases.
I wanted to move into a role that would bring me closer to the technical side of things. At the same time, Tim and Derek (INSTANDA’s founders) saw a gap in the engineering department. They wanted someone with my technical expertise and understanding of the platform to take charge of technical incidents.
They didn’t just want someone who could troubleshoot. They wanted someone capable of identifying the root causes of any issues. The role appealed to me because it demands a high level of caution when resolving client issues so that any fixes do not negatively impact the platform.
I knew the role would be demanding, but I like taking up new challenges. It’s one of the many reasons why I’ve never looked back since joining INSTANDA.
That’s a difficult one. Over the last seven years, I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in lots of landmark projects and individual pieces of work. However, the two projects I am most proud of have to be the Salesforce integration and multi-item redesign.
I am meticulous in my attention to detail and transparent in everything that I do. I am also a people person and communicate well across all departments.
I’d set up a call with them, try to understand and see what they want to know, and depending on that, signpost them accordingly.
I would also encourage them to be curious in exploring how each team functions.
INSTANDA is somewhat unique. There’s a lot of good people around and across all disciplines. Pre-Covid, we would frequently go out for team lunches and drinks. In my role, I can work from any of our three offices, which is great because I get to meet people who I would otherwise only see during annual team get-togethers.
The best thing about INSTANDA is that there’s no hierarchy. You can walk straight into a Director’s office and have a conversation.
The social scene is great too. Our annual ski trips and team-building events are always fun. There’s a great deal of healthy competition among various teams, and we all enjoy ourselves. Tim (our CEO) is very competitive in whatever he takes part in. He is tough to beat on the go-karts.
We also take our foosball very seriously in the office, and whatever happens on the table stays on the table!