Yolt’s CTO on building a top-notch engineering culture
It’s hard to believe it’s already been five months since we opened Yolt to the public with our open beta. From Amsterdam to London the excitement had been mounting, so seeing our hard work finally come to fruition is my top highlight at Yolt so far.
Building a top-notch engineering culture
Yolt is, and always will be, a collaborative effort, so my pride is shared with an amazing team. When we started, our first mission at Yolt was to bring in a team of engineers to create a product that would set the standard for next generation money apps. With open banking on the horizon (and now only a couple of months away) we’ve focused on fostering an agile engineering culture with highly skilled engineers.
We have organized ourselves in a number of feature teams, working end to end with the goal of delivering new and updating existing features. We have shuffled quite a bit with our team size and skillset, but currently think that 1 iOS, 1 Android and 3 back-enders per feature team is the most optimal. We rely heavily on automated tests instead of manual testing. Because of the team size (and the occasional holiday), we are looking for polyglot engineers. For example, we have one engineer that mainly works in Java, but sometimes assists iOS, Android and even the data scientists.
The tech behind your app
When we first started out designing Yolt, our ambitions were quite big: not only to become the smartest money platform, but also to rapidly scale in the number of users, banks connected, and partners integrated. Scalability has been one of our priorities from the beginning.
We decided to go for a micro-service based architecture, which allows us to run mixed workloads (mainly Java services, and also some Scala, Python and Go). This allows us to scale and work on these services independently. All of our services are deployed as Docker containers and we use Kubernetes for the orchestration of these containers. For our data storage, we rely on Cassandra and we use Kafka to decouple between our processing and data producing services. It also acts as a buffer for our downstream services. Furthermore, we use Spark for offline processing. From the front-end perspective, we built Yolt from the ground up - natively for iOS and Android because we believe it delivers the best user experience.
We’re proud of our user interface. Both apps deliver the same functionality, but follow Google’s and Apple’s design guidelines. It’s something our community has been vocal about from the early days of our beta testing.
“Great UI/UX design - very easy to get around the app.”
Innovative Fintech, bank level trust
Of course, we aren’t only focused on creating an innovative app, but a secure one. At Yolt, we’re proud to offer the innovation of a 21st-century Fintech with the trust of a major bank, ING. The trust our users have in our license to operate plays a major part in our continued development.
Onwards and upwards . . .
It’s been an exciting beginning, but there’s still so much to do. We have a passionate and vocal group of engineers that are excited to work on the next set of features. Our goal isn’t only to build a great app, but to help shape the future of Fintech as a whole. We’ve just gone live with Starling Bank, our first API integration, and we are ready to connect with new partners on our platform. So, If you have any great partners or products in mind, we’d love to hear what we should connect next.
To wrap up; we’re continuously looking for skilled engineers in one or more of the aforementioned areas. If you’re interested in learning more - and willing to work in Amsterdam - please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to us on Twitter.