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Employee Spotlight: Abhishek Pillai

April 30, 2021

From triathletes to restaurant owners, SpinCar has some amazing employees in its ranks. We're introducing you to a new employee every month as part of our Employee Spotlight Series, giving you an inside look at our charismatic culture. This month, we're introducing you to Abhishek Pillai, a Lead Engineer on our web team. 

Tell us about your role at SpinCar.

I’m the Lead Engineer - Web within our Engineering team. I lead a team of five engineers plus a couple of consultants. I’m involved in reviewing and planning new features and products, as well as architecting and designing the technical implementation of these projects. I also mentor and guide new engineers through peer reviews and one-on-ones. I work closely with our Support teams to triage bug reports and facilitate ad-hoc requests. And finally, I keep an eye out for the latest technologies and best practices in order to pay down tech debt and keep our software and services well maintained.

Which core value resonates the most with you?

I’ve had a virtuous circle of curiosity -> grit -> results -> curiosity powering me through my time here at SpinCar. But if I were to choose one, it would definitely be curiosity. I find great pleasure in asking questions and creative problem solving even though the actual payoff is many weeks or months away.

Can you take us through a day in the life of a Software Engineer at SpinCar?

All members of the web team convene for a daily standup meeting with the product managers. This is where we discuss current tasks, blockers and next tasks amongst ourselves. This is usually followed by a few hours of programming - but the day isn’t all coding.

Here are a few tasks that keep us busy:
- Review and break down business requirements and user stories posted by the product team
- Participate in peer review when requested by teammates
- Contribute to brainstorming and design sessions
- Debug! Read bug reports, follow the breadcrumb trail through audit logs, run diagnostics, test and finally fix

You and your team are behind the creation of our products. What is most important to you in creating a great customer experience?

The daily actions and decisions of my team members have a very direct impact on the end user experience. So it is important for engineers to take ownership of the product they build in order to realize the creative vision of our team and craft a technically superior product.

What do you find most challenging about your job?

SpinCar is currently going through a hyper-growth phase, which brings with it a very unique set of challenges. I don’t face these challenges alone; the "tornado" (a term used within SpinCar to describe our beautiful, fast-moving work environment) is what binds all of SpinFam to channel their energy and passion into getting results for our customers. In a very short time, we aim to build an expanding platform of products and services, while shoring up existing offerings with exciting new features to keep increasing the value we provide to our customers. All without compromising on the quality of work we produce. It’s all about balancing trade-offs, resource management and good old-fashioned grit.

Tell us how you spend your free time.

I spend most of my time with friends and family usually gathered around good food! I enjoy reading, writing, and binging on TV shows and video games. I’m currently reading "Thud!" by Terry Pratchett. 

If you’ve ever been on a video call with me, you may have seen a poster of my favorite band, Gojira, hanging behind me in my room. I love hitting concerts and gigs by all sorts of different outfits. The last act I saw live was Opeth in February 2020 right before the pandemic put a pause on all of that.

opeth

I also love the outdoors! I’ve been running these past few years with a goal of completing a marathon one of these days. I try to spend as many weekends as I can hiking and camping through the many parks and forests near the tri-state area. This summer, I’m planning on learning how to climb and hope to be scaling cliffs in the Adirondacks.

Abhishek's curiosity and energy fuel him both in and out of the office through his efforts as an engineer on SpinCar's products and through his adventures in the outdoors. Follow us on the SpinCar Facebook and SpinCar Instagram pages for updates. You won't want to miss next month's spotlight on Chris Hart, Manager - Implementation.

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