Today, we bring you the third in our regular series of interviews with the growing Traxpay team. Read on to discover why our new developer, Thilo, believes bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to bringing true innovation to the financial sector.
What’s your favorite thing about being part of a start-up? Is it “hip” to work for one?
My favorite thing is feeling like I’m right at the center of processes, instead of being pigeonholed strictly as a developer. I like being able to see and understand the big picture, and having regular contact with management, sales and other branches of the business which some developers might consider “evil”! I find this hugely beneficial, as it broadens my perspective and improves the product I’m working on due to a deeper knowledge of the finer details. Personally, I’d always pick a start-up and the culture that goes with it over a more traditional, siloed company environment.
What does your job involve, and how different is it working in your role for Traxpay versus other companies? What’s your main area of responsibility?
Although I’m a software developer, I don’t have a focus in a specific field. Generally, my work involves writing code, performing clean-ups, maintaining the database and taking care of the platform itself. The main difference is that I’m more in touch with the what, why and how of the product than I would be at a traditional company – and I also have more of an opportunity to influence every aspect of it, regardless of whether that’s the frontend, backend, database or other toolsets.
Is there a sense that you can make a genuine difference to people by working at a start-up?
I think people working at start-ups are more interested in the overall outcome of the product, as opposed to just doing their part and not giving a second thought to how their contribution effects things later down the line. For example, some developers might lose interest in the process after “their” code is done, and not worry too much about how it integrates with the platform or functions in the live environment. I also believe it’s easier to think “we” than “I” at a start-up, because your broader understanding of the product helps you to identify more with the company and its goals. I think this is common at FinTechs because they are still relatively new, and there are no established barriers on the path from idea to product.
And how about Traxpay specifically? How is the company contributing to the future?
At Traxpay, we’re trying to make payments in the B2B space easier and helping banks to start thinking with a more digital mindset. As well as solving problems for banks, we’re playing our part in changing how they are perceived and bringing added value to customers. We definitely think that’s a good thing.
How do people usually react when you tell them you work for a start-up?
They usually ask how long I play table football for every day! Jokes aside, they’re curious about what it’s like to work in a small team as opposed to a company with multi-layered management structures. Some people respect the “risk” I’ve taken by opting not to work for a bigger, more established company.
Tell us a bit about the team dynamic at Traxpay – what’s it like?
It’s great! All the developers sit together, so if anyone has a question we can answer it almost immediately. Also, due to the open-plan office you can easily speak to anyone else in the company. Ultimately, because we’re all interested in the outcome of the product, we all pull together. That makes for a great atmosphere, and great teamwork.
So, does that mean everyone does a bit of everything?
To some extent, yes – I’ve certainly found my fellow developers to be very adept at multitasking. We do a have a degree of specialization, for example some people are more focused on the frontend, but generally everyone can do a bit of everything. This really benefits the quality and maintainability of the code, because everyone has played their part in creating it.
What have you enjoyed most about working for Traxpay so far?
My favorite thing has been the climate at work – it’s friendly, my colleagues are nice and we work with flat hierarchies. When there’s a need to fix or implement a feature, we can respond quickly without and unnecessary bureaucracy. Everyone’s opinion is welcome and taken into account when it comes to solving a problem, and I really like that.
How innovative is the work at Traxpay?
I think it’s very innovative. We’re bridging the gap between new technologies and creating and maintaining a platform that is future-proof. It’s really interesting, and a great goal to be shooting for. It also demands that we tackle problems from different angles and keep thinking outside the box – and, for me, that is the essence of innovation.
What lies ahead for the company this year? What is the vision for the remainder of 2017?
I think the rest of 2017 will bring lots of exciting challenges for us. As the team grows, we’ll continue to tackle those challenges by collaborating and thinking creatively, and I’m looking forward to all that lies ahead. There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure!