Leaders Highlight Series: The Tech Leads
Welcome back to the Leaders Highlight Series! For those of you who have read the previous article must already know what it is all about. Leaders Highlight Series is a series of articles highlighting the profiles of our leaders in HappyFresh. Still focusing on our Tech Team, we are now introducing you to the Tech Leads of HappyFresh — the ones who direct our Tech Team and make sure that customers can simplify their lives by grocery shopping with only the tap of their fingers.
We have six Tech Leads:
- Robby Cahyadi Hendro Saputro (Robby), our Head of Engineering who focuses on Platform,
- Rian Triharyana (Iyay), our Head of Engineering who focuses on Consumer Client,
- Ronald Savianto (Ronald), our Principal Software Engineer who focuses on Logistic,
- Mohamad Adzan Egi Setiagung (Egi), our Lead Quality Assurance (QA) and Test Engineer,
- Yudi Rahono (Yudi), our Head of Engineering who focuses on Internal Tools, Data Infra, Operations, and Reliability, and
- Fajar Firdaus (Idos), our Head of Engineering who focuses on Personalization.
The six Tech Leads came from different places with various experiences. However, Robby, Iyay, and Ronald have been in the company from the start with Fajar, our CTO & Co-Founder.
How They Started
It was 2014 when Fajar co-founded HappyFresh. Only six people were working on the technology of HappyFresh at first. Basically, everyone had the same role as software engineers. While Fajar worked on the backend, Robby and Iyay were the first people to create the iOS application you might be using to shop now. They created the fulfillment system from scratch and also designed the app. Robby was also known to handle the frontend at first, but as time went by, he covered end-to-end — from iOS and Android apps to the backend system. Ronald, on the other hand, worked on the Android and shopper and driver (SND) apps. They worked on HappyFresh rapidly to be able to launch in only a year. In 2015, HappyFresh was finally launched in Malaysia and Indonesia and Fajar started to grow the organization by hiring more people including our fellow Tech Leads, Egi, Yudi, and Idos.
Coming from a corporate background, Egi challenged himself to work in a startup environment. He is our first Lead QA. With that being said, he is also the one who created the flow, framework, and methods to use and also expanded our QA Team. As a QA Lead, he is in charge of keeping the defined goals and expectations by the Product Managers match with what the developers have established.
In the same year, Yudi came along. There were only a few people in the company, therefore he was first assigned to do a lot of things on internal tooling and some tasks here and there. Yudi’s expertise focuses on internal tooling — inserting content, pricing, and product stock availability to servers. Since the Tech Team has expanded and the sub-teams have become more organized, Yudi’s day-to-day responsibilities today are more focused on product discovery (how customers find products, product categories, which apple is the most purchased, etc.) and operations (how the server runs), while Robby handles the backend system for ordering (add to cart, check out, payment, login and logout issues, and fraud) and system performance. Now, Iyay leads frontend and mobile, while Ronald maintains the backend system for logistics (from fulfillment, to showing slots, to the process of our shoppers and riders delivering the groceries to the customers and maintaining nearby stores).
Idos is the last (but not least!) Tech Lead to join HappyFresh. He joined us during the pandemic. Idos is assigned to manage personalization and machine learning (recommendation search, products that are out of stock, and their replacements).
Having equivalent titles might mean having similar leadership styles for our Tech Leads. However, they are never truly the same, which makes our Tech Team unique and dynamic. Each of them might have different principles despite going towards the same goals and missions for HappyFresh as a whole.
When asked to describe his leadership style, Robby revealed that he is still growing with time. However, one thing for sure is he believes that he must duplicate himself — his mindset, way of thinking, and way of making decisions — to the people that he leads so that they can run and grow on their own without limits and avoid micromanaging that doesn’t seem to suit the way HappyFreshers develop themselves. Most importantly, as a leader, being open to changes and feedback is also a must for him.
Iyay prefers to create plans, communicate with fellow Tech Leads, share the plans with the team, and adjust product roadmap and tech goals as a team. To him, the most important things are communication and trust. As for trust, he entrusts the day-to-day goals to his team. For communication, Iyay and the team like to discuss a lot of things routinely. He has told his team members since day one that anytime the team needs him, be it two in the morning, he will be available to listen and give needed inputs for them. Although he is technically a leader, he doesn’t want to create boundaries with the team members. He wants to be there as a friend who they can be transparent to, including communicating issues.
“For example, there was one time when we had a critical issue. So, my team had to stay late to work on it. Although I didn’t help them to code, I kept them company. I wanted to be there for them in case they needed to ask questions,” Iyay shared.
Ronald likes to involve the Tech Team as efficiently as possible. Aside from his team, he works closely with the Operations Team since he focuses on logistics. Together, they identify problems that Ronald and the team can solve. Then, with the Product Team, they put details on the things they want to work on, including seeing what cases that might happen and need more attention. Afterward, Ronald and the team would work on everything — or what they like to call, “sprint” — before measuring the impact of the output. When giving tasks to his members, Ronald gives a lot of freedom on how they want to work. Similar to Robby, he believes that it will help them develop better.
Yudi also agrees with giving limitless freedom to his team members on how to do their work. He believes that there is no ‘the most correct way to work properly’ because engineering, in general, is a form of art, just like paintings and music. As long as the focus is to understand goals for the customers, the company, the team, and the individual and know how to achieve them, any way that is felt to be the most convenient way to finish the tasks can work. With that, there are always challenges that will trigger growth.
“One goal has limitless interpretations and solutions. We define what the goal, impact, and output are and do the work freely. With that, there are always statements and questions to solve. So, it has become a journey of continuous learning process. Those are what we are proud of,” Yudi said.
To drive the team, Egi likes to check in on his members’ progress day-to-day and ask what he can help with. They also have scheduled meetings to sync up on what everyone is doing to share ongoing tasks, so they can coordinate with each other towards the goals. Idos also does this with his team routinely to retrospect and share each other’s issues openly. That way, he also gives room for his team members to grow. However, he revealed that it wouldn’t happen easily without the support of his active members who always do their best to deliver their work and focus on the goals.
It’s in the nature of engineers to love exploring technology and keep getting challenged to deliver more features. This is the way they learn. When asked to describe what they obtain from becoming HappyFreshers, all six of them agree that it is the best place to grow. With the supportive culture and environment, they believe that HappyFresh is a campus and playground at the same time for them to keep learning, in line with our Self Mastery culture pillar.
“We have sophisticated technology. People who haven’t obtained the knowledge of it can learn here. Also, there is no need to worry about making mistakes in HappyFresh because we will review our work together. The fault will be on the system or way of work, not embedded in the person. If you dare to do wrong, then you dare to do something. With the supportive environment (in HappyFresh), there is more room for developers to grow. As long as mistakes don’t repeat history,” Ronald shared.
“There is no prohibition on learning, so we are free to explore our creativity. As long as you can manage time well, there is no reason to stay late at work,” Egi also shared.
“There are a lot of things that we haven’t achieved, so candidates can join the adventure to grow in HappyFresh,” Robby added.
According to Yudi, “I believe that it is never too late to learn something new. The possibilities to learn something new by joining us are high. I believe that a great company is a company that can be used as a ‘transportation’ for us to be successful by giving opportunities and trusting us to learn something new. I think HappyFresh has fulfilled those criteria and is a great transportation to excel our learning.”
Additionally, our Tech Leads also agree that HappyFresh has a very open environment which is in line with our Openness culture pillar.
“Anyone is free to voice out their opinions. When discussing something, if someone disagrees, their opinions will be considered. I guess the flat organizational structure here plays a role as well, so we have no boundaries. Outside of work discussion, we can also joke and have a good laugh together,” Iyay said. Regarding this, Idos also said, “We are open to experiment and have healthy discussions with anyone. We can even approach our own CTO/Co-Founder and discuss things together.”
“There is no hierarchy here and I think it leads to having a family environment. I’m telling you, it is rare to find,” Egi added.
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The Tech Leads of HappyFresh have so much to offer beyond work. As an online grocery e-commerce company for only six years, there are still plenty of goals to achieve. Together, the Tech Leads will guide you to an adventurous path of growth in HappyFresh. If you are interested in joining, apply today to #OwnYourImpact!