Satyam is an engineering manager with the data team at grofers. Prior to his work in the data team,he worked in the Android team followed by building and was leading grofers’ iOS team for close to three years. He loves working across communities and can often be found tinkering with data in his free time. Here, he shares his experience and learnings so far.
If you were to describe your 6+ years at grofers in one word, what would that be?
Seeing the company grow from an order a day to millions a month is an experience on its own & I am grateful for that. My learning has gone beyond scaling tech to understanding business and this has helped me grow both professionally and personally.
One of the incidents I still remember vividly is from our first anniversary when we gave away macaroons on every order. We got so many orders that day and everyone in the office had to do deliveries — I simply can’t forget the smiles on our customers’ faces.
On the technology side, what has been the single greatest change you’ve witnessed in the organization over the years?
One of the biggest changes that I have seen over the years is that tech has converted from a team that is churning out products on its own to one that closely works with business teams to maximize impact. Business teams involve tech teams from day one and work together to build things, so tech is not an afterthought of a problem anymore.
As a programmer, what is the principle you always adhere to while solving a problem statement?
I usually work in an iterative process while solving a problem statement. There are no such things as a perfect system on the first cut. Instead, I strongly believe that we should first work on building something which solves probably a part of the problem, like just solving for the happy flow. Once that is in production, the kind of feedback you get is very valuable and you can incorporate that into your next iteration.
Share your thoughts on the democratization of ideas.
If you look back in history, the democratization of ideas has literally created the world that we live in today. The printing press gave access to information, hitherto unheard-of, to the masses. A few centuries later the tech industry picked up the same responsibility and took it to new heights.
What Linux began with its open-source operating system in the ’90s set the tone for this open access of ideas in the tech industry. In fact, this brought the ability to build on each other’s work and function as a community, that I am thankful to be a part of.
What do you love the most about your colleagues?
In the past 6 years, I have worked with multiple teams and one thing that I have seen common in all my interactions is that everyone is rooting for your success. That kind of culture really makes it easy to work on any problem.
How do you strike a work-life balance in this pandemic?
When the pandemic started, I actually moved back to my hometown. I came here for an extended period after almost a decade and it has been such a relief. We brought back some of our older routines and that helped bring some normalcy amidst the pandemic. I wouldn’t say that I have struck the work-life balance yet, but being at home has helped me devote time to the family that was earlier spent commuting or worse, cleaning 🙂
What would be your advice to an engineer hoping to join grofers soon?
As engineers, we constantly want to solve the shiniest, most exciting problems out there and this sometimes leads to a reality check when joining an organization; any organization, really. Not all work all the time can be pathbreaking. Therefore, as a part of the team, you have to put in the hours for drudgery and you shouldn’t get frustrated with that. I would like to leave you all with the following thought –
Building tech is not just about building awesome systems but building a sustainable business as well.