The engineers at any software company are the real superstars. They ARE the ones who actually create the product(s), after all! And it takes a lot of hands on deck to provide what users need while supporting the tech ecosystem of the entire company.
So, depending on your level of technical knowledge, you may have wondered at one point or another: “Just how do these teams work to scope, build, and support my system??”
I know I have - and I work here. That’s why I sat down with Cal Lott and Brian Graham, our VP of Engineering and Engineering Manager (respectively), to find out. And now I’m passing what I learned along to you! Here’s how MemberClicks’ Engineering team works:
Two types of teams
Our Engineering department is made up of 25 Clickers - that’s over a fifth of our entire staff! But within the whole team, are tiny little teams. Those teams can easily be broken into two categories:
The feature teams are the Clickers working on your product day in and day out to build (and maintain) different tools. For the most part they are focused on a single product, but they’re knowledgeable enough to lend a hand on others when needed. Each team is made up of various engineers and a Product Manager, who helps prioritize which features and fixes will be most impactful to work on next.
The supportive teams, on the other hand, manage the operations and architecture behind the engineering. (If the feature teams are your interior decorators, the support teams are your construction company, so-to-speak.) They support feature team Clickers with their expertise and best practice knowledge, while managing the infrastructure that’s needed for building, hosting, testing, and deploying all of our products.
Over the next month we’ll be introducing the Clickers on each team in more detail, so keep an eye out for those posts!
Our customer-first philosophy
Now that you know the basic structure, let’s talk about how our engineers operate. In short, every single decision they make is based on what would be the best for you, the customer.
With any project, the goal is always to complete its life cycle (coming up with the idea, designing, building, testing, and deploying) as soon as possible so the engineers can get your feedback right away. Realistically, they don’t know how a feature or function is going to make an impact until you start using it! And they’re eager to learn and evolve their understanding quickly so they can determine what you need next and re-prioritize.
Our engineers want to build the product with you, so they’ll intentionally start small with new features. Once they see how the feature is being used at its most basic iteration, they can start finding more ways to enhance it based on what you need. (Rather than what they THINK you need. I’m telling you, they thrive on your feedback!!)
Same goes for bugs and fixes. By getting through a project’s life cycle quickly, the team can identify any trouble quickly and push a fix out faster than you can say, “How many times can someone fit ‘quickly’ into one sentence.” We rely on the feedback cycle I’ve been talking about way more than scheduled “releases” - meaning we’ll never wait to deploy a fix, especially if it’s one that you need right away.
Now I will say, some updates may not always feel comfortable at first. We get it - change is tough! But again (and you can hold me to this) our engineers make decisions with you in mind. So give it a few tries - and if you’re still frustrated, the Help team is here to, well, help!
Our infrastructure and support
It takes a lot (seriously, a LOT) of behind the scenes equipment to manage all of that activity efficiently. In order to help you drive your mission, we need a little help ourselves! That’s why we’ve made significant investments in top-of-the-line servers and partnerships with leading, world-class providers in content delivery and security. We even have a monitoring system in place to help ensure that our products perform as expected, and to give us the visibility we need to detect and diagnose any problems that crop up. (So that we can deploy a fix quickly, like I mentioned.)
And if you’re at all familiar with agile software development frameworks, you might be interested to know that the team subscribes to one called “Kanban,” which encourages teams to transparently communicate their workload so everyone knows where each project stands at all times. (That’s a basic description - here’s a lengthier one!)
This framework empowers our engineers to make their own decisions based on what you, the customer, need most. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about for them: ensuring that you have a refreshing experience and the tools you need to accomplish your goals.
So there you have it! That’s generally how MemberClicks’ Engineering team works. And if you’d like to really get in on the ground floor with influencing how our products are developed, check out our user conference, MC LIVE! Coming to Atlanta next April, you’ll get tons of facetime not only with Product and Engineering Clickers, but also with Help, Customer Success, Training, Marketing (👋), Sales...everyone will be represented! Learn all about it: