First 6 Months as a Backend Engineer

My name is Malachi and I work as a backend engineer as part of the shipping platform team in Berlin.

In this post I will explain my experience from the first 6 months of working at Vinted explaining how onboarding was like and how we work and collaborate.

🤝 Why I joined Vinted

I was attracted to Vinted as a company because of the problems I would be working on in the shipping domain with logistics being fundamental to society, coupled with Vinted sustainability pitch and long-term strategy of where we want to go with this.

🏂 What was onboarding like

While the team I was joining was relatively new we all were onboarding as part of another team. This was great as it allowed us to learn how the company and domain operates. After a few sprints of collaborating like this our team split allowing us to define our own processes, ways of working together and our roadmap.

The company provides a very rich internal engineering documentation portal of getting started which proved invaluable with getting started with the tooling, technology, and the processes that the company uses.

Along with the rich documentation you are also paired with a buddy who becomes a point of contact to help you when you’re blocked and to get you up to speed with the tech stack and processes. There is also a very engaged Platform team that is able to jump in and provide support with the developer tooling they provide through Slack.

The company also runs an orientation week for new joiners to help you gain a deeper understanding of the company where different people from various domains speak about their area of focus and provide a Q/A environment to ask any questions.

My manager also had regular check-ins with me to ensure that I had all the resources and help needed to be successful. Setting up an action plan of topics to dive deeper into.

🚢 The Shipping domain

The shipping domain consists of multiple product teams focusing on various aspects. From focusing on network integrations, figuring out how shipments are tracked, recommending shipment rates, and more.

Aside from the typical async communication that naturally occurs over Slack we hold regular shipping engineering sync meetings to align on topics and to share knowledge.

🏠 What does a platform team do

A platform team is responsible for helping other teams within the domain operate effectively. For example working on scalability, security, and system health topics as well as working with other teams to help build better, scalable, and more robust solutions.

🫂 Collaboration

There are lots of opportunities for collaboration within the team through paired or mob programming, working together to solve tasks and share knowledge.

But also working on broader topics with other teams such as defining how services communicate or how to build modular systems with clearly defined boundaries. Within our domain we currently have one Staff engineer who works with bringing the right people together to tackle these cross-cutting projects as well as bringing people who have shown interest in the topics.

🏡 Flexible working

I joined Vinted during the COVID-19 pandemic which meant that I would be primarily working remotely. This wasn’t an issue with onboarding, due to the buddy system and culture of collaboration embedded into the company.

The company also provides all the IT equipment you need to be productive at home. As well as a personal home office budget to equip yourself with other equipment to be comfortable, such as a desk, chair, lighting, etc.

Vinted will go into a hybrid mode with the expectation to be in the office a few days a week.

😲 What surprised me the most

While I was aware that learning is deeply rooted in Vinted’s culture through information posted online on LinkedIn and other platforms I wasn’t aware of how this was lived in daily life within the company.

Aside from the generous learning budgets there are many forums for discussions and knowledge transfer. From regular backend learning sessions covering various technical topics, internal capture the flag (CTF) competitions organized by the info-sec team, and collaboration on public technical challenges such as Advent of Code.

🤝 Join us

Interested in joining Vinted and working on the interesting challenges we’re trying to solve? Check out our jobs page for current vacancies across our offices. Also read up on a previous post about what our interview process is like.