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Engineering Spotlight - Wellframe

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Wellframe helps healthcare organizations support every aspect of health beyond the four walls of care delivery. 

Vidya Sambasivan (Software Engineering Manager) and Dakota O'Dell (Senior Full Stack Software Engineer) at Wellframe to get an inside look at the company's technology, various projects, the team's culture, and more. 


Quick Hit Details

  • Year Founded:  2011
  • Number of employees: 144
  • Number of engineers: 47
  • Industry: Healthcare

Can you share a summary on what Wellframe does? 

Vidya: We are a healthcare technology company that helps patients achieve their health goals using our world-class platform that includes a mobile application, dashboard, and admin interface. We are unique in that we are able to customize the care management experience for every patient and provide them with useful resources while navigating their health journey. 

Dakota: Wellframe is a digital platform to help patients better manage their health in between visits to the doctor. Wellframe’s mobile app is a gateway that connects patients to resources from their health plan— including a dedicated care team of nurses to answer health questions and devise treatment plans, personalized educational content, and information on plan benefits and claims. We believe that fostering person-to-person relationships through technology is the best way to incentivize preventive care, which both improves member health and reduces healthcare spending. 

What are some of the different technologies that the engineering team gets to work with and at what scale? 

Vidya: We use a variety of technologies and architectures at Wellframe - Java, Ruby on Rails, Spring Boot, google cloud platform, FHIR APIs, microservices, Confluent Kafka, streaming architecture, RESTful architecture. We are moving towards using more Java than Ruby on Rails in our next generation architecture. 

Dakota: We use a pretty wide variety of technologies for different parts of the application. On the backend, we use primarily Java and Ruby on Rails + Postgres + Kafka + Kubernetes. For the native mobile apps, we use Kotlin/Java for Android and Swift/Objective C for iOS. The dashboard for the care team staff is 100% Typescript + React. We also use a lot of Python for data science and analytics and internal tooling. 

What are some of the interesting projects that the engineering team is tackling? 

Vidya: We are scaling and building our systems for next-generation architecture that supports multiple API integrations, ultimately helping to grow our member base. We have also started breaking down our monolith into medium-sized microservices, contributing to our performance and scalability goals. We are also onboarding new health plans this year which presents us with new engineering challenges that we’re really excited about! 

Dakota: Recent events have expanded interest in digital health dramatically, and we’re focusing a lot right now on scalability. We’re investing in a standardized FHIR-compliant streaming API for data exchange with our health plans, as well as decomposing our existing monolith into microservices. Balancing new feature work with platform enhancements is always a challenge, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to build a robust system which can adapt to the rapidly changing landscape and drive greater health impacts for our members. 

Does your engineering team have a chance to work on projects outside of their day-to-day responsibilities?

Vidya: Our engineering team is a group of passionate engineers who love to tackle fun and new engineering challenges every day. Outside of the regular projects, we meet regularly to discuss architectural challenges and collaborate as a team to standardize and improve across our projects in engineering in the form of a standards committee. 

Dakota: We’ve recently started a ‘maintenance’ backlog where engineers can file tickets for things they’d like to work on— refactoring, documentation, performance optimization, and feature enhancements. Every fourth sprint, each team picks the tickets they want out of the maintenance epics and works on that for a full sprint instead of the product roadmap. It’s a nice way of making sure the code base stays tidy and letting devs prioritize the areas they want to improve inside the application while still shipping features on time. 

What is the culture like at Wellframe for the engineering team? 

Vidya: We have a very collaborative culture that is open to ideas and we believe in helping each other as much as possible. We leave egos at the door. Everyone here is very humble. The engineering leadership has an open door policy that listens and deeply cares about the team. 

Dakota: Engineering culture at Wellframe is, above all, collaborative and humble. Improving patient outcomes through digital health is complicated, and it requires a lot of different skillsets— frontend, backend, devops, mobile, data science, and analytics all need to work closely together to pull it off well. There’s always another area of the platform to explore and someone willing to teach you about it. 

What can a potential employee expect during the interview process? 

Vidya: Our interview process starts with an initial tech screen to assess interest and technical fit. It is followed by a series of one on one interviews with engineers and the hiring manager of the team. We schedule the one on one interviews on the same day and candidates interviewing should expect the interviews to last anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. We look for passionate, curious engineers who love to work in a collaborative and humble environment. 

Dakota: The typical interview process is a phone call and a brief technical screen via CoderPad. If there's mutual interest, that's followed by a round of one-on-one technical interviews with engineers from the team you'd be working on. There is a technical component to the in-person interviews, but we’re more interested in seeing your thought process than knowledge of a particular algorithm or framework. We also love to hear about what projects you’ve worked on and what problems you’ve passionate about solving. 

Are you involved in any local tech organizations or Meetups?

Vidya: Not currently due to the pandemic, but really looking forward to getting back to this once in-person events are possible again! 

Dakota: We’ve hosted a number of events in the healthtech space, including an annual summit on digital health transformation and workshops on design thinking for healthcare. A lot of folks attend local meetups and conferences for their favorite tech stacks as well, and we’re looking to sponsor some of these events as the city starts to open back up. 


Rapid Fire Q&A

What’s on tap?

Nitro cold brew and various seltzer flavors (side note: the team really misses our Bevi) 

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars 

iPhone or Android?

Android 

Coffee - hot or iced?

Hot 

Favorite employee perk?

Remote work (even without a pandemic happening)

What TV show describes the engineering team’s culture?

Rick & Morty

What music is playing in your office?

Music tastes are eclectic, but there is a Jazz in the Background Spotify playlist they all seem to really enjoy

View from your office 

Cleanest desk / Messiest desk
 
Cleanest goes to Matt Moore, Staff Software Engineer:
 

Messiest goes to Rhonda McDonough, Software Engineering Manager: (she is learning several musical instruments while working from home)

Working from home


Team Profiles  

Vidya Sambasivan is a Software Engineering Manager at Wellframe. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the field, holding previous positions at ZipCar and as an independent consultant. When not leading engineering teams, Vidya enjoys hiking with her family.
 

Dakota O'Dell is a senior full-stack software engineer at Wellframe. He has a background in medical technology and a passion for using data to improve the delivery of healthcare. When not pushing code, Dakota enjoys hiking. 

About the
Company

Wellframe helps healthcare organizations support every aspect of health beyond the four walls of care delivery. 

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