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Advisor360's Engineering Team: An Inside Look
In This Video
During this video interview, Jed discusses:
- About Advisor360 and what they do
- Details on Advisor360's engineering team
- Details on the tech stack
- Cool projects engineers get to work on
- What to expect during the interview process
- About Advisor360's culture
- Why now is the ideal time to join
- And more!
Advisor360° is a deeply integrated all-in-one wealth management platform, unifying all the systems an advisor needs to run their business and support clients.View Company Page
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About Advisor360 and what they do
So let me provide you with a little bit of information on who Advisor360 is. So we're a FinTech platform. Specifically, we're wealth tech. And really what that is, it means we build software for the financial services industry, or in our case, wealth management. So what does that actually mean? Is that to make it more real will we sell software for financial advisors. So these are the individuals that are paid to provide financial advice. So it's for financial advisors, it's for their end clients, the investors, so folks like you and I, that would go to a financial advisor, to figure out what mutual funds we buy or stock, so on and so forth. And there's a firms that they work for. So we call those broker dealers. So it's really the complete package. We've technically been around for 20 years, we were a spinoff from Commonwealth financial services CFN, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, they built this platform for themselves. So we were technically an IT shop within a broker dealer in the software was so well received, it's so rich from a functionality standpoint, they decided to spin it off and started up as a separate software company.
Details on Advisor360's engineering team
So let me just give you a little bit of insight in terms of how my organization engineering structure with an advisor 362, Advisor360, is about just over 550 people, engineering is over 300 of that. So three-fifths of the organization is engineering. And really how I have that split up is 80% of my group are essentially building the product. So whether they're software engineers, QA folks, or architects, that's about 80% of my organization, the other 20% is data management. So a lot of what we do is provide high-quality data for our clients. I'll sort of put that to the side, although that's a key area that we're working for. But on the engineering piece, we, I've always had, and I've seen this so this is one of the reasons why we want to join Advisor360 in this particular role, is I've been in jobs where I've been pigeon holed before, my job is to give people the opportunity to move where they want to. So we do we do follow Scrum and Agile processes, I'd say small or smalls on those, because we do what we think is right. And so we do have team based approaches. And the teams have cross disciplinary, we do have a front end team, where from a reporting standpoint, they report it into a particular director distributed across the organization. But for the most part, we work in a team-based model. So people can learn different parts of the platform, they can learn different skills, they have the opportunity to move around.
Details on the tech stack
Let me provide with a little bit of insight in terms of the tech stack. I mentioned, we've been around for 20 years. So we have a lot of stuff that was built up over time. But that's not uncommon is to have some what we call in the industry legacy code. If you asked me three years ago, I'd say classically, I classify ourselves as a dotnet shop. So kind of soup to nuts. We've been working with Microsoft technologies, that's really the foundation behind what our product is built on. We're because of the nature of the industry that we're in data is a big component for us. But we've been investing in new technologies over the past three years. And my philosophy as CTO is to use the right technology to do the job. As an engineer, I don't want to just work with old stuff that's part of the excitement of being in tech is that things change all the time. And I want to be part of it. And I know the engineers that type engineers they want to hire are really interested in working with the latest and greatest technologies. So my job is to open that up. We use Python in a number of areas. So that's something that was introduced over the last couple of years, primarily around data in our service layer. We also built our own homemade, homegrown automated test harness using Python. So I do not want people spending time executing manual tests to make sure our product works. I want to make sure that we write automated test scripts to do that. We built out our own test harness to do that's plugged into a bunch of cool tools to actually report on that. So it's awesome. Again, I approach things as an engineer would, I don't want to do things over and over myself and I want to spend time building product and not just being a tester of the application. The other things we're looking at so doing a bunch on Kubernetes Kafka, we are doing development In some cases in Docker, some areas of the application are using Dockers for development. And from a front end front ends a big part of what we do. That's, that's Angular. We also have a mobile, mobile part of our platform. So it's iPhone and Android devices.
Cool projects engineers get to work on
So so my goal is to really rebuild the core plot. As I mentioned earlier, we went from a product that was built for one customer as part of an internal development group for a broker dealer. We're now building enterprise grade SaaS software. And so with that, we have to look at how our software scales and how we build that, and the technologies that we use. One of the things in our industry, and so I'll talk about something that is a really cool, cool project that we did is for a digital onboarding or account opening, a real problem in financial services, is, as financial advisors bring clients onto the platform, how do they open the accounts that they want to use, and how do they fund the accounts and transfer funds seems like a pretty monotonous thing. But it's actually very problematic for our clients, something that really has not been solved Well, in the industry. Part of the challenge is each of our clients as unique sets of requirements for this. And this is not just simple sort of configuration driven changes, they have actually have different requirements, different workflows, that require different sets of documents in order to open accounts. And so trying to get away from this customization approach that many software development firms bring in. To solve these types of problems, we actually built our own low code generation tool. And so really, what that allows us to do is we can actually feed in the requirements for what the users want around this account, opening digital onboarding process, they can feed it in, in a spreadsheet, we generate the code, and then we can actually build end to end processing around the digital onboarding workflows. This uses straight through processing. So lots of views in the past manual intervention, that usually would have to go in and make sure stuff work, we're able to actually get that out of the process. By what we built here in this is, to me is the most important part of this is that we're using great engineering practices, we're bringing creativity to the table. I think engineers, at the end of the day are creative folks to deliver business value our clients, our customers, I don't want to say they don't care about how we did it. But essentially, they want to see results. But for the folks that worked on this project, it's a real, it's a real sense of value and pride they have for bringing a really unique way to solve a problem to the table.
What to expect during the interview process
So the interview process starts with the basic phone screen. And what we want to do is make sure that we understand you as the candidate a little bit better put a name and a face to the resume that we get give you a better understanding of who Advisor360 is, to my belief that it's important for you to feel comfortable, who you're coming into as an organization as we are. So we want you to know inside now, then we schedule interviews, we try to really limit the rounds of interviews we do. So we'll introduce you to members of the engineering team, that the interesting thing that we tried to do is also give you a sense of the different types of work that we're doing. Um, so we'll have you meet both individual contributors that are working on the team as well, as managers, we do engage you with a short sort of coding design exercise doesn't require any preparation on your part really gives us a sense of really what the skills that you have to bring to the table. For more senior roles a little bit more extensive. I generally meet everybody on my team, that's a manager above. And again, it's not, it's for the most part, it's for you to get to know me how I approach running an IT organization, what our mission is our goals, where we're going to be how we're going to grow. So I think it's a good opportunity for me to understand you a little bit better. The key thing that we want to do is make sure there's a good fit.
About Advisor360's culture
So culture-wise, that's an interesting question. And it's really tough just to put some particular words about it. And you know, we're a startup, so our culture is developing. And at the end of the day, the culture is influenced by the people that we hire. So we try to hire people that really love engineering, they love business problems. I'm going to just probably cover what we look at from our core values. And the reason why I call them the core values is that we think they're selling to every person in the organization is going to be successful. So one is that we lean in. And really what that means is that we want people that are not going to sit there on the sidelines, they're going to get in the ring, they're going to get their hands dirty, they're going to do what they need to, to grow the business. And, and for us, it's great that we're growing the business and delivering to our customers. And for you, personally, there's a ton to learn. And so the more that you want to lean in and help out, then I think the more productive that your time is, the 360 will be. We're innovators. So we want people thinking I mentioned around digital onboarding, we want people thinking and being creative, around how we want to solve problems and how we want to build a great product. We're client obsessed, I've already talked about, you know, our clients quite a bit. We want everyone thinking about our clients, because at the end of the day, those are the folks that we're building to. And even whether our client is the broker dealer, or the financial advisor, where the end investor, we're talking that the stuff that we build are, are impacting 1000s and 1000s of families in the US. And the last, to me is probably just as important as the other ones that were builders, were builders who want to have fun. At the end of the day, I'm looking for engineers, I'm looking for people to build stuff, my job is to get rid of all the stuff around the side so people can do what they enjoy, which is creating things that people use.
Why now is the ideal time to join
So why now, so it's a competitive market. And there's we're just coming out of the the global pandemic, which is created a unique set of challenges and interesting situations for many people. So why join Advisor360. Now, so I've already talked about some of the things in terms of the product is great, we have a, we have something that people are willing to buy, we have a large pipeline of opportunity, I am in the growth business. So one thing that you will not hear from me is, oh, our job is just to maintain is an efficiency and cutting down. I want people that are going to build new stuff for our clients, we are in growth mode. From the opportunity standpoint, the industry that we're trying to serve, has, has a reputation of not developing always the best products in being true engineering organizations. So our clients are looking for us to do that. There is more and more of a trend to look at software companies to actually provide key capabilities. For the technology platform. That's something that we were we're slated to do. We have a great team. So very excited about the folks, you have an opportunity to influence the organization. We talked about culture, you have the opportunity to influence the culture. But the bottom line, why join Advisor360? Why join Advisor360 Now, it's the chance to create something great. As I mentioned, the startup but not a startup. There's so much opportunity for you to come in and contribute to what I see is a great company. But the nonstartup pieces that we have customers, we're profitable. We have financially very, very stable. So you have the opportunity to get involved in a startup at the early stage, but maybe take some of the risks associated with traditional startups.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai