Position Spotlight: Supply Tech Engineer - Connectivity
Today we hear from Malachi Soord, Senior Supply Tech Engineer, walks us through his daily tasks, the mission of his team, and the most challenging aspects of his role in this position spotlight.
Can you please give us a brief summary of what your job entails?
I work as a Connectivity Tech Engineer under the umbrella of Supply Tech. My team's mission is to ensure we have the products and availability that customers demand by connecting with more activities, pulling real-time availability, and providing a seamless booking experience through direct integration.
The work of Connectivity and Supply Tech comes at the end of a longer process, which begins with our Sales team. Our Destination Managers go around the world and build relationships with suppliers of top activities locally. Once suppliers agree to feature their attraction on our platform, Connectivity Tech begins building a direct connection with the suppliers' systems.
This direct connection can be achieved through an outbound or inbound integration:
Outbound integrations - We build out from our system to the supplier's system. This is the necessary integration if the supplier is already connected with platforms and has integrations in place.
Inbound integrations - The supplier builds towards us. This is the necessary integration when suppliers reach out to us wanting to have a better integration with our platform. We provide documentation and a sandbox environment to help with this process.
How has your role changed since joining GetYourGuide?
I originally started off in one of our marketplace teams, working on our customer-facing platform and tackling a completely different domain. This involved running A/B tests and building new functionality and features for customers.
After 2 years on different marketplace teams, I wanted to try something completely different. I applied internally to the Supply Tech team and have been on the team for just over a year.
What does an average day as a Supply Tech Engineer look like?
The day starts with a team stand-up involving our Connectivity Ops team.
After the stand-up, the day to day tasks vary based on if I'm the "Ampelmann" or if I'm working on my core tasks. Ampelmann is our internal "Support" track organized through Kanban. One person is allocated to this track each week to support our company with ad hoc integration issues and critical tasks.
Since we work with a lot of API integrations, things can break. We created the Ampelmann rotation to handle technical issues and solve any problems that occur outside of our normal workflow.
If I'm not working as Ampelmann, I focus on the weekly SCRUM sprint where the tasks range from connecting directly to big activities or improving tooling to allow easier integration into our API platform.
How would you describe your team’s working style and dynamic?
Connectivity Tech works very closely with Connectivity Ops, who deal with the operational side of integrations, managing the process and product mapping. As mentioned before, we use Kanban for our internal “Support” track and use SCRUM for our normal operations.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
The most challenging aspect is the sheer variety of integrations we handle - figuring out how they can all plug into our system so we provide a frictionless and reliable experience for our customers.
The API’s are of various maturity, sometimes built using SOAP or more normally serving JSON. Sometimes we have to deal with systems that have documentation and have been implemented in a language I don't speak. Thankfully we have engineers in our team who speak many different languages and can help.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
The most rewarding aspect is improving and building upon the services that we manage, allowing them to scale and run smoothly as the company grows and serves more customers.
It's also pretty awesome when a new connection goes live and I immediately see the demand from customers making use of the connection.
What advice would you have for someone who would like to work as a Supply Tech Engineer at GetYourGuide?
Be prepared for a variety of work. The scope of what the team covers is quite large, and we have to manage and maintain lots of things.
What is your favorite thing about working at GetYourGuide?
I would definitely say the team. Before working at GetYourGuide, I was working in a company where everyone pretty much worked in isolated silos. It really lacked good team dynamics and collaboration.
At GetYourGuide, the work style is completely different. I’m one of 8 engineers currently working in Supply Tech, and we work closely to solve different problems. We bounce ideas off each other daily and pair up on tasks when needed.