Inside Tic:Toc: Rasanjana, Software Engineer
3 min read
Rasanjana shares how he got started in the field as a software engineer and what Tic:Toc's company culture is like
It was a time where COVID-19 had hit the job market in a bad way, and for me, it was a time I desperately wanted to look for a company where I could settle myself and be there for the long run. At that time, from March to August 2020, I had switched between a couple of jobs. They had all been contract work and didn’t get extended. I saw this ad online, and since I had already heard good things about this company through my connections, I didn’t hesitate to apply for the role.
The interview process was so smooth and not complex at all. The reason why I used the word “complex” is because I have been to interviews where interviewers try to impress interviewees. But when I came to the interview at Tic:Toc, I didn’t feel that at all. It felt very casual.
My first interview was a phone conversation and the second one was the technical interview with HR. At the end of the interview, I got a quick and nice tour of the office premises and my third was at a coffee shop with the CTO and Scrum Master.
Honestly, I was very nervous when I went for my last interview, but it turned out to be one of the best chats that I have ever had with a CTO in my career.
The culture here at Tic:Toc is all about its values. One of our values is 'time to be human' - 100% digital doesn’t mean 100% robot. People are the reason Tic:Toc exists, and people drive our technology. This is my favourite company value and I believe everyone at Tic:Toc truly believes in this and the work we do reflects our values.
What you will notice about the company culture is it extends from leadership down to all teams. Our CEO is always quick to announce important company updates to the team first. I have not seen this much transparency from top to bottom, in any other company that I have worked with before. People here take the time to make good bonds, and it makes you feel a part of the team.
Adelaide is not my hometown, but I love this place as much as I love my hometown. What I enjoy about working in Adelaide CBD is that it isn’t far from where I live. Most days I enjoy a walk from home to the train station and from the train station to work. Also, being located in the heart of the city gives you a lot of lunch and coffee options.
I am working as a Software Developer right now. The team I work with is mainly focusing on XAI Validate, our SaaS platform. We have a team of about ten, including Business Analysts, Quality Assurance Analysts and Developers. Once the company agrees on an initiative and once the initial steps (requirement analysis and gathering) is completed, it then comes to our hands to plug into the platform. So, a typical day for me would be attending the morning scrum and working on the tasks that have been assigned to me in the sprint. The team has a good mix of skills which is beneficial for everyone. Apart from building what is required, we as a team have our retrospective sessions and planning sessions to make our processes more efficient and ensure we deliver a good product to the customers.
I have not seen this much transparency, from top to bottom, in any other company that I have worked with before.
I always try my best to do both validation and verification on the piece of work that I am working on. For that, I write unit tests to cover as many scenarios as possible. But what I like to do most is trying to understand the stakeholder’s requirements to verify what we are building. For this, I get a lot of help from our Business Analysts and Quality Assurance Analysts. I always love to do end-to-end testing of the workflow.
The most challenging thing when I started at Tic:Toc was absorbing the domain knowledge of the product. Previously, I had some experience overseas building financial-related solutions, but Tic:Toc was different and far ahead of those technologies.
When I first went through XAI Validate what I saw was all green and red tiles defining rules for each section of a loan application. Understanding all those rules, and how and why they are generated was the challenge. And I think since Tic:Toc is building a platform that hasn’t been built before, everything that comes up in the future will be a challenge.
The platform has grown a lot since I joined the company and day by day I feel like it’s getting better. The most exciting thing for me about this project is how our models run to validate each section of the application and generate the set of results following the credit rules. This process involves a great combination of data science and software development and uses the latest technologies available.
Challenging, but satisfying.
While I was studying for my bachelors, and shortly after my second year of university, I started an internship in a small startup. From day one, I was coding using .NET tech stack and throughout my career that has been the mainstream. After that, I have worked for a few places back in Sri Lanka and at Somark Innovations in Australia. Somark Innovations felt like a fresh start to my career, and it was a good start.
I play cricket for South Road Cricket Club. I have played a couple of seasons and last season we reached the premiership finals. Unfortunately, we came second-best after a great game. The next thing that I love is to escape from the busyness and go camping with friends. Australia is very big, and I do want to explore as much as I can. Those are the top few things on my hobbies list. I like gardening and cooking too!