Sean Lewis from Divvy on Performance, Hiring and Training

About this Episode

Published February 13, 2020 | Duration: 34:34 | RSS Feed | Direct download

Today on Elixir Wizards we are delighted to be joined by Sean Lewis, a senior backend architect at Divvy. One of the many impressive facts about Sean is that he is entirely self-taught, from dabbling in Python and coding to eventually writing a bunch of Ruby tests and working his way up in the product development sphere. In his free time, he likes to play around with electronics and work on other tech-related projects such as developing custom smart home devices. In this episode, Sean discusses his recent Meetup talk on the implementation of Broadway and explains Divvy’s tech stack choices that include React, Elixir, and Python. He dives into the topic of hiring for Elixir, outlining the challenges and providing strategies and resources to equip new developers in the area of functional programming. For Sean, the most important aspect of onboarding is teaching newcomers to ask the right questions since this is the foundation of the problem-solving process. He shares about Divvy’s approach to recruitment, his role as mentor, how they go about retaining and continuously growing their developers, the importance of being teachable, and then Sean concludes by giving listeners practical advice for ensuring data fidelity.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Sean’s self-taught journey and role as senior backend architect at Divvy.
  • The smart home projects he has recently worked on, including a smart garage.
  • An overview of Broadway and Sean’s Meetup talk regarding implementation.
  • The straightforward tech stack at Divvy: React, Elixir, and Python.
  • The difficulty of hiring for Elixir and finding fintech companies that use Elixir.
  • Strategies and resources for training new engineers on Elixir and functional programming.
  • Why fintech works well with functional programming in the context of authorization.
  • Training state-minimization as a primary concern.
  • Onboarding: a process of teaching developers to ask the right questions.
  • Divvy’s approach to finding and recruiting new employees.
  • Thoughts on why so many Utahn companies use Elixir and the city’s exponential growth.
  • How Sean was recruited by Divvy, his progression to architect, and his role as a mentor.
  • Critical practices for onboarding developers, including assimilating them into the culture.
  • How Devvy continues to grow and retain its engineers.
  • The importance of challenging yourself, constantly learning, and staying teachable.
  • Implementing high-quality checkpoints and other advice for ensuring data fidelity.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Sean Lewis on LinkedIn —
Sean Lewis on Twitter —
Sean Lewis on GitHub —
Divvy —
Ruby —
Broadway —
Utah Elixir Meetup —
React —
Elixir —
Susumu Yamazaki on Twitter —
Domain Modeling Made Functional —
Slack —
MongoDB —
PostgreSQL —
Elixir Wizards Podcast —
SmartLogic —

Special Guest: Sean Lewis.