How we roll in FindHotel's Offers squad

Offers squad is one of the backend squads in FindHotel where we strive to provide each customer the best deal they deserve. We are one of the backbone teams at FindHotel. We support lots of important aspect of FindHotel’s core logic and functionality.

In this post, we discuss  the day-to-day activities of people in Offers squad, the interesting challenges we face, what keeps us motivated through the ups and downs and most important our passion to provide each customer an awesome deal.

Who we are?

We call ourselves pirates as we are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.
The best part of working in Offers squad is the positive environment where everyone is so supportive.
We are happy people who always want to work together, celebrate together and most importantly fail together. We have a diverse environment, people from various parts of the world which makes work more interesting and allow us to push boundaries to work together.

Let's get to know team members of Offers squad.

What do we do?

We are responsible for providing hotel deals by integrating various supplier and work on various algorithms to find the best possible deal for a particular hotel search. These deals are offered to various platforms like Findhotel's website, Google hotel adds, Tripadvisor, Trivago and many other metas.
We interact with various other teams on daily basis. The major projects that we work on a daily basis are cache management, price accuracy, integration of suppliers to acquire deals, managing deals, cost management etc. We work in close collaboration with the product teams and analysts.

Let's hear more from our colleagues in the Offers squad.

Tell us about business perspective of Offers squad and which stakeholders are interested in the business?

[Tom, Product Owner]

The mission of the Offers squad is making the most relevant and attractive accommodation offers in the market accessible for every user search. Fulfilling this basic need requires solving very complex engineering problems from one hand, while developing and maintaining business partnerships from the other. Tackling both challenges, together with an amazing team, creates the special atmosphere which makes your passion fire and lets you enjoy every moment in this journey.

My role as a product owner allows me to interact with different types of stakeholder on a daily basis which includes analysts, engineers and the clients of the products that we build.

[Mohit, Product Analyst]

I work with the product team to help them with prioritisation & launch key initiatives with clear focus on user centricity & FindHotel profitability. I focus on Analytics & Business operations,
I interact with various stakeholders like product teams, data teams, business development & engineering. I ensure effective communication between the teams, follow processes leading to better scalability & to keep the team informed on how these key features are mapped to the company's OKR & vision.

What are you responsibilities as an engineer in Offers squad and what keeps you motivated?

[Lev, Principal Engineer]

As engineers in the offers squad, we have end to end responsibility of our product,
so in addition to design and implement the product, we are also responsible of the CI process, deployment to production and setting up the AWS infrastructure. While it can be challenging, it has some major advantages for example the team is independent, flexibility as we can use whatever tool or framework that is suitable for us, build expertise with technologies that are not always accessible to developers.

The Major motivating factors for me personally are:

  • Working on interesting problems, and given the time to solve them in the best way I can.
  • Everything is transparent and shared with the employees - we hear from senior management often, and can always ask questions
  • There is a lot of focus on personal growth.
[Sina, Senior Backend Engineer]

As an engineer in Offers squad, I have some responsibilities like implementing new integrations, optimising our cache, writing RFCs to communicate new ideas with the team etc.
It’s really nice that I can see the impact of my work and that keeps me motivated.

What are the challenges that you face on an everyday basis?

[Sonam, Senior Backend Engineer]

Interesting challenges at the work place makes me feel thrilled about my work. In Offers squad there are many of them to keep one learning everyday. Some of the most important ones are maintaining price accuracy across various platforms as the prices change frequently. The other one which is always on going is optimising our cache to store millions of itineraries in the best possible way to keep the latency, space and cost under control.

[Artem, Senior Backend Engineer]

Performance is one the key for any successful product. In Offers squad I like to take up the challenges related to improving the performance of our systems for example memory management, latency etc with the ever increasing number of request we process every second.

Scaling is also one of the challenges that always takes my attention. We need to be at our best for resources management during peak and non peak hours.

What are the most important non technical aspects of Offers squad?

[Pedro, Engineering Lead]

It sounds cliche, but one can't underestimate the impact that working in a safe environment with nice and talented colleagues have on us as professionals and human beings. What I like most about working at FindHotel, and more specifically on the Offers squad is definitely the people.

We have an open platform to discuss ideas, and we are always aiming for high quality output, while still maintaining a humane work-like balance. This is what keeps me motivated about working in the Offers squad.

[Sergey, Backend engineer]

The Offers squad consists of people from multiple culture, we are from different countries aiming at a shared goal. Everybody is ready to support and provide inputs at any time. Squad members are very friendly, it is easy to communicate with them. During the meetings everyone is primarily in good spirit, which makes me feel even more comfortable as part of the squad.

How does FindHotel help you in developing your skills?

[Pedro, Engineering Lead]

We own some of the most crucial technical components in the FindHotel infrastructure, and so we are constantly challenged with interesting problems related to scalability and reliability.
These challenges allow us to be creative as engineers, and it's particularly rewarding to see the immediate impact in the company when any design or performance improvements are shipped.

[Sonam, Senior Backend Engineer]

The continuous challenges that we face helps me in improving and learning my technical skills with every step I take forward. I feel Offers squad has such a safe environment where I can express my views easily and get feedback. There is a continuous feedback process and knowledge sharing among the people which makes me feel satisfied about my growth both personally and professionally.

Day-to-Day life in Offers squad

We start our day with a daily standup, where we discuss the plan of the day. We are always coordinating with each other via our communication channels so that we deliver features of the highest quality. Being one of the core squads in the company it is our responsibility to proactively coordinate with all the stakeholders so that the entire chain remains intact.

To discuss important technical topics we have a special meeting called Arch Jam, this fancy name refers to the architecture meetings that we have bi-weekly apart from the regular scrum ceremonies. What makes this meeting interesting is the fact that we discuss possible uses of new technologies to improve our systems and solve complex problems. This also helps us to keep ourselves fuelled and give us room for experiment and learning. The outcome of the meeting is of course happy faces but also some challenging user stories to keep us busy and force us to think in an innovative manner.

Also worth to mention we have great retrospectives. You might be wondering what is so great about retrospectives, this is just one of the scrum ceremonies. We believe that this is the place where team members feel safe and share their concerns without any fear of being judged. We value the mental peace and comfort of everyone. To achieve this we go beyond this three things :
What went well, What din't go well and To improve. Each retrospective we plan an activity which helps in engaging even the most quiet member of the team to come forward and share his/her thoughts on the last sprint. We spice up the retrospective with relevant and brand new activities every time.

If you want to join this happy group of people, check our openings and get in touch! :)