Life @ PhonePe
The PhonePe Engineering Bootcamp 2021: A glimpse into our Engineering Ecosystem
I loved every bit of my entry to PhonePe! It was perfectly planned from the time we were onboarded to making sure we productively used every minute during the first few weeks. Apart from feeling comfortable and ‘at-home with the rest of the batch, the last few weeks have been packed with learning, projects, fun and plenty of ‘Ah-ha’ moments. My favourite sessions were the sessions on PhonePe infrastructure, and the ones with the leaders, where our CTO, Rahul Chari, himself explained our Tech culture and why we do things the way we do it” says Ekta Mishra, about the recently held PhonePe Engineering Bootcamp which was our way of welcoming Ekta and 22 other Engineering graduates at PhonePe.
The PhonePe Engineering Bootcamp: A recap
From onboarding ‘fresh-outta-campus’ graduates to inducting them and ensuring they’ve comfortably settled into their respective pods, the PhonePe Engineering Bootcamp makes sure that the tech-campus-hires undergo suitable training when they join the organization. It is a 6-week intensive program conducted to help freshers adapt to our platforms, projects, unique Engineering philosophy, and our Tech culture and approach. It helps the Bootcampers inculcate the right mindset and skill-sets needed to work in our fast-paced and highly ambiguous work environment.
Engineering Pods — A startup within a startup
The PhonePe Engineering team is structured to work in Pods, like a startup within a startup. Working in Pods helps engineers get an in-depth understanding of their product and a holistic understanding of the problem that they’re solving. Each Pod works on a different charter, while the overall mission harmonizes across levels on product, company priorities, and strategies across other Pods. The PhonePe Engineering Bootcamp provides engineers with a good understanding of this structure and how each Pod works.
Abhiram Kaushik, an Engineering Manager and Bootcamp mentor shares how significant the Bootcamp is to help new engineers transition as PhonePe-rs, “The Bootcamp @ PhonePe is the rite of passage for all new engineers, every year. The entire program is designed to give new hires a glimpse into our ecosystem, engineering and culture. After 6 weeks of engaging with them, we’re excited to see what the Bootcampers are going to build at PhonePe!”
Accelerated Learning at the Bootcamp
As the Bootcamp kicked off, the engineers attended a 2-week long immersive, project-based learning facilitated by an external educator. During this period, the engineers participated in hands-on learning and went through multiple rounds of coding cycles throughout the day.
In order to become better engineers, we believe it is important to not only understand tech deeply but also to know the business context and the strategy of the organization. So the Bootcamp also included sessions in which the new engineers got face time with the executive leadership across functions, and gained a good understanding of the business context.
The last 3 weeks of the Bootcamp was dedicated to understanding the PhonePe Engineering ecosystem and functions. All sessions were highly interactive, delivered by our Heads of Engineering, Architects, and seasoned engineers from across diverse pods. Bootcampers got an insight into the type of problem statements different pods are trying to solve, both from an engineering and product lens. Engineering insights were shared on payments, merchants, financial services, etc.
Bootcampers also had the opportunity to learn about various functions such as data science, network, site reliability and quality and how these tie into the tech ecosystem. The organizing team also made sure that the batch got a flavour of engineering concepts such as server-side architecture, tech stack, principles of writing clean and maintainable code, release management, and much more.
Tushar Naik, an Architect and Bootcamp mentor talks about the importance of starting the process early. “We firmly believe that sustained engineering excellence is achieved by nurturing talent from within. And there isn’t a better place to start this than from the grassroots — i.e. the fresh graduates that you can mould in the best way possible. Imbibing the right culture is essential and the program is structured in a way to accelerate that process.”
Persevere and Collaborate — The keywords uttered by our seasoned engineers
The Bootcamp is built to accelerate learning on the technical aspects and also sharpen communication and collaboration skills. Along with the training sessions, the batch also participated in multiple interactive icebreakers where they got to know each other better while having fun. During the Bootcamp, the batch was split into multiple teams and each team was given opportunities to collaborate.
“Our ‘Tech Talks’ series helps bootcampers learn from each other by sharing their technical interests and activities. It also helps them bond better. The ‘Project Showcase’ is a fast paced 2-day challenge where the bootcampers race against time to build a blogging application, which is then reviewed by our leaders. These exciting opportunities help our bootcampers learn from software developers and then build a project from scratch to kickstart their activities at PhonePe! I was a part of last year’s Bootcamp and found these projects really helpful and hence decided to ensure that we retain them for this year’s batch too.” says, Ameya Zope, Software Engineer and one of the Bootcamp organizers.
Being a part of these fun projects helped the Bootcampers get exposure to a lot of passionate discussions, different perspectives, opinions, and debates. After all, that is what we thrive on at PhonePe!
Here’s a glimpse into the various activities that transpired in the PhonePe Engineering Bootcamp!
A warm welcome to all the freshers! Here’s wishing our newest PhonePe-rs the very best as they gear up to solve exciting problems and create a real impact in the ecosystem!