10. Feedback

Real feedback I received from mid-year and annual reviews.

10.1. General

  • Phani has been influential in pushing for more/better testing across the API, in addition to introduction new coding patterns to make the code easier to test. To his credit, a lot of this was self driven and not top down. He also shared knowledge via a brown bag on the topic.

  • Willingness to dive deep on external systems — It’s been a huge win that Phani has taken the time to understand a lot of our dependent systems — from Aladdin to minikube to helm, Phani has been all over the infrastructure stack getting a deep understanding. He’s also taken a similar path on internal stacks that he hasn’t had direct tickets against (dev env setup, for example).

  • Phani completes the most tickets of anyone on the team. He is just constantly cranking on things in the sprint. Highlights are productionalizing integration with Magtek.

  • Phani came in at a time when we needed him and he hit the ground running.

    • FSM for transactions was a huge win.

    • Bringing his tooling and testing knowledge and sharing it with the company

  • Owning Processor Transaction Implementation

  • Testing suite and general force for improving our testing

  • Taking on our dev environment and creating multiple solutions to allow faster, cleaner, better tested development patterns.

  • Phani’s cronjob to fix transactions in unprocessed state was a great project because Phani took what could have been a quick hack, and instead treated it with a lot of respect. That thoughtfulness continues to pay dividends as we discuss other behaviors of our payfac application and how we might best model our business processes.

  • Complete code structure refactor was a huge endeavor. But it was a project that you took on so that we could all write higher quality code. You continued to drive changes on the "inner loop" so that all that hard work refactoring would also be leveraged to increase developer speed. It’s been great seeing your desire to improve your own experience truly change everyone’s philosophies and processes.

  • Phani has been instrumental to the team on many fronts. He has been a frontrunner in setting up of our tools in terms of development environments. Whether it is setting up how we use testing frameworks or other aspects of our environment, he has had a very big hand in that.

  • I really liked (and learned a lot from) the way Phani created smaller tickets and walked us through his plan before he started concrete implementation.

  • Phani’s continued to stay updated with available technologies even after the story, and now has options for us to use VSCode remote containers. It’s been really inspiring to see Phani’s work and has been super fun to learn from him.

  • Service Mesh Motivation, Research Exploration, and Validation - Pushing for the team to step back on circuit breakers and look for a broadly impactful solution was an outsized win! It was great to see you contribute to the primary research thrust and help solidify the direction. Getting the project off the ground so that the engineering team was in a position to prioritize adoption in Q3 was incredibly valuable.

  • Inspired the engineering org to take the plunge into service mesh integration. Pursued the initial research into the immediate team’s needs and investigated several service mesh provider options, helping us choose Istio as our target solution.

  • Has been an early adopter of some up-and-coming internal tools for developers:

    • He has contributed feedback and improvements

    • He has attempted to move it forward by using it in local development use cases and CI scenarios.

10.2. Coding

  • Phani is known on the team as an advanced coder and has taught the team a lot, especially on testing design patterns. It’s impressive on how fast he picked up python and has incorporated best practices already.

  • Very good about ensuring proper code coverage and thorough in his review during team time.

  • Phani is very proficient with coding. He’s probably been the most productive member of our team and has raised the testing bar for our team considerably. Especially on the testing side, Phani has been instrumental.

  • You contribute a lot to the design and testability of our code base. You’re responsive to feedback in your PRs, and are continually pushing the team’s code quality higher.

  • You’ve been an incredible example to the team for how to be a good citizen in the codebase. You continue to make our application better, and identify opportunities for further improvement that aren’t quite ready yet.

  • My first thought on this is that, for his 2020 Payment Service team shirt, he requested the jersey name to be "Test Driven Developer" - which is an accurate reflection of his mindset.

  • He put in tremendous effort to improve our code coverage and led the major refactor that allowed us to better cover all aspects of our services (consumers, in particular) and has given very good feedback overall to the team.

  • Phani knows a lot of the language nuances. I often find myself learning intricacies from him.

  • I think your contributions to the quality of PAPI’s code base are hard to understate. You’re positive attitude and encouragement towards the team adopting better patterns is a hallmark of the team’s emergent personality.

  • Frequently leaves the codebase in better shape than they found it - Phani does a great job of identifying wins we can tackle (without jeopardizing priority) to improve our codebase. Also, he often finds new packages that could help us reduce our code.

  • I love the emphasis on process and his testing-first mentality that he brings to the table. He’s always looking for ways to improve the developer experience.

10.3. Architecture

  • Very deliberate about documenting and reviewing things together, and gathering feedback.

  • Phani has a good understanding of our architecture and understands the layers. From a software design perspective, he’s shown his abilities with the FSM and Payment processor. Both of those were well discussed, designed and implemented with a focus on testing.

  • Led discussion and documented various options for Finite state machine and multiple refunds.

  • Phani is probably "distinguished" in the sense that he has extension experience in implementing success and troubleshooting failure, and has developed very strong opinions on the macro-level for how we develop.

  • You have provided the team with a lot of thoughtful contributions, both in application code and testing. Your penchant for data classes and interfaces has provided a reminder and reference for everyone as they build their own contributions.

  • I think that your interest in sharing your work will quickly scale to the organization level and make an even larger impact.

  • Phani does a great job pointing out key considerations we should think about in our research tickets, and contributes to our team time pay architecture discussions with valuable info.

  • He was prepared to tackle the service stability challenges for the pay service before recognizing an opportunity to elevate all of our services with a service mesh implementation. His early efforts there got us off to a good start on our path to full-scale adoption.

10.4. Technical Innovation

  • Phani’s strength is his methodical approach to developing an understanding of the problem and think through various approaches. More often than not we take the approach that is deemed the most prudent for the need.

  • I love how much new technology/ideas Phani has brought to the Pay API team — mainly with this testing infrastructure and coding patterns.

  • Phani has done quite a bit for our team in terms of setting up environments and test setups. He’s always introducing new tools. He is always looking for new ways to improve what we do.

  • You’re constantly bringing new things to the team, which is awesome. You are also a big meetup guy, and that translates to presentations to other scrum teams as well as the larger eng team!

  • Phani is a keen learner and has never been shy to bring new ideas to the team or discuss during Brown Bags, and has done a tremendous job of providing us with things such as better dev-setup tools for getting up and running and bringing us his curated ideas from Clean Architecture.

  • The way that you attack new technology is impressive. I feel like everytime we talk, you’ve learned about a new tool, and increased your understanding of an existing one. Bringing in the changes to our dev setup has made it much easier to get new folks spun up, as well as gives me confidence to blow away my dev setup and rebuild it without the apocalyptic level of fear that I’ve had with other dev setups :)

  • I also appreciate your documentation of the investigations into new tools you create. It’s a great habit, and one that keeps us all improving.

  • I look forward to Friday’s because we get to see new tools Phani discovered! Phani makes the effort to improve tools not just for the pay team, but for the whole engineering org as well. He shares his suggestions + discoveries on slack, and writes helpful confluence pages for others to follow. He also turns learning opportunities into possible tools, which I really admire (when we had config value issues on KSTAG because we hadn’t run into the issue, Phani wrote a script to check against environment config values which has already been proven helpful and caught mistakes in our recent releases).

  • I think this is again one of your critical strengths. You have a passion for not just learning about new technologies, but for testing them out and driving their adoption where applicable.

  • Phani often brings new tools to the table and shares pros/cons of them after his discovery. I like that he introduces the tools, and also informs us how we could potentially utilize them to make our systems better.

  • This is one of the few places where I won’t hesitate to rate Phani as Distinguished. He is always trying out new pieces of technology and trying to incorporate them into our team. In general, I find it difficult to rate anything as Distinguished.

  • Phani always seems to be on the leading edge of introducing or adopting new tools into our ecosystem.

10.5. Autonomy

  • Phani has a long history of proven success with building some of our more complex and integral development projects.

  • I have a lot of trust in your independence and that you will continue to progress on major initiatives that the team has prioritized. I appreciate that you also find productive tasks when you find yourself needing a break or blocked on a larger project.

  • You have been successful working on larger research tasks and laying out the work for the team to contribute to. I want to work with you to find a project with more uncertainty and opportunity to really take on from top to bottom with the support of the team.

  • Phani does really well with projects he works on. He is more than capable of delivering a project on his own.

10.6. Communication

  • Phani documents things thoroughly and is deliberate about communication and soliciting feedback. When working remotely, this approach mitigates the potential for miscommunication while leaving room for independent analysis and review.

  • Phani has good communication with the rest of his immediate team and has a lot of good output/documentation. He’s proactively reached out to QA and other eng teams.

  • Phani can communicate effectively across the organization and even outside of the organization, and often does.

  • I barely feel like you’re not in our office :) I recognize and appreciate the effort and committment it takes to bridge that gap with documents, emails, and slack. I’ve seen growth in the quality and structure of your confluence documents, and it has made team time as well as independent review of your work much more efficient, thank you!

  • Your documentation and structured thinking (and analogies) are hallmarks of your communication with the team.

  • I’ve never had any issues working with Phani or felt that we hadn’t communicated clearly. He’s also one of our more prolific confluence documentation authors. We’ve recently established a weekly 1:1 and I think we’re already seeing some dividends from that.

10.7. Business Impact

  • Phani is a tremendous asset that deftly ingests, processes, and proposes the solution to the problem, reviews it and gets buy-in on the approach, and works with stakeholders (including external ones) to implement it.

  • Phani has done a lot of the work on the platform and he has made a large impact on what we deliver as a group.

  • You have been a huge asset to the team in your consistent delivery of quality work. You’re continuing to find new ways to contribute and I’d like to find more ways to support your contributions to wider ranging projects. Getting your feedback earlier in our planning process and getting everyone in a rough alignment for the quarter ahead will hopefully allow you to grow here.

10.8. Learning and Education

  • As I’ve mentioned several times above, you’re a great role model around keeping up to date and sharing your interests. I recognize that you put a lot of your own time into leveling yourself up on tooling that is of particular interest and value to Fivestars, and am thankful for that. I hope that we can find ways for you to share your passion and encourage others to find their own ways to learn, grow, and share.

  • Phani is one of the more learning-oriented engineers I’ve worked with in terms of learning topics and ideas and bringing them back to the team.

  • Phani is great at suggesting paths forward, but letting the learner navigate the paths themselves, which provides a productive growth environment (e.g., making a suggestion on a PR without providing the code, and letting the author weigh the pros/cons themselves)

  • I think he’s one of the more "well read" developers on our team. I know he shares interesting articles and blog posts from time to time, and the team would benefit from his influence here.

10.9. Shared Humility

  • Phani is very humble and always treat feedback as a gift. I think it’s very noticeable in his engaging convos (when someone makes a suggestion, he’ll try it and bring back his thoughts).