At a fast-paced startup like Blend, every day is a new adventure. During my time at Blend, I’ve watched the company grow from a mortgage platform to so much more. However, as Nima (our CEO) puts it, “we’re only 0.1% of the way there.” In our quest to bring transparency and equality to all of consumer finance (quite a lofty goal), there are still plenty of interesting problems to tackle.
Blend gives me the opportunity to make a huge positive difference in peoples’ lives. From integrating with trusted third parties to engineering new ways to keep our platform transparent, I know the work I do matters.
Recently, I’ve been tasked with one of these such problems — revamping how our platform handles disclosures, a key part of the mortgage process that ensures transparency between lenders and borrowers. Because of their central role to compliance, disclosures are a complicated, yet crucial, part of the mortgage process. In order to provide a seamless, online disclosures experience for all parties involved, there’s a lot of work to be done.
My day starts off with a quick standup with the team, where we talk about what we’ve been working on in the last 24 hours, and what we plan on working on in the next 24 hours. Standup is a great way to stay up to date with everyone else’s progress and gain visibility into any potential blockers. Our product manager, Nivi, likes to use this time to give us updates from the product side, which helps us see our work from a different perspective. After standup, I swing by my desk, check up on Slack messages, and then grab some (always delicious) lunch.
One of the most exciting parts about working at Blend is the immense opportunity for personal growth and ownership. As an engineer at Blend, I have ownership of the code I’ve written, but I also get the opportunity to design features from the ground up. This requires a broader understanding of how the feature fits into the platform and gives you responsibility over technical, design, and product decisions. This process involves writing up specifications, test plans, etc., and being able to justify your choices.
After lunch, I spend some time working on pull requests, doing code reviews, and writing a technical specification for a new disclosures flow. But my entire day isn’t spent in front of a computer screen. A couple of engineers might be giving a talk about a recent conference, best practices, or a new technology. I send a quick message to Keith, the technical integrations lead for US Bank, about a recent change that helps his team and customers (in his words, “BEST NEWS EVER”), and then hop on a call with Gabe, an integrations engineer, to discuss our current implementation of e-signing documents. Some days, I’ll conduct a technical interview with an engineering candidate. I might go find my manager Chao and my product manager Nivi to discuss customer requirements or help one of the interns with a stubborn test.
In the realm of non-work-related activities, there is definitely plenty of snacking, petting of our company’s mascot, Bailey the Australian Shepherd, and grabbing people for 1:1 chats. Just recently I had a 1:1 with my teammate Alex that somehow started with acai bowls and ended with a heated discussion about meditation, and what it really means to be an adult. Needless to say, one of my favorite things about working at Blend is the people.
I grab some dinner (did I mention we have amazing food?) and catch up with co-workers for a bit. At the end of the day, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to work with such a talented, motivated team on solving big problems. Mortgages are only the beginning — together, the sky’s the limit.