Jun 30, 2023

Fostering a focused, happy team atmosphere - Chat with Engineering Team Lead Aylen

Fostering a focused, happy team atmosphere - Chat with Engineering Team Lead Aylen

Our engineers build the technologies powering Wolt. We now operate in 25 countries and our apps connect millions of customers, hundreds of thousands of courier partners, and tens of thousands of shops and restaurants. This means that our product teams build for scale, that they need to be laser-focused on customers and they spend their time solving lots of interesting, complex problems. 

Based in our Helsinki office, Aylen is one of our Engineering Team Leads. In her free time she enjoys studying Psychology, doing Japanese translations, watching documentaries, and volunteering for animal safety. 💙 At Wolt, she looks after a team of ten engineers focusing on how we feature content in our Wolt app. Let’s hear from her what it’s like to work as an Engineering Team Lead at Wolt.

Hi Aylen 👋 Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Aylen, I’m originally from Argentina but lived in Japan and Italy before moving to Finland where I’ve been working for Wolt for two and a half years. I joined Wolt as an Engineer in the Retail Team. In that team, we focused on building a world-class experience for customers and retail partners on Wolt. It was interesting to work on improving the retail experience for our various partners.

For around a year and a half now, I’ve been a Team Lead for our team of ten engineers in the Content Delivery Team. In this team, we focus on the content discovery and browsing experience of end-users on the Wolt App, while making it fast and scalable. We build and improve the content editor tool which our internal teams use to manage and curate content shown to users of the app. 

Why did you decide to join Wolt? 

When I moved to Finland, I wanted to find a job where I could get to know and meet local people and, you know, go to the office. It was very hard because I moved here during the pandemic. I was already using Wolt when I arrived in Finland, so when I saw the job opening I got very interested. I was actually applying for jobs at other companies but then I chatted with a couple of friends that I made here, and they highly recommended that I try to get into Wolt since it has this reputation of being one of the best places to work in technology. 

Fortunately, it went the right way and I got in!

What have been the most interesting challenges you encountered since you joined Wolt?

When I joined the Retail team, it had been around for just six months and we were in the middle of figuring out how to work with retail partners as opposed to restaurants. There was a steep learning curve — it was a very interesting time. 

However, moving to the Team Lead position has been the most satisfying thing I have done so far during my time at Wolt. There was a lot to do, helping to get well-organized and building this team culture that everyone in our team seems to enjoy.

Can you tell a bit about your role as an Engineering Team Lead?

My job is to make sure that our engineers can focus on the most important tasks at hand without having to worry about incoming noise of things that aren’t a priority. In a nutshell, I help my team members to prioritize their work and help to unblock them so they can focus on the most impactful things. 

As a team lead, I put a lot of focus on mental health and well-being; I think building trusting relationships and a healthy working environment is such an important responsibility that last year I actually decided to start studying Psychology at university to improve on these matters. I try to be very aware of the mood of our team members. It’s my priority to make sure that everyone is happy with their work and the tasks they have and that they ultimately feel comfortable talking to me, even when difficulties arise. Overall, giving them the space to actually enjoy work. 

How do you get together as a team?

We started having team events every two weeks in which we rotate the organizer to choose whatever they want to do. It’s been cool because it brings variety, avoiding a situation where we would only have team lunches together. By now, we have been to the flying cinema in Helsinki, we’ve gone kayaking, we have been disc golfing and bouldering as well as bowling and more! It’s a lot of fun. 

Aylen's team kayaking
Team kayaking!

What has been your biggest learning at Wolt? 

I’ve learned a lot about cultural differences and communication. You must be flexible towards how other people communicate.

The fact that we’re so international means that everyone needs to be willing to adapt. One person may come from a culture where people talk a lot and use many words and gestures to express an intention, but the words themselves are not the most important. Someone else may come from a culture where communication is more deliberate and every word bares its weight.

You need to be able to navigate those differences in a way that everyone feels understood.

Your journey is very inspirational. What would be your advice for women looking to make a move into the tech industry?

Like most women, I grew up with what we call “women things”. Even though I was always passionate about computers and decided to start learning HTML on my own when I was 12 years old, I never considered it as a career path for most of my youth. For some reason I always felt like my male peers had way more knowledge and understanding of the topic than I did. For example, in discussions about hardware, I always felt way behind. 

When I decided to go for a career in engineering, I strongly believed that I had a lot to catch up with. Once I stuck to it, I realized that a lot of it was in my head and I could catch up if I wanted to. I found there are a lot of traits women can bring to the industry which are extremely valuable. I think those traits played a big role throughout my career, especially when it came to occupying team leading positions.  In my opinion, the only area where we might have a little disadvantage is due to how we were raised and taught what careers we should pursue as women. But there is absolutely nothing that makes us less capable than our male peers.

 Want to join our team to build Wolt together? We’re hiring! 

Check out our open roles 🚀