Carolina Valdez, Engineering Team Lead at Wolt

May 10, 2023

Six things I enjoy the most about working at Wolt 

6 things I enjoy the most about working at Wolt blog cover image

Hola 👋 Welcome to discover life at Wolt! My name is Carolina. I joined Wolt a bit over two years ago and I’m the engineering team lead of the Cart and Checkout team. My team covers the user’s journey in the Wolt App from item selection to the checkout screen where you choose the payment method and how you’d like to receive the order.

You might know Wolt from having delicious food delivered to your door. But in fact, our vision reaches beyond that — the whole city delivered to you, within minutes. We already operate in 25 countries, have more than 8000 employees and have 29 million people using our products to order food, goods and other services. We’re getting pretty big and are building something even bigger, but we’ve kept tight to our core values and make sure our ways of working are flexible and people-oriented. And that’s something that truly makes working at Wolt special.

Here are my six top reasons why I really enjoy working at Wolt: 

1. We’re all a part of something big and exciting

At Wolt, we’re on a mission to make cities better places for customers, merchants and courier partners. Essentially we’re building a digital version of the shopping malls we travel to, accessible from the comfort and convenience of your couch in 30 minutes. Think of it as bringing the whole city to your fingertips. That’s pretty big… To do so, we’re basically building an entirely new commerce platform from the ground up for the delivery of everything, and we’re only just getting started. 

It began with the food court but we’ve since expanded into groceries, stores and various other boutiques. Now, you can get anything from Christmas trees to pharmaceutical items to dog food via Wolt.

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Think of it this way — it’s as if we’re building a shopping mall that fits in your hand

2. Teams decide what they build and how 

At Wolt, one of the most precious engineering values is that teams have a lot of decision making power. That power starts at the very beginning of the journey, because teams at Wolt get to choose the tech they use so they’re best set up for success.

Product teams have end-to-end ownership of the products they’re building. They build, run and fix what they create instilling accountability in the day to day. Wolt is highly autonomous and we have cross-functional, distributed teams who create their own clear vision and path to success. We encourage our teams to deep-dive into our users’ worlds to truly understand their needs. That’s why we encourage all Wolt people to spend a day as a courier partner delivering orders to customers, or do a shift in one of our delivery-only stores, Wolt Markets, to fully understand the ins and outs of the user experience and our products.

Teams own their roadmaps — they decide on what to do next and how to do it. From new solutions to maintenance and reducing tech debt, the team can do only a few things at the same time, and it is important for the people to decide how they invest their time. Unlike many organizations, Wolt doesn’t have a set standard way of working for all the teams. Every team has different needs and number of people, so for the day-to-day they decide the ways of working that suits them the best.

3. A constant source of learning 

Wolt provides all sorts of training and we believe in autonomous work and trust the people we hire. We keep connected, even when we’re remote, through monthly get-togethers for our product folks called product hours, our own Wolt hackathons, learning sessions, 1-2-1’s and tech talks, so there are always opportunities to learn and grow. Joining the Wolt team means you get the freedom to pursue your own interests within the business. Our engineers often move teams to have the chance to work with multiple use cases and problem spaces during their time at Wolt.

Our teams are composed of people from all seniorities, and we embody values like team collaboration, will to learn and will to teach. Every day, we learn from each other and grow together in team practices, technology, architectural patterns or efficiency, to name a few.

At Wolt, we’re also big on feedback and have created an open culture to allow everyone to feed in. Whilst we have the regular 360 feedback rounds, we also encourage feedback from each other as we learn better when things are open and honest.

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Working together with the team during Product Week

4. Growing together with Wolt

As Wolt grows, our team grows with it. Wolt now operates in more than 500 cities, partnering with more than 180,000 courier partners and offering the selection of 100,000 restaurants and stores in the pockets of millions of users. When we grow, everything around us also grows: the income in stores and restaurants, the number of users that benefit from our offering, and the number of courier partners who partner with us.

We started in 2014 with a team of six, which, by 2023 had grown to over 8000. Two years ago we had 20 development teams, today we have over 60 of them and keep growing! This industry moves and evolves very fast so we’re continuously working on new challenges and solving business problems with the latest technologies. 

Evolving with the industry means we’re always innovating and are currently working on loads of new verticals like our last-mile delivery for businesses, Wolt Drive. As a Wolt employee there’s always a new piece of the products to work on.

The way the company is growing means that we often introduce new exciting roles and have new opportunities and experiences, like visiting our brand new Berlin office or the HQ, so we can meet with the members of our team in person! We’ve also opened new tech hubs and already have them set up in Finland, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Berlin and Tokyo offering learning opportunities about how we operate in different markets and localize our offer.

5. A strong spirit of collaboration 

When you join Wolt there’s a question that you’ll hear frequently: What can I do for you? Your close co-workers and people you cross paths with at the office will ask you this, and we all mean it. We can only do great things when we work together as one big team, so we help each other to grow together. This is supported also by our tech mentoring program and various career paths, as we know that career growth isn’t one-size fits all.

We’re driven by a set of core values centered around taking ownership, working efficiently, staying humble (whilst thinking big!) and doing right by people. All this means that collaboration has been baked into our DNA since day one.

In addition, there are a lot of projects distributed across many different teams. These cross-team efforts are great opportunities to learn from other contexts, new ways of working together and new technologies. These projects enable us to get to know more people that we can learn from or share knowledge with.

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Our scavenger hunt team during our 2022 Product Week!

Besides tech collaboration, we’re early in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey and are also creating Employee Resource Groups around important topics like Women in Tech, Rainbow Alliance and other communities who work together to make Wolt a great place to work. Our Women in Tech group for instance, has developed an internal mentorship programme and is working on partnerships with key organizations that are encouraging more women to join the tech industry. 

6. Flexible working first 

We’ve proved that being at the office isn’t needed to make great things happen and in 2021 the ability to work from home full time became a policy at Wolt for our product development teams. We can choose to work from the office too and many of us choose a hybrid setup, working from home some days and from the office others. 

Most of our teams are hybrid with members distributed across our tech locations Finland,  Germany, Estonia, Sweden, Denmark, Japan or Israel. With this kind of setup, our physical location is not a blocker for our work and this allows us to work from a different city or from a different country. 

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That flexibility is key to the success of Wolt. It helps us attract and keep the best talent and support our colleagues in what’s best for them as that is also best for us. We’re always iterating our approach, making it a bit better as we go and because we trust the people we work with, our output is efficient, collaborative and future focused.   

Does Wolt sound like a place for you as well? Check out our open jobs on our careers site. Maybe we’ll see you soon! 😊

Carolina Valdez - author image

Carolina Valdez, Engineering Team Lead at Wolt