Here at Rise, we take great pride in our approach to engineering. We use some of the best technologies, in order to be at the forefront of development when it comes to neo-banking apps. To go along with this, we have adopted 5 principles that form the basis of our working culture and application development when it comes to engineering. In this post, we will delve into the 5 takeaways about Rise tech that we use and that you should know.
1. Building to scale
Our systems are built to scale, meaning that as our company grows and expands, from both a team and geographic sense, so will our systems and approaches. At Rise, we operate using the microservice approach, with each developer working on a separate part of the application. This is so we can isolate different parts of the application, so that the developers can work on certain parts of the app without breaking the rest of the chain.
This is combined with our obsession with automation and isolation: two things that also help us grow linearly. Having an isolated system means that when an issue in our systems occurs, it won’t break the rest of the app. Automation increases our productivity and avoids the completion of repetitive tasks, therefore streamlining our process.
Having an environment where you can test freely without breaking the rest of the solution is key. Most importantly, it means that when there’s an issue, it is easy to find, as we can pinpoint the elements and work towards developing and fixing said problems.
We’ve also built our entire app on the cloud, it guarantees elasticity, as everything becomes available on demand. Nowadays it is not a choice anymore to build your systems on the cloud — it’s a necessity. The cloud allows us to scale linearly by increasing instances along with our app development, and there are no limitations when it comes to storage or server outages, especially when using Kubernetes-based platforms which ‘self-heal’ in case of any problems or server issues/failures.
2. Being open
Openness in the developer community is a large factor in the flourishing environment of applications. Having an open doors policy and being ever-present in the open-source community is something we want to be affiliated with. By being open with parts of our systems, other companies can come and improve our systems and vice-versa. Rise uses a lot of open-tools, along with parts of other companies in the open-source world in order to make our product better and our development faster. We take inspiration from successful larger companies: we want to stream like Netflix or Google — we want to manage errors like Zalando does — we want to streamline our workflow like Blackrock.
We also want to give back to the open-source community. Therefore, we encourage our developers to contribute back to the community by being involved in other open-source projects — in all cases, it makes our developers more well-rounded, as they learn to tackle new scenarios that can be applied to our app too. This is all done with the intention of developing the most complete application that we can. The more we can involve people from the outside world, the more we can grow as well.
We’re also designed as a Multi-Tenant application. By sharing a single codebase between a limitless number of users, it means that we also have a limitless number of people that can contribute and help towards our app development.
3. Data Driven
The engineering team at Rise is driven by data that we acquire from our systems but also by our customers. The customer is our feedback loop — naturally, it is incredibly important that the engineering team remains close to the Product Owner so that we can gather feedback from users and use the data to improve the user experience.
We also use similar principles gathering the data, in this case with the intention of monitoring the system. This is done to reveal whether project and activity implementation is on track and whether expected results are being achieved, and to see what we can improve on within our development.
4. Shift-left Architecture
The developers at Rise are big fans of shift left architecture. With an architecture shifting left approach, we set in mind the goal of creating an anti-fragile product rather than a resilient one. An anti-fragile app becomes better with problems as it continually tests our system. On the other hand a resilient app will be constructed to be as strong as possible. However in this case, the bug or problem will keep pushing through the walls until it breaks the system, something that we don’t want to happen.
Early testing helps tremendously with this, so that if errors do occur or we do have defects in design or architecture, they can be identified and dealt with, so we have stable systems from the beginning and we have less issues in production.
We have also applied a secure by design approach, meaning that our architecture has been designed to be secure : with every step of our app development, our security and defense systems also get upgraded. By the end of the process, we have a multi-layered system that is hard to penetrate, something which is incredibly important in the world of finance.
The financial world is evolving, and so are its rules and regulations. Therefore, we must also be compliant by design — we have integrated the regulatory requirements in the foundations of our architecture and design. This gives us great flexibility and means that if regulations change, we can quickly edit certain aspects without having to take apart our whole structure.
Attached to this is being observant by design — meaning that we work to make uncommon events obvious. Being observant towards tiny parts of a process allows us to catch and solve problems at an earlier phase, and then to focus on bigger problems that may arise.
Read our previous article about the Rise Tech Culture
Our devops culture in the workplace is something we’ve already taken time to explain in great detail (link to engineering at Rise post). Devops is the “organizational and cultural movement that aims to increase value delivery velocity, improve service reliability, and build shared ownership among stakeholders.”
At Rise, we value things such as agility in the workplace, streamlined work processes, the values and mindset of our developers amongst other things too. All of these elements combine to form our culture, which is one of continuous transformation.
Our team has a systematic pattern of working. As a group we differentiate planning and executing separately: the planning involves understanding the direction, having a grasp of the current condition and then establishing the next target condition. Following this, we execute and take steps towards the new target. In doing so, we are not afraid of team experimentation: this is a process that is necessary, as it can uncover and lead to an even better understanding of how to reach the target condition. Sometimes, experimenting might not work, but how can you know until you try many different methods?
Overall, these are our 5 key takeaways about technology at Rise. All of these elements contribute to the creation process of our application, and they are things that we’ll continue
to use in the future, as we aim to develop and grow our engineering team and values as our application and customers evolve as well.