Tech has been at the heart of Tiqets’ growth since the company first started in 2013. Today we sat down with Marijn Speelman, Tiqets’ CTO, to find out more about Tech, their day-to-day challenges and why they aim to Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).
First of all, tell us about the man behind the Tech, aka yourself.
I’m Marijn and I’ve been at Tiqets since its inception. I love travel and technology, so I’m very happy to be able to combine these passions at Tiqets.
Can you give us a brief summary of what the Tiqets Tech team works on?
The Tech department consists of different specialties like backend and frontend developers, data scientists/analysts, devops, and IT support. We’re working on building maintaining and running the Tiqets technical product.
What’s that look like in practice?
We write code to add new features to the Tiqets platform, and build new systems to support our growth in traffic and orders. We also support the larger organization with tools and data to help everyone be more effective. We do this in close cooperation with the Product team, and other departments like Marketing and Customer Service.
What does an average day look like in your team?
The different teams within the Tech department start with a stand up to keep in sync and address issues that might block someone from moving forward. On that ‘average day’, a backend developer might work on investigating an ongoing issue in our production environment, building a new feature or interviewing a potentially new colleague (we’re hiring!).
A front-end or app developer might be improving our checkout so that it’s (even) more frictionless, or adding new ways to help customers discover and choose the right ticket for them. And a data scientist might be using Machine Learning to predict how many orders we expect to do in the future in a specific city.
What advice would you have for someone that would like to work with your team?
Get in touch! We’re looking for people that know (or want to learn) what it takes to run and grow a global product.
What is your favorite thing about working with the Tiqets Tech Team?
The people I can work with, and that the product we build is used and enjoyed by millions of people.
What, if any, are the principles that your team lives by?
Being part of the Tiqets Tech team involves caring about building the right thing. This means listening carefully, but also speaking your mind. We also value ‘being smart, getting things done’, and many other software engineering principles like No Silver Bullet, DRY, YAGNI, KISS, … We also know it’s pretty hard to always apply all these principles, so being agile and realistic is probably most important.
A brief primer on softwaring engineering and techronyms mentioned in this article
- No Silver Bullet: Turing Award winner Fred Brooks wrote an influential paper called “No Silver Bullet – Essence and Accident in Software Engineering”. Essentially, this paper argues that no single development offers “even one order of magnitude [tenfold] improvement within a decade in productivity, in reliability, in simplicity.”
- Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY): This principle aims at reducing the repetition of software patterns. Abstractions or other techniques are preferred to avoid redundancy. It also prevents changes to one part of a system requiring cascading changes across other parts. It was formulated by Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas in the book ‘The Pragmatic Programmer’.
- You ain’t gonna need it (YAGNI): Don’t add functionality until it’s actually necessary. Forecasting a need isn’t sufficient impetus to make changes. Because, in the end, YAGNI.
- Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS): This principle actually goes back to the US Navy, when it was coined by aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson. Basically, systems work best when kept simple, so adding complexity and complications should be avoided.