Linda: Hi Danyal, thanks for joining our story of the month! Really looking forward to learning more about you and your role as Engineer @Homelike. Let’s get started with a short introduction of yourself. So who you are, where you’re from, and how you ended up at Homelike?
Danyal: Hi Linda, thank you for this interview. I’m Danyal, 35 years old, Iranian, software engineer and I joined Homelike in May 2019.
My educational background is in Electronic Engineering as well as Embedded Engineering, I graduated with my Masters in 2012 and have been working since that time in several startups in Malaysia in the hospitality and advertisement industries.
I would consider myself a Full Stack Engineer, system engineer as well as interested in architecture and DevOps.
In my spare time, I mostly go for bike rides and love to cook with my wife. When I planned to relocate to Europe, I found Homelike and really liked the business model as well as the idea of a platform between immobilienscout and Airbnb.
Linda: We are very happy to have you onboard Danyal! Maybe you could describe how a typical day in your position at Homelike looks like? If there is something like a typical day. 😉
Danyal: I can say, we actually don’t really have a daily routine and every day is diverse and different. Usually, I start my day in the morning with emails, reading updates, articles, sometimes I even have time to practice German.
At 10:00 am we then have our daily meeting with the POs to plan and synchronize for the current projects.
Afterward, I jump into my tasks, this can vary from coding to integrations, code reviewing, meetings with the tech teams, problem-solving, etc. Sometimes we arrange training sessions or knowledge sharing sessions for the team.
Linda: Very interesting to hear about your diverse schedule. Since you mentioned projects, which current feature or project are you most excited about and why?
Danyal: Actually, I’m working in the Discovery Team which is mostly focused on the beginning of the user journey. So when a user is initially searching for an apartment as well as then the listing of the results. The interesting part here is that whatever feature or change we are making on the platform, it directly affects millions of users when they visit Homelike.
Linda: Very quick question on this point. How many daily users do we currently have?
Danyal: It depends and can range from 15000 up to 60000 users per day when there is high traffic. And this high traffic then is the really interesting part 😉 .
I also really enjoy the way we’re working in an agile environment. We do a lot of AB testing to see if the feature really positively improves the user experience before we accept/change it. For example, we recently deployed a feature called “Server-Side Rendering” which improves the loading times a lot and you can directly see how this positively impacts user behavior and that more users are now staying longer or returning to our platform.
We also are continuously improving the design of our main page, e.g. the filter components. I can say that I’m really excited about all of those projects/features because I fully understand and can identify the reasons behind and how this can impact our user experience.
Linda: More in general, what makes for you an ideal work environment?
Danyal: For me personally, it’s the people you surround yourself with and the teams which are most important.
At Homelike I’m super happy with my team and the colleagues. Before Corona, we organized a lot of fun stuff, like had lunches/BBQ together, did a bar crawl, and became more friends than colleagues. Especially when you’re working a lot in front of your computer, you need this personal exchange and for me, this is very important.
Secondly, at Homelike I feel that I can really challenge the status quo and propose changes. This open mind and open discussion, for example, when I joined I directly pointed out some technical gaps, and the fact that we’re not afraid to say that our platform is far away from ideal and that we’re allowing this open feedback is something that I really appreciate.
Also, we don’t stick to our legacy and are also open to newer technology solutions.
Linda: Talking about challenges and continuous development, what is the one thing you would like to change currently on our platform or at Homelike?
Danyal: I think we could focus more on the long-term plan and impact of our actions. We’re often driven by short-term and quick solutions and then say we fix this later. This then causes a lot of maintenance issues and in my opinion, we could improve here also for example when architecting our software.
Linda: Last but not least, what will you do when Corona is finally over?
Danyal: I would really like to travel with my wife again, especially across Europe. When we arrived in Germany back in 2019, we didn’t really have the time to travel in our first year, and then Corona happened. We’d love to visit Turkey or Paris soon! Besides, I’m missing gatherings with friends in restaurants or cafés.