Make An Impact: Engineering the Future with CTO Nick Masson
December 17, 2021
Nick joined in August to lead Pngme’s engineering teams. In the background he’s making sure our technology scales successfully to meet the needs of our financial institution partners, powering their businesses and reaching previously financially underserved people as a result. Nick has built and managed diverse teams across application spaces ranging from IoT and distributed systems to consumer hardware. He successfully co-founded and grew a data analytics company, resulting in a merger and eventual acquisition. We sat down with Nick for a quick chat about what excites him about leading Pngme’s engineering teams.
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How did you find your way to Pngme? What intrigued you about the company?
It was immediately clear to me that Pngme is a company operating in a dynamic and interesting market and technology space. There are a ton of exciting engineering challenges cutting across all areas of development that are frequently encountered in designed-for-scale B2B SaaS/PaaS platforms.
I was also drawn to how Pngme is very much an impact-oriented company that is also addressing a huge value proposition. This really positions the company well to build a technology platform and not just a singular product or capability.
Finally, I’ve found the leadership to be both humble and courageous. The company culture values hard work, but also taking care of oneself and others. We aren’t coworkers. We’re family.
What's it like to be a developer at Pngme?
We’re a series A startup, so as a developer, you’re definitely on your toes, expecting the unexpected, and able to wear multiple hats when needed.
With that said, there is also a real focus on building robust processes and on taking a planning-oriented approach. This helps us yield predictable outcomes and carve out time for foundational work in engineering excellence and managing tech-debt.
Navigating the natural tension between these two modes of operating is where we find creativity in the day-to-day.
As a developer, what are the most interesting problems you are working on?
There are too many to list, but here are a few:
Building out our backend identity models and services, permissioning and access control, and coordinating those changes with incremental delivery of new capabilities to our web console/platform.
Evolving our stream processing framework for ETL on millions of text messages.
Designing the APIs and services to make our data products accessible internally and externally.
Building and evolving our SDK and other Android assets.
Evolving our self-serve user flows to facilitate a quick zero-to-hero experience for working with our APIs for data retrieval, or integrating our Android assets to start sending our system your first text messages.
What are you building today that doesn't already exist in the market (to the best of your knowledge)?
We’re building a data aggregation, ETL, and data products system that surfaces considerably more visibility into an individual's character and financial health compared to any of the traditional signals available today.
Tell us about Pngme's tech-stack
Our tech stack consists of:
Android Native (Kotlin) SDK, React Native & Flutter wrappers & React Native Android app
Typescript/NodeJS/GraphQL & Python3/REST backend services
AWS-centric for hosting our services. Lambdas, dynamoDB & Postgres for all APIs
Kinesis, Lambdas, Redshift & Postgres for our stream processing pipeline
Why work with Pngme on your team?
There is abundant opportunity for growth and lots of interesting problems to dive into. We are a happy and healthy team that cares about building a supportive environment for the day-to-day, and prioritizes collective ownership and delivery over hero-mode.