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Meet Our Engineering Team: Q&A With Kabir Soorya, Co-Founder and CTO

Learn more about our engineering team, their work, and how they embody the Benepass values.

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Our mission is to reimagine how companies take care of their people. At Benepass, our engineering team works behind the scenes to build the financial technology that makes this mission possible. Their hard work pushes us further toward our goal of modernizing the employee benefits space and creating a better user experience for both HR teams and employees. 

Get to know our engineering team in this Q&A with Kabir Soorya, Co-Founder and CTO at Benepass. 

“Our engineering team is what sets us apart in our space. The systems they’ve built are so far ahead of the curve that they may as well be magic.” 

How did you end up at Benepass and what made you join?

I ended up at Benepass because I’m one of the co-founders! Rather than what made me join, I can say a bit about why I’m still here. One of the biggest reasons is the team we’ve built. I love that I get to work with teammates who are not only smart and super capable but are also really friendly and genuinely care about each other. They care about making the company an incredible place to work. There’s also the opportunity we have in front of us: We’re transforming a $30B industry that in 2022 runs on manual processes and legacy technology, such as fax, checks in the mail, and artisanal CSVs. I like to think of our space as shipping before FlexPort.

Finally, nerd sniping each other is the company sport. Frequent topics include robotics, AI, synthetic biology, dev tools, rockets, WSB, cryptography, and our pets.

Tell us a little bit about the engineering department. Why would someone want to join your team?

Our team is small (and growing), but mighty! With an engineering team of fewer than 10 people, we’ve built a massive amount over the past few years, such as: 

  • Backend software that sits in the credit card authorization flow and makes an approve or decline decision in real time when a user swipes their card
  • Three awesome clients (an end-user web app, a mobile app, and an admin web app), plus push provisioning of our cards into Apple and Google Pay
  • A full-fledged general ledger system that tracks every movement of money in our ecosystem and continuously reconciles against external bank accounts
  • Automated integrations with a lot of different payroll and single sign-on systems
  • An end-user programming system to handle the complex business logic associated with our domain

We face complex challenges every day and get the satisfaction of coming up with really creative solutions to them. For example, we recently met a mission-critical business need by parsing and transforming Postgres query ASTs. We’ve also started rolling out dynamically provisioned infrastructure where our application creates and updates AWS resources based on values in our database.

What qualities do you look for when hiring someone for the engineering team?

First, they have to be a strong fit with the team, both in how they collaborate on work and in their day-to-day interactions. I mentioned above that our team is friendly and cares about each other and that’s very important to me in any new hires. 

Second, a really strong background in computer science and programming is critical. That doesn’t necessarily mean having a degree in or having majored in the subject, by the way. What matters to me here is that a prospective hire understands enough of the fundamentals of how everything works (e.g., browsers, networks, containers, interpreters, databases) that they can be dangerous with new technology in short order and know where to look for any specialized knowledge they need to solve an unexpected problem.

Third, a good product/user sense and a willingness to dive into the details of our business and our domain to inform engineering decisions are essential.

Finally, it’s important for prospective hires to take a problem (either from our sprint plans or just one they’ve observed) and be able to run with it on their own, make good technical choices, and make things happen on their own steam.

What is your favorite core value? How does the engineering team display it in their daily work?

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a technologist, my favorite is “set audacious goals.” The engineering team displays it every day as they work on and release new technology that goes on to power features none of our competitors can even dream of. 

What exciting things are in store for the engineering team as Benepass grows?

There’s a lot! First off, we’re growing the team and the company quickly now, so they’ll have front-row seats to the show as we scale Benepass. There are also a lot of exciting projects in the hopper to open up whole new capabilities for the business — everything from a server-driven frontend for mobile to building out deep language and image recognition models.

Interested in joining our engineering team? Check out our careers page to learn more about our open positions.

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Lauren Ortiz

Talent Acquisition Manager

Lauren is the Talent Acquisition Manager at Benepass and has been scaling organizations of all sizes for the last six years. She is responsible for overseeing and building out Benepass's recruiting function. Lauren joined Benepass because she believes that benefits aren't a one-size-fits-all solution and employers deserve to have the flexibility to take care of their people. Lauren is passionate about creating a positive candidate experience and is motivated by innovation. Outside of work, she loves hanging out with her black lab Sophie, wine tasting, and playing basketball!

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