Built By Benefits Experts: benefitexpress Developer Mike S.

Written by benefitexpress | February 8, 2018

benefitexpress was founded by industry experts who believed there had to be a better way to administer employee benefits. Their vision has guided our culture and hiring to build the company we are today. We hire pros with years of experience in their field  like Mike S., a member of our development team. We sat down with Mike to discuss what it's like working at the cutting edge of HR tech.

What do you like most about working at benefitexpress?

The culture at benefitexpress is extremely professional: there are no games or office politics. Everybody here is unified towards achieving the same goal: delivering the best value for our clients. Also, everyone here is very helpful and patient with one another  collaboration is the norm around here. Everyone helps everyone else. If I don’t understand something about the business of benefits administration, or if I have a technical challenge, receiving assistance requires nothing more than walking over to someone’s desk and asking a question. In addition, the depth of knowledge available here is very deep we have senior professionals who have worked in the industry for many, many years, and they are happy to share their wisdom and insights with the rest of the team.

What is your day like?

Most of my day is spent programming and working on code-related issues. Because we follow an Agile software development approach, we keep things humming at an even pace. When I need to begin a new work item, I will take it from the backlog. If I reach an impasse or hit a roadblock, I will hold an impromptu meeting with another developer to discuss possible solutions. We also do code reviews as needed, and hold meetings to evaluate the work we have coming up, so we can explicate necessary details and ask any questions before we begin coding.

What is working with our development team like?

I have found everyone to be very easy to work with  there is a good esprit de corps amongst the group. People are very respectful and responsive as well, and it’s not uncommon for a senior developer to put down what they are working on to help a more junior developer with a problem. Also, the senior developers are very familiar with the nuances of both the technologies we use as well as the benefits administration business, so we don’t have to go far to get answers. Finally, our development process is logical, so testing and review takes place at a reasonable pace. The fact that everything gets tested thoroughly fosters a high level of quality in our development environment.

Why should developers choose to work with benefitexpress?

The culture amongst developers is one that strives to create the best software we can. We avoid creating software that is “good enough” but rather focus on creating the best software we can. Every day, we challenge one another to utilize software practices and design patterns that promote reliability and maintainability. However, this is not a high-pressure environment, and the senior leadership of the development group has a great deal of first-hand experience in developing benefits administration software. Senior management and the senior developers understand what’s involved when it comes to adding new features and fixing problems. Leadership does not simply tell developers to do something but rather work with developers to come up with the best solutions. They are also very helpful and receptive to listening to new ideas.

From a technology standpoint, our work touches upon a lot of different technologies, from designing responsive web-based front-ends to processing substantial amounts of data on the back-end API to engineering database processes that run accurately and efficiently. 

Finally, benefitexpress provides access to educational materials and provides tuition support for continuing education and training.

What are the most exciting projects you’ve worked on here?

Most of my time has been spent working on the newest version of our flagship product, My Benefit Express v5.0. It’s been great watching that product emerge from a discussion concept to a functioning and robust software platform that thousands of customers now use to select and manage benefits. Working on this project also exposed me to many facets of the benefits administration business, and allowed me to use newer technologies as well, including Microsoft .Net Core and Google’s Angular 2 Javascript framework. We’ve utilized the Agile software development methodology for this project since inception, and this has made the development process smooth and virtually drama-free. We’ve also improved our testing methodology, which fosters higher quality software.

Want to join the benefitexpress team? We're hiring! Learn more about what it's like to work with us here.

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Topics: Benefits Technology, Company Culture, For Brokers & Consultants