Building a world-class engineering culture at Fonoa

Building a world-class engineering culture at Fonoa

Engineering plays a very central role in Fonoa’s business. Our engineers are building a world-class API solution for all things tax, software on which our customers can rely.

I am Philip Beel, a Senior Frontend Engineer. I joined Fonoa in January 2021, and I’ll provide an inside look at Fonoa's engineering culture.

As an engineer, I am following a product through its lifecycle, from ideation to delivery and support which gives a lot of exposure to the technology, and customer needs. This allows me to learn to improve both myself and the product constantly.

Fonoa engineers are presented with problems to solve, rather than features to build.

They work in lean, small teams and co-own the product roadmap with product managers. They never get a top-down list of things to deliver. Their work starts with understanding customers' needs and continues with experimenting, collaboration, and constant iteration to improve our products.

At Fonoa, you are given responsibility from day one, which is very liberating as you can make informed choices about how you solve problems.

Our engineering culture

We are building a world-class engineering culture at Fonoa, where we encourage independent thinking and expect teams to make most decisions on their own.

We trust the expertise of our people and give them the freedom and all the support they need to solve complex problems.

To me, a world-class engineering culture values great ideas. It seeks diversity and creates an environment where people feel challenged, but not overwhelmed. It's a culture of support that allows everyone to share, learn, and grow.

To nurture this culture in a fully remote company, it is important to create the conditions for success, where learning and self-investment are the cornerstones. You can grow by learning from others, and also by sharing what you know. At Fonoa we provide a range of training and group sessions, both at a product and domain level. We also create opportunities for collaboration by organizing ourselves into product verticals where a cross-functional team takes ownership of a product, and all work to achieve an aligned outcome.

It is also important to share this culture with new joiners. We assign a buddy to each new joiner, to help orienteer and ensure they feel welcomed and involved from the outset. Many buddies create lasting professional relationships which go on long into the future.