August 3, 2022

Inside Smartcar: Being part of an ambitious team

Bharath Gunasekaran

Senior Software Engineer

Hey there, I’m Bharath, a Senior Software Engineer at Smartcar! The factors that led me to build a career here is one shared by many of us on the engineering team — we wanted a space to grow our skills by being actively involved in new areas of problem-solving. If you’re motivated by similar goals, I hope my story can help you envision what that can look like!

The search for an ambitious team

Before Smartcar, I worked as a DevOps Engineer at a large fintech company. My role was primarily focused on managing how products were built and shipped. Although it was a great learning experience, I didn’t get the opportunities I felt I needed to grow as an engineer. I wanted a role — and most importantly, a culture — that pushed me to become a better coder.

I knew that it was time to look for a new opportunity. My criteria for a new role were simple, but I knew how difficult it could be. I wanted to be part of an ambitious team, a team that could continue to inspire my passion for coding.

Why Smartcar?

I was fortunate to find a welcome surprise come my way.

I got a LinkedIn message from Smartcar’s Director of People, Mathilde, inviting me to grab coffee with their Director of Platform, Gurpreet. It was only a 30-minute meeting, but it left a big impression.

I recall how perplexed I was seeing a demo of how Smartcar could be used to unlock a Tesla through an app with just a single line of code. It was a complex problem involving more than just vehicle integrations, but data privacy and intuitive user experience too.

I had a lot to think about on the drive back from that meeting. I kept returning to the demo I just witnessed and the discussions I had with Gurpreet about Smartcar's mission of building a centralized connected car API for developers Imagine how cool it would be to be a part of something like that?

Two years have passed since then and let’s just say I made the right call.

Striving to surprise myself

From starting as a Software Engineer to growing into a bigger role as a Senior Software Engineer, I’ve seen myself constantly improve by trying new things and engaging with people as passionate as I am.

When I first joined, I had to learn NodeJS, understand the concept of “awaits” and work on well-defined problems. New things are exciting and scary, but I wasn’t doing it alone. I had a supportive team that helped me ramp up and become a contributing team member.

Over the past two years of discussing positive and constructive feedback from 1:1 with my manager, I’ve become a more resourceful team player.

Building and maintaining a standardized API that supports over 30 different brands in the United States, Canada, and Europe can be challenging. Since every brand has its quirks, we needed to build a system that is modular and resilient to failure, and user-friendly. Today, I’m working on building solutions for loosely scoped problems — many of them being problems that have never been solved before. I feel more ambitious than ever, but even more supported as I navigate future challenges I have yet to learn about.

If you’re interested in learning more about engineering at Smartcar or any open roles, check out our careers page. You can also reach out to Mathilde or me with any questions!

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