December 21, 2021

Inside Smartcar: What inspires a great engineering team

Robert Simari

Software Engineer II

Hey! My name is Robert Simari and I’m currently a Senior Software Engineer at Smartcar. I’ve been on the team for two years, and in that time I’ve gained far beyond the experience and mentorship I initially sought out in a new role. But I do remember how challenging it was to decide on a career move. If you're looking to take the next step in your career, I want to share what I’ve learned about a work environment that supports great engineering teams.

How I picked the next step in my career

After working at large tech companies for a few years, I was looking for a new opportunity to build alongside a team of ambitious, like-minded engineers and entrepreneurs. So when I first read about Smartcar through a blog post on LinkedIn, my interest was piqued. I was initially unsure about joining an early-stage startup, but I did know that I was curious about Smartcar’s API capabilities and was eager to learn more about how it works.

I was invited by Mathilde from Smartcar’s People team to grab a coffee and chat about what it was like working there. We talked about the product being built, the challenge the product aimed to solve, and the confidence placed on everyone’s ideas to make solutions happen. It was after this conversation that I realized I had just found an amazing fit for my next job.

I joined Smartcar because I believe in our product, and more importantly in our people. As the company has grown, I’ve grown along with it and have learned so much about engineering, mentorship, leadership, and scaling a company.

A place where trust builds better ideas

One of the many things that inspire a balanced work ethic at Smartcar is how goals for our careers and professional development are at the forefront of everything we do. Our leaders understand that the success of this company rests on everyone’s ability to grow, challenge themselves, and explore new ways to drive abilities forward.

During one of my first weeks here, our CTO, Sanketh, told me that I had the freedom to dream up an idea and be assured that the resources would be provided for me to see it through. And he meant it. This emphasis on experimentation has led to some of the biggest breakthroughs on the Smartcar engineering team and it's what keeps my job so exciting every day.

Over the past two years, I’ve watched many late-night musings and random discussions grow from small personal projects to core pieces of our platform. At Smartcar, we have an engineering team that truly trusts and believes in each other, which has led to some really exciting innovations.

The best part about building in uncharted waters

Here at Smartcar, I work on the API platform backend team that builds our infrastructure and vehicle integrations. The day-to-day challenges our engineering team faces are unique — just like our product — and that gives me great fulfillment knowing that I’m designing solutions to problems that have never been solved before.

Smartcar is trailblazing the future of standardized APIs for cars. Yes, that means we’re working in a largely unexplored space which can be pretty daunting. But it also means we get to define what this space will look like today and in the years to come. This team is leading the future of mobility and car connectivity, and I’m both excited and proud to keep playing a role in this journey.

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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