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Spin Lai

Senior Software Engineer (Taiwan)

Before Shopback, I have been working in a cyber security software company in Taiwan. As a backend developer, one of my responsibilities were developing a SaaS platform used by our customers who manage various types of security products. Taking on an additional role as a DevOps engineer in the team, I've gained valuable insights and experiences about deploying, monitoring and ensuring service reliability for a large scale distributed system.

Like most passionate developers, I enjoy learning new technologies and sharing them with others. From time to time, I enjoy attending technical meetups, giving talks and sharing my experiences with other like-minded developers in Taiwan.

Prior to joining Shopback, I was not familiar with E-commerce, not to mention affiliate marketing. After spending some time to understand it, I learned that the affiliate marketing model has been a long-standing marketing strategy. Frankly, our business model is nothing new and the rebates system has been around for years. What intrigues me is how we could give this old idea a fresh look with the help of technology.

Some engineers think that it is glamourous for an engineer to work in certain high tech niche industries. An alternative perspective is that the best part about being a software engineer is through combining domain knowledge and technical skills, we are able to influence and value-add to different companies across industries, regardless of their nature of business.

Here in Shopback, things are transparent. As an engineer, I can see the reasons behind decisions made and how we adopt various strategies in response to our competitors. Most importantly, I can see how our company grow day by day. Also, it's really cool to be surrounded by smart, passionate and tech-savvy engineers. With the flexible working environment and the support of our product manager as well as the team members, I can say with confidence that we deliver great products without compromising its quality!

More often than not, engineers in large and well-established companies will be involved in the development of a large and stable system. The good thing is that it gives us exposure, allowing us to take on highly specialized roles and learn from existing well-established engineering practices. However, the job scope becomes predictable, sometimes even repetitive after a while.

On the other hand, in a growing startup like Shopback, one can be actively involved in the growth of the team as well as scale up of the system. Given the current team size, we can easily see the impacts of our technical decisions.

Besides the technical aspects, career progression is also very important to me . There are 2 distinct paths for engineers here in Shopback Engineering team, where one can either head towards the management role or the individual contributing role; neither of which is "better" than the other.

One of the things I admire about Shopback is it’s strong belief for having a lean and highly effective team. Even though we are under the pressure to expand our engineering team, we never once lowered the bar for hiring.

I’ve been fortunate to have been working with companies with good existing engineering cultures. With my knowledge and experiences, I strive to build a great product and a great team alongside other Shopbackers.

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