Meet Rafa, our Head of Backend Engineering
The Tech team builds and maintains the Tide app, which our members use every day. We’d love for you to meet the people behind the backend engineering team – here’s Rafa, our Head of Backend Engineering.
👋 Hey Rafa! Introduce yourself in a sentence
Hi, I’m Rafa and I’m the Head of Backend Engineering at Tide.
What’s your background?
I was born at the end of the world 🌍 in Galicia, Spain, but have lived for a long time in Switzerland, where I went to school, and in Finland. After studying Computer Science and Software Engineering I spent some time in academia doing Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
I have also worked with CERN in Switzerland and in the weather and environmental measurements domain in Finland. I didn’t think I would end up in FinTech… 😄
What made you want to join Tide?
I was originally disillusioned that the FinTech industry was about converting money into more money, so I was not really attracted to it! But the recruiter told me: “look closer, these guys are different”. So I did, and indeed, they were. And we still are!
I love solving real problems and I saw that Tide is solving a critical one for small and medium businesses, by saving them time and money. As a scale up the scope of my role at Tide is limitless, I’m always taking on new projects and I have a real impact in the business.
What’s your favourite part of your role?
I spend about fifty percent of my time serving varied (unexpected!) requests from departments across the company, about a multitude of different queries, from technical to strategic problems. Even though I’m an introvert, I love feeling useful.
What’s your favourite Tide feature?
This is a difficult one. I see features from the inside and outside, so I’m very biased. I would say that being able to sign up within minutes is a game changer.
What’s the most interesting challenge you’ve come across since joining Tide?
I joined Tide as a Senior Backend Engineer, progressed to a Lead Backend Engineer, and am now head of the department. Tide clearly invests in their employees and we grow as the company grows. That is the most interesting challenge: scaling. Not only scaling the technology, but also growing the team and maintaining our culture.
You were one of Tide’s first employees – what’s your best memory so far?
Two and a half years now! I still remember the first time a feature that I helped develop was shipped to production and was being used by our members: expense cards 💳. It felt awesome seeing it used.
What’s your hidden talent?
I give shape to shapeless things. I don’t know what that means, but I said it once to a company at a hiring event and they wanted to hire me. So, it must mean something good…
When you’re not at Tide, what’s your favourite thing to do?
I love drawing in pen and ink and photography 📸. Hiking is also a favourite.