working-in-r&d-in-saas

What it is like to work in R&D at a fast growing SaaS company

Thomas Igou
June 03, 2021
Christina_Persson_Introduction

 

The SaaS industry is fast moving and highly competitive. In order to stay a step ahead, SaaS companies need to continuously release new features and updates. But, what is it really like to work as a developer in such a high-paced environment?

I had the pleasure of interviewing my colleague Christina Person about her role as a frontend developer in the biggest product release in our company history.

Read the interview to find out:

  • Challenges of working on a SaaS product release
  • Team collaboration in a global and remote environment
  • The importance of team-wins and celebrations

 

Your role

Thomas Igou: Hi Christina. Tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do at GetAccept and how long have you been working here?

Christina Persson: I work as a frontend developer and have been at GetAccept for about eight months. This is my first developer role and our latest release (you’ve probably heard about it on social media) was my first ever large software release.

I’m located in Malmö and in my free time I enjoy spending time with my dog Harry and making cocktails that my boyfriend gladly drinks. 

T.I: GetAccept just released a lot of new features; what was your role exactly? Which part did you work on?

C.P: I worked with the Content Library in a cross functional team. One of the features I spent a lot of time on was the possibility to select resources from the Content Library and create documents with them.

There were of course a lot of other parts I worked on as well, but I had the main responsibility for the document creation and it was so much fun! Working on a specific feature within the Content Library was such a thrilling experience and I can’t wait to do it again!

 

The fun

T.I: What did you enjoy the most about working on the new features?

C.P: The fact that it was a completely new feature was what I enjoyed the most. Imagine that you’re going to paint a painting but the canvas has already been used, you will have a lot of things to take into consideration to make sure that the new colours will be visible on top of the old ones. The same goes with code, since this was mostly new features we had a lot of creative freedom and that was something I enjoyed. 

Another part was of course being part of a team with so much knowledge, seeing how we all took responsibility and ownership of the project. Working together to reach our goal of making a library within our application where sales content can be created and organised in an efficient way. 

 

The challenge

What was the most challenging part?

C.P: The tight deadline was definitely the most challenging part, there was a lot to do in the Content Library project and we wanted to make sure that we not only delivered on time but also that the final product was great. 

One way we handled the stress was by being honest with one another in the team, when asking if anyone was concerned that the release date was closing in on us we could all vent our worries and that was something I think we all valued highly. Being vulnerable and honest is important when working closely in a team. The stress didn’t necessarily affect the entire team at the same time. When it was stressful for the designers it wasn’t as stressful for the developers and vice versa, and therefore we could also help each other out. 

Being vulnerable and honest is important when working closely in a team.

I also got help from my colleagues outside of the Content Library team, being reminded of resting and the weekly lunch with RnDames [A group for women working in RnD at GetAccept] were valuable to keep balance with everything Content Library related. Spending the weekends with Harry and my boyfriend was another great way to relax and recharge my batteries. 

 

Team collaboration

How many people were involved on the project? And how did you make it work, to have so many people involved on different features, for GetAccept’s biggest product launch ever?

C.P: We started out with a total of five developers and designers, there was also our VP of product stepping in as PM and our scrum master guiding us in our agile work methods. But the team grew as the months went by and we gained more developers. All roads lead to Content Library as the old saying goes. 

We had daily meetings both for the whole team and for the developers, always taking time to check in on one another. We shared even the smallest of victories with each other and celebrated all of them. 

 

We shared even the smallest of victories with each other and celebrated all of them. 

 

The celebration

T.I: How did you celebrate the actual launch?

C.P: Almost the entire team met up at the Malmö office when the features went live. It was exciting and nerve racking at the same time. The day after release we met up at a cocktail bar in Malmö and celebrated until closing hour! Which perhaps sounds a lot wilder than it was, since they closed at 20:30 due to covid. But it was a lot of fun to meet everyone when we could just relax, celebrate and be happy that the release was a success! 

 

What's next...

T.I: Now that the features are launched, are you done with them, or is there a lot of work on updates?

C.P: We will be working on hardening and improving existing features, and there will of course be a few new things added as well. 

T.I: Can you share anything with us about what we can expect from GetAccept in the future, from a product perspective?

C.P: You can expect that the GetAccept product will rapidly get better and better. In particular we are focusing on features and functions that make GetAccept more user friendly and more rewarding to use in the early stages of a sales journey. From making a great first impression to someone looking for more information and all the way to the same someone actually signing a contract using GetAccept.

 

Wait a minute... 

What IS the content library? And what is this biggest product release in GetAccept's history that Christina is talking about? Check it out below...

 

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