Careem Tech profile: Engineering under the hood

Careem is  increasingly playing a big part in the region’s digital future, through our technology, infrastructure, and our diverse and talented people. We thought you might like to hear from one of the tech team who is helping make this happen and learn more about what goes on at Careem. Ivan Belfinger is one of our backend software engineers…

What exactly do you do at Careem?
I’m a backend software engineer, which means I work with things that are under the hood. You know when you use the Careem app and you see all those nice things? Well, I work on all of those other things that are going on behind them. I’m part of “New Categories” team, and currently working mostly with a fun problem called pooling; how to efficiently match multiple customers in a single car.

What technologies are you working with specifically?
Java, Python, AWS, Dynamo DB, Redis and some of the other industry standard tools. We’ve just been playing around with OR Tools, this is really fun. We’re using this to solve real-life problems such as vehicle routing issues –  how to route the vehicle for as little cost as possible whilst maintaining high customer service. This is why I love working for Careem, we get to work and experiment with the newest and latest technologies and we are not limited to legacy software.

What does your typical day involve?
My day usually involves a lot of coding, reviewing other people’s code and talking to other teams. Our current tasks demand a lot of inter-team collaboration, and that has been super fun. My day is interrupted here and there by a few meetings and interviews. Apply for a job in Careem, and I might be one of the first people from the team that you meet!

What were doing before you joined Careem?
I’m slightly ashamed to say I was working for a very boring company – a bank. The environment there was painfully slow. Something I really love about being part of a tech start-up now, is how different it is.

So what inspired you to join Careem?
Dubai was part of the attraction, for sure, but Careem is the biggest tech company in the region so that was my key motivation – I knew that I would get to work on the latest and best tech innovations in the region.

What motivated to choose this career in the first place?
As a child my dad worked with AutoCAD, one day my dad brought home an old machine his company was throwing away. I was only six years old and my brother was 10 years old, and he gave us a screwdriver and said start playing. That is how both my brother and I are now software engineers. It runs in the family.

What drives you at Careem?
What I like about Careem is that we enable low-income individuals around the region to create their own futures and opportunities for themselves and their families. By becoming a Captain with Careem they are changing their lives and we are helping them to do this. We are having a huge impact in the region. The culture here is also really good – it’s very multicultural with over 70 nationalities at Careem overall and around 50 in the tech team. Everyone is super open to talking and helping each other. In Careem you are never the smartest person! Sometimes this makes me feel bad, but it’s great as I’m constantly learning every day.

Now Read: Careem Tech profile: The man who predicts the future.