Team Fusion Spotlight: How This Web App Team Is Transforming Our Product and Culture

27-Apr 2022
Screen Shot 2021 04 12 at 3.56.03 pm
Kirsten McNeice EMPLOYER BRAND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Engineering is a core part of our identity at Accelo. We employ best-in-class developers who are committed to building a great platform, solving tough problems and delivering an exceptional experience to our customers.

Hear from Paul Barrett, one of our web app’s Team Leads, as he shares more about his team, what they do and introduces us to the individual contributors who make the magic happen behind the scenes.

What Is “Team Fusion” and What Is Their Function in the Engineering Team? 

Team Fusion is a full-stack development team, responsible for implementing improvements and new features in the Accelo web app. Fusion’s portfolio encompasses the core modules of Accelo’s platform including Sales and Quotes, Projects, Tasks, Retainers, Tickets and Assets that help our clients run their businesses, seamlessly.

We work closely with the other Engineering teams whose portfolios interact with ours to enable value-add functionality including scheduling, automation, invoicing, integrations and reports.

What Is a Typical Day in the Life for a Team Fusion Member? 

We start the day with a team standup. Oftentimes, someone will stay after the meeting to help a teammate with a blocker and work together to find a solution. We have great video conference technology to make sure our remote team members can always be a part of the conversation and discuss other challenges as they come up throughout the day.

For lunch, we all head upstairs with people from other teams and chat about anything from cars to new music. You can find us after lunch playing a game of ping pong or darts followed by a barista competition at the office espresso machine debating which Spotify playlist we should turn on for the afternoon.

What are Fusion Fridays?

Fridays are always fun with Team Fusion! On most Friday evenings after all their work is done, the team heads upstairs to the kitchen (and the fully stocked beer fridge) for some fun and banter. 

We spend this time talking about things other than work and catching up on one another’s personal lives. During recent periods of lockdown when we weren’t able to do this in person, we blocked out time to get on a Zoom call and play online games like Codenames, skribbl.io, etc. Needless to say, this is an excellent way for us to unwind and celebrate the week’s achievements.

What Upcoming Projects Is Team Fusion Working On? 

The team has been researching frontend data management models and methods for state management in order to support the next generation of Accelo’s application. They plan to apply these findings to the platform's new feature - a Kanban board for managing Tasks! 

Keep an eye out for Product updates on Accelo’s blog for announcements regarding this feature. 

How Does Accelo Invest In and Support the Team’s Learning, Development and Career Growth?

We’re always looking into opportunities for members of the team to work on different parts of our portfolio, expand their product knowledge, and brush up on their technical skills. We regularly share ideas with people from the other Engineering teams as collaboration is vital to everyone’s growth and development.

In addition, Accelo offers a generous professional development stipend that they can use for upskilling in current technologies and projects to help them prepare for upcoming work.

Every three months we get a week of Developer Driven Time (DDT), where we each work on a project that interests us, whether that be implementing a small feature that we think could improve the platform, researching new technologies/techniques, or taking the time to complete training courses. It can be a solo or a group effort!

This quarter, members of team Fusion will be working with people from other Engineering teams and using part of “DDT” week to put the finishing touches on a new method of running automated test suites. Everyone in Engineering from developers, QA specialists and product managers will be able to queue tests to run against any feature branch, saving time and resources.

All team members have scheduled 1:1s with their team leads on a regular basis that allows them to talk about the work they are doing and what they want to be working on. This allows the team leads to understand what the developer’s passions are and intentionally plan work that excites them to encourage their professional development.

Meet the Team

Paul Barrett, Team Lead

Paul, Fusion’s team lead, is coming up on his third year at Accelo! His responsibilities include people management among his team and a range of technical work including solution design/validation, and code reviews. As a Scrum Master, he works closely with the team’s Product Manager to prepare and schedule work in fortnightly sprints. Oh… and he commutes to work on his motorbike (motorcycle for the U.S. folks!).

“What I love most about being Fusion’s team lead is celebrating milestones and wins with the crew. We find any reason to celebrate - work anniversaries, project launches, promotions, birthdays and more.” 

Lakshmi Ramesh, Developer

Lakshmi, originally from Kerala, India, started at Accelo just over a year ago after finishing her master’s degree in Computer Engineering. She was originally drawn to Accelo after hearing about the company culture and the great people that work here. Ever since she has been working on developing new features, enhancements and bug fixes and she especially enjoys taking part in the planning for future projects.

“It’s very exciting to explore new areas in the codebase and come up with requirements/estimations for upcoming work. It is great to be able to work with such amazing and talented people who are always ready to help when you need them."

Si Nguyen, Developer

Si joined Accelo four years ago as an intern while he was finishing his degree at the University of Wollongong. Today he is a Full Stack Developer on Team Fusion

Si works in both the backend and frontend of the web app and builds new UI components while simultaneously working to improve the performance of the existing one. 

“I enjoy being a part of Team Fusion because of our supportive team and the challenging projects. I really appreciate how supportive everyone is, especially when I moved back to Vietnam and had to work remotely at the onset of the pandemic.”

Brad McCormack, Senior Developer

Brad, one of Fusion’s Senior Developers, has been with Accelo for almost a year and a half and spends his days working with peers to solve complex problems that are driven by customer requirements and resident product experts. 

“I contribute alongside my amazing team doing anything from full-stack development to implementing infrastructure expectations (performance, reliability, and so on). I do my best to help educate my teammates so they can grow and make us stronger as a team for it. Each day I look forward to hanging out with my team and working on interesting challenging projects.”

Katherine Curtis, Senior Developer

Katherine joined Accelo over 8 years ago. She shared, “I was on maternity leave at the time and my husband had just joined this great startup (then Affinitylive) which was doing amazing and interesting things. I was hooked so asked if I could join too!”

Katherine is now a part-time developer on Team Fusion. She spends the rest of her time doing DevOps and Infrastructure work with Accelo’s infrastructure team.

“I love working at Accelo because our CEO’s goal is to make life easier for small businesses. Especially now, with everything going on in the world, it is an amazing feeling knowing that my job is helping others do their jobs, easily.”

Kobby Adu Boahene, Test Automation Engineer

Kwabena (Kobby) graduated from the University of Wollongong last year but is originally from Ghana where he lived for the first 28 years of his life. While it was a university career fair that initially sparked his interest in Accelo, it was attending Accelo’s “New Office Launch” party that made him want to be a part of the team! 

“I’ve now been with Accelo since September 2021 and I both write and run automated tests with the goal to cover the Accelo app with as many automated tests as possible. In addition, I’ve recently started reviewing test plans written by devs where I provide reviews from a quality assurance perspective during planning.”

Hugh Cowling, Product Manager

Hugh has been with Accelo since the beginning. Coming up on his 13th year with the company, he has seen Accelo grow from a small startup in Wollongong to a leader in the industry. 

“I'm a semi-nerdy guy. I like hardware and software but can't bring myself to write code!”

Having spent a lot of time talking to customers over the years, and lots of time sitting with developers, he moved into a Product Manager role in an effort to improve the collaboration across departments and ensure we're building out the best solutions for customers within suitable timelines.

Work With Team Fusion

Team Fusion is looking for a teammate who loves to solve tough problems, thrives in a collaborative work environment and takes pride in their communication skills. 

If this sounds like you, fill out the Mid-Level Software Engineer application and submit your resume! We hope to welcome you to the team in proper Fusion Friday fashion very soon. 

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