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Tech & Processes

April 03, 2024

5 mins read

My framework for leading as an engineer

by Konstantinos Prassas

When I started working at Moniepoint, I knew it would be hard and rewarding, seeing that Moniepoint is a fast-growing company. I love the Moniepoint energy! We don’t wait around for things to happen—we are always at the forefront of changes, envisaging them, making room for them, and creating products and features ahead of the curve. This makes my work here super-rewarding.

Hi, My name is Konstantinos Prassas. I joined Moniepoint in October 2022, as an Enterprise Architect, and now I’m a Principal Software Engineer. This is a short breakdown of how I think about processes.

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What every day looks like for me

When I started, there was one payments team, which meant that the team handled every form of payment - card payments, withdrawals, purchases, etc. We also dealt with POS transfers, transfers, deposits, savings. Everything. 

Now, we've split into three teams, and since late last year, I've been leading the card payments team as Principal Software Engineer. Every day, I deal with production issues and help the rest of the engineering team. 

I also handle the deployments. I work with the product manager to meet business goals and technical KPIs. One of the many perks of working here is that I have ownership of the product(s) I’m working on, so I can be very structured and put in the right processes. 

I have a team of five: two Software Engineers, two QA Engineers, and one Technical Product Manager.

The most exciting thing about my work

I absolutely love working on new features. That may seem like a no-brainer to someone else, but it's dear to my heart. We engineers sometimes struggle in companies where people do not commit much to a new feature or a change going live. 

At Moniepoint, however, we’re always forward-thinking in that aspect. Because we have as much ownership of the product as possible, this translates to commitment—to an effort, task, or a new feature. Whenever there's a new feature or a new improvement that we're going to do, I get really excited. 

Another major thing I love about my work is that it gives me the platform to advocate for best practices. I’m constantly optimising best practices and best processes to help engineers level up.

Processes need some level of PR because they have such a bad reputation. Sometimes, engineers and business people feel that implementing and enforcing processes makes progress harder. But in reality, only bad processes do that.

A good process helps things go faster. It also creates a sense of security for the participants involved, because you know you're not reinventing the wheel or going on your own.  You have the proper structures and how-tos, from the inception of a project, when it comes from business, right down to the user experience after the deployment.

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My go-to framework and mental model

The most important mental model that has helped me a lot to communicate with my colleagues and also helped me set up guides for myself when implementing, is a Unified Modeling Language (UML), a language created for diagrams. 

I'm a big fan of diagrams - component diagrams, flow diagrams, and diagrams in general, because a picture, as they say, is a thousand words.

For me, a flow or sequence diagram gives my mind the same feeling as a video. I look at it and understand a lot of things that would be hard to explain in a document. Over the years, it has been really helpful for me, especially when creating user stories or presenting a new use case.

I also love how the UML started as a more technical way to describe technical documents or actual architecture classes and evolved into a tool that works across various aspects of our work, not just technical stuff—from logistics to accounting to engineering everywhere. It's a really sweet and smooth way to communicate complexities in a standardised format.

My ideology on leadership 

For me, leadership means building trust in my team, colleagues, engineers, QAs, and everyone to uphold their side of the work. Trust is very important so that we don't micromanage. Trust also leads to a feeling of safety. People perform better when they feel safe than when they feel anxious or fearful.

Trust in your team needs to be built, and it takes some time. It can be difficult with new teams, but I think trust is the biggest thing that I want to do. And it goes both ways: the team's trust in me and my trust in the team.

For fun

I mostly play music for fun. I play the guitar and bass. I used to hike when I was in my hometown, but since moving to Athens, I find it tedious to get in my car and stay in traffic to go to a mountain. It ruins the experience of the mountains or the sea for me to stay in traffic. 

So, when I want to relax, the first thing I do is pick up an instrument and play something alone to clear my mind. Sometimes, I have friends come over, and we play something together.

Moniepoint is a fast-paced and incredibly rewarding environment. If you'd like to do engineering that makes a difference, visit our careers page to join us.

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