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HIRE Learning with Just Eat Takeaway: 'I want to make sure everybody feels included and heard'

HIRE Learning with Just Eat Takeaway: 'I want to make sure everybody feels included and heard'

June 21, 2023 6 min

The HIRE Learning series gets inside the brains of hiring managers who are looking for smart engineers, passionate Grafana users, and observability enthusiasts to join their teams. Find out what questions they ask, what red flags they look for, and what helps their teams succeed.

We all have our own way of communicating with our coworkers. Some of us are quick to interject; others are more reserved. Some of us bring a bit of our personal lives to our work; others keep the two as separate as possible.

For Rivanor Soares, Manager, Platform Observability, at Just Eat Takeaway, bringing those different personalities together is a big part of his job. Collaboration is critical to the success of his team of engineers, which means Soares needs to ensure everyone is comfortable working together.

“Whenever anyone — regardless of role or seniority — needs help, there’s always someone right at their side to lend a hand immediately,” he says about the team, which manages observability tooling and institutes observability best practices for a global team of engineers working across a mix of self-hosted, cloud environments, and business platforms. “We also have a good combination of different skills. And due to the collaboration dynamic of the team, those skills are leveraged in a healthy way.”

Soares describes himself as a people-first manager. He tries to get the most out of everyone by balancing the different ways people communicate, so anyone who wants to contribute has the opportunity to do so. 

“Sometimes I’m in a meeting and someone is sharing an idea and someone else starts to speak up, and then for whatever reason, they’re cut short,” Soares says. “I always make sure that I go back to that individual and say, ‘Hey, you were going to talk about something, do you still want to talk about it or was it already covered?’ And then give them the chance to speak. I want to make sure everybody feels included and heard.”

Soares hires individuals with deep understanding of cloud services. So when he interviews new people that could be a good fit for this collaborative team, he wants candidates that can quickly recap the answer to a technical question, while also being able to dig deeper if needed.

“That comes across as the type of experience that you develop by doing, not by reading,” Soares says. “When you learn about something by doing it, you can quickly summarize what that technology does or how you can make it work for your business.”

Interviewing and working at Just Eat Takeaway

Are you interested in working on observability at Just Eat Takeaway, which uses Grafana Cloud for near real-time visibility into its platform? Check out the company’s careers page for the Tech and Product departments, and filter by “infrastructure.” And if you want to find out what tech managers at Just Eat Takeaway are looking for, or if you just want more tips on how to manage a team of engineers, continue reading to hear from Soares as he talks about how he conducts interviews, the importance of relying on others, and how he starts off all his one-on-ones.

How he conducts interviews: “I start by trying to put them at ease. There’s always the challenge of finding engineers that are capable of showing their skills in an uncomfortable environment,” Soares says. “Not everybody will be able to summarize years of experience in an hour, so I start by giving them the room and saying, ‘This is you talking about yourself; help me understand what you’re capable of.’ And then I go from there. Once they are comfortable sharing, I start to deep dive into the skill sets that I see valuable for a platform observability team.”

Knowing when to ask for help: “I rely on my team a lot when it comes to technical expertise. I had a strong technical career here myself, but I walked away from those duties a while ago,” he says. “If I’m in a meeting and I don’t have anyone from my team there that has the answer to technical questions, instead of trying to give an incomplete answer, I immediately say, ‘I can take that offline, check with the team, and come back to you.’ I prefer to be transparent and honest rather than pretend that I know something when I don’t.” 

Flexible one-on-ones: “When I meet with individual team members, I go in with an agenda, but I start the discussion asking, ‘How are you feeling? How are you doing? Is there anything on the top of your mind?’ If they feel like sharing, even if at the personal level of how they’re feeling, I put the agenda aside and then let them drive the conversation. If they just go with a one-sentence answer, it’s fine with me as well — then I dive into the agenda that I had prepared for that conversation.”

Soares prioritizes candidates that are confident in their technical knowhow, but he also appreciates when people are humble and creative. “I want someone who has the courage to say, ‘I don’t know, but if I was to try something along these lines, I would try this,’” he says. “The ability to imagine how they could solve that problem without even knowing that technology in depth — that catches my eye as well.”

What (technical expertise) you need to succeed

While Soares prioritizes collaboration and teamwork, there are some skills that you’ll need to land a role on his team. 

Requirements for the role: “We look for someone that has hands-on experience with cloud service providers, building infrastructure for business applications. We want someone who understands observability is important and has the ability to tailor observability to the engineers’ needs, while also providing metrics and data that is relevant to the business.”

Know your code: “I’m keen to find someone who has experience in development, in some programming languages, because that’s the one skill that we are missing right now, especially when it comes to attending to the needs of our business platforms where there’s a lot of .NET involved. I could definitely benefit from having someone that has that extra skill — either that or Java development.”

How he measures success: “An individual on the team is successful if they are able to get projects finished in a timely and quality manner. And if you’re a senior individual: Are you helping other people around you and are you coming up with new ideas on how to do things differently? We have a mix of senior and intermediate individuals on the team, so the expectations are different depending upon their levels.”

Just Eat Take​away​.com is a lead­ing glob­al online food deliv­ery mar­ket­place, con­nect­ing con­sumers and restau­rants through its plat­forms. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has more than 692,000 part­ners that offer con­sumers a wide vari­ety of food choice. 

Are you a hiring manager looking for observability experts and Grafana enthusiasts? We’d love to highlight your team, your company, and your open observability positions in our HIRE Learning series. Please reach out to us at HIRElearning@grafana.com to learn more.