My First Year at Veho

I recently came across the concept of a "brag document" so I thought I'd revisit some of the most important technical work I've done in my first 11 months at Veho.

I joined Veho in February 2021 as a Principal Engineer and as one of the first five engineers in the company. As the most senior engineer at Veho, I was tasked to propose a concrete strategy and pave a path to ensure our systems can scale from 3 markets to 15 markets this year to 50 markets in 2022. Our monolith application, Backoffice, worked really well in a few markets but was getting harder to manage, maintain, and scale.

I proposed a plan and advised the engineering team to move to an event-driven microservices architecture using Amazon EventBridge as our messaging backbone for async communications. Synchronous communications across different internal services are done via GraphQL APIs using AWS AppSync or REST APIs using Amazon API Gateway for external-facing services. From the very beginning, I emphasized a "Serverless-first" mindset and influenced the team to rely heavily on managed services and primitives built on AWS. This "serverless" approach allowed us to create many new features and systems without worrying too much about managing and maintaining complex infrastructure ourselves.

High-Level Migration Plan to Event-Driven Microservices Architecture

Core Services

I spent much of 2021 architecting, designing, and implementing core services that would serve as the foundation and some of the building blocks for several current and future project initiatives. These core services include:

  • Gaia - New SAM project generator to standardize development and deployment of all new serverless microservices. This seed project allows us to spin up a new service in minutes, running in all environments with automatic custom domains.
  • Iris - New Chat/Messaging Service used by Drivers, Clients and Support Agents
  • Arke - New Mobile Notifications Service
  • Heimdall - New Auth Service
  • Loki - New Media Service
  • Argus - New Events Service
  • Khonsu - New Driver Service

Major Projects

Below are some of the significant projects I led, architected, and developed in 2021.

Driver/Customer Support Messaging Migration

In Q2 of 2021, we fully migrated our Driver Support (Chat) system from the monolith legacy system to the new messaging architecture based on Twilio Flex.

In Q4, we finally finished migrating our Customer Support (SMS) system to the same services and infrastructure.

Huge shoutout to James Logue for co-leading this enormous initiative.

Data Analytics / Business Intelligence Platform

Also, in Q2 of 2021, I completely re-architected and modernized our data platform and business intelligence systems, which was a massive win for both the business and engineering.

This new data platform enabled analysts to shape their analytical models, with very little involvement from engineering. As a result, we are a more data-driven company because of this new platform.

Driver Quality Metrics

In Q3 and Q4, I primarily worked on leading, building, and shipping the Driver Metrics project, which allows us to capture various driver events and behavior to derive their delivery quality and reliability ratings. This project is foundational and critical to our driver marketplace as we try to incentivize good driver behavior and reward quality drivers.

Moving into Management

Also in Q3, I officially became the Engineering Manager of the Platform Team. Unofficially, I still serve as a Principal Engineer / Technical Lead. I am still responsible for driving the technical direction, design, and implementation of the platform but with the additional responsibility of having three direct reports.

I have had a very productive and rewarding first year at Veho. There is a lot of work to do but I am so excited for 2022!

By the way - we recently became a start-up Unicorn ❤️.

Rowell Belen
Boulder, CO