5 Things I Learned as a Paxos Engineering Manager

Hi, I’m Shai, a Senior Engineering Manager at Paxos. I lead the Trading Engineering team, which supports our crypto trading applications.

I started my engineering career in 2005 and have worked in various areas such as telecommunications, trading, computer vision and big data. I joined Paxos as a staff engineer five years ago to work on our securities settlement platform, because I’m interested in blockchain applications’ ability to solve real world problems.

My impact was quickly recognized and I progressed to oversee the trading team as an engineering manager, supporting the technical revamp and growth of our trading platform while increasing our reliability and scale. The problems we solve at Paxos are by far the most interesting that I’ve come across and I believe the agile and thoughtful ways in which we tackle them help set us apart as the most trusted and regulated blockchain platform.

What I’ve learned working at Paxos for five years: 

1. People are the most important thing for success

During my interview process, I was thoroughly impressed by the team’s engineering spirit and how the interviewers demonstrated our core values (such as searching for the truth and real time candor). Even though Paxos has grown a lot since I joined, all the things that made me join have remained a core part of the company’s DNA. 

We still have a strong engineering culture heavily influenced by solving problems in the most impactful and safest way. Engineers work closely with the Product team to implement features and own outcomes. Our roadmap focuses on constant engineering improvements as well as product and customer-facing features. 

Further, Paxos has incredible talent driving its success across every function. Every day, I get to collaborate with the smartest engineers to solve problems that have yet to be solved. 

2. Being an Engineering Manager requires a different set of skills

At Paxos, A staff engineer role is a part of our technical track while an Engineering Manager (EM) is a part of our people management track. However, both positions allow for the opportunity to drive decisions and make an impact. They also have a leadership component, albeit with different focuses. 

The staff engineer role centers around technology, architecture, and technical leadership, whereas the EM role prioritizes people leadership and fostering growth of others. While I enjoy both roles, I’m particularly excited about coaching and supporting my fellow engineers in their career development. Guiding my team through their professional journeys, identifying their goals and aligning them with Paxos’ objectives is an incredibly rewarding experience. 

As I reflect on my growth at Paxos, I’m grateful for all of the support and mentorship I’ve received from the awesome Engineering Managers I’ve worked with so far at Paxos. 

3. Agile methodologies and solutions-based technology choices drive success

Paxos is a product company that leverages cutting-edge technology to address real-world problems in a scalable manner. Our technology stack embraces infrastructure as code and incorporates a range of programming languages, including Kotlin, Golang and Rust. We carefully select the most appropriate language and infrastructure for each problem, prioritizing high uptime, scalability and correctness to deliver maximum value to our customers. As an example, we recently integrated Rust into our Trading applications.

To ensure efficient feature launches in the fast-paced environments of high-frequency trading and blockchain, we maintain product and engineering OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), which we review quarterly. We also adhere to scrum/agile methodologies with bi-weekly sprints. Our code undergoes thorough testing in diverse environments seamlessly integrated into our CI/CD pipelines, which maximizes our engineering productivity.

4. Nothing beats launching impactful products

In my five years at Paxos, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a team that has launched many successful products and partnerships. Here are just a few:

Knowing these products and partnerships are making a difference and positively impacting end users is fulfilling and highly motivating. Paxos has an ambitious mission and we’re just getting started. The potential to build impactful products feels endless since we are pioneering a new space with new technology. 

5. The importance of regulation and rigor

To successfully launch products that support large client partnerships, we drive a product-driven and regulation-first approach.

This approach requires going through robust design cycles to solve problems, but in a way that makes our entire platform richer while accounting for edge cases and adequate monitoring, reliability, data reporting and auditing requirements. We believe that regulation is not only important in the crypto market but is the key to building and maintaining customer trust — it is simply in our DNA.

Engineers at Paxos can own an entire feature or system. However, before building anything, we draft a design document that outlines a suggested approach, alternative solutions, trade-offs and any dependencies that require other teams and components. Before moving forward, we conduct a design review with other engineering teams and stakeholders.  We value a shared commitment to excellence in everything we do and encourage an owner’s mindset. Real-time candor ensures the bar remains high and other teams are encouraged to weigh in, so that the solution is both correct and well tested. 

What’s next
I’m excited about the future growth of Paxos and the scale of our platform in the areas of code, microservices, infrastructure and regulation. The work we do everyday supports our growth and directly impacts our mission to replatform the financial system. 

If that sounds interesting to you, join us!

Check out our open engineering roles

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