27 July 2023
Company2 Minutes, 42 Seconds read

Meet Stitch Engineering Team Lead Andrew van Rooyen

Get to know Andrew and more about his experience developing the Stitch Card product alongside his team, and more.

Lucille Wilcox, Content Marketing Manager

1. Describe your job to a 10-year-old.

When you pay for something online, my team and I are the ones who make sure the money is sent correctly and on time! We do the challenging work of getting the buyer, store and banks to all agree on the details of that payment.

2. Tell us more about the team you lead at Stitch and your experience building out an entirely new product.

My team consists of extremely talented engineers with very diverse backgrounds; everyone brings something different to the table. We’re split across Cape Town and Nairobi, so we spend a lot of time on video calls and Slack threads!

Building an entirely new product is always an exciting challenge, but Stitch’s card offering definitely turned the dial up to 11. We’ve been fortunate enough to have control over the entire experience, from the user interface to interacting with our banking partners on the backend, all the way through reconciliation and settling money to our clients. The breadth and depth of scope have been very engaging for all of us as each area poses interesting problems to solve.

The most exciting part of this build has definitely been our internal transaction switch, which advances our existing single-payment-method platform into a system that can handle interesting and diverse payment flows. This core tech allows us to hide all the complexity from our clients while providing a single, simple integration.

3. What’s your favourite thing about working at Stitch?

As corny as this sounds, it’s a straight tie between the technology and the people. I’m really lucky to be at a nexus where so many smart people have gathered, providing bank-grade products with the agility and cutting-edge tech of a startup. Work is never boring.

4. What's the thing you’re most proud of having built?

That would be a relatively simple virtual account/ledger system that has had an outsized impact on the organisation. Keeping track of each cent in an ecosystem while the money moves between accounts is very satisfying. Instead of being flashy or using the fanciest new framework, it uses simple technology to provide real-time, atomic instructions while keeping track of running balances in an efficient way. Tools like this should fade into the background and let you focus on modelling your financial system.

5. Why do you think Stitch is an exciting company for developers to work at?

The opportunity for growth is difficult to understate. Working at Stitch means that you’ll:

  • Be exposed to a wide range of technologies – from cutting-edge experimental systems to tried-and-true workhorses
  • Learn from (and teach!) incredibly smart engineers
  • Interact with large enterprises

This all happens from within a fun work environment with a great culture.

Rapid fire

How do you spend your free time?

I read and play video games with friends, but mostly hang out with my best friend/fiancée.

What would your superpower be and why?

Snapping my fingers turns anything into a diagram. Why? You should see my Excalidraw account.

What are you watching / reading at the moment? 

I’m reading my way through the modern fantasy epics: Robert Jordan ✅, Brandon Sanderson ⏳, Steven Erikson 🔜

What's your lazy go-to dinner?

Chicken breasts, fries and veggies in the oven!

What advice do you have for aspiring developers?

Keep digging into “how things work under the hood”. That’s where all the transferrable knowledge is!

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