My Name Is Bill Rastello — This Is Why I Joined Aha!
August 21, 2020

My Name Is Bill Rastello — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

by Why I Joined Aha!

I knew that I wanted to pursue a career path as a software engineer. But I also knew I wanted whatever I built to truly help people. So I figured I needed to know more than just the technical bits. I needed to know how the human brain worked as well. That is why I also minored in psychology in college.

I realized early on that creating useful products requires deeply understanding what goes on beneath the surface — both the code and the people.

Right out of college, I took a hybrid support and developer position at a financial software company where I worked directly with customers. I used various testing methods to uncover the root causes behind problems. Then I collaborated with other developers to deliver fixes.

After five years, I was ready to experience different industries. But I knew I wanted to continue working in developer support roles. At a grocery delivery company called Peapod, I automated delivery time slots to improve the experience for drivers and customers. I also spent time at Pinterest where I helped business customers implement pinning functionality on their sites.

It was exciting to dig deep into the real problems that people were facing and find technical solutions that could help.

I enjoyed working with people in these hybrid support/developer roles. But over time, I became interested in learning the inner workings of system architecture. I decided to move towards companies that would enable me to go even more behind the scenes. I built a microservice in Rails on AWS for a payments company and honed my infrastructure management skills at another company where I worked on a retail pricing tool.

Eventually, I wanted to move on to a company where I could bring together my passion for helping people and system architecture. I heard about Aha! through product managers I worked with at previous roles. I knew the product was superior to any other roadmapping software on the market. But it was the company's human-centric approach throughout the hiring process that solidified my decision to join.

I could tell that Aha! really cared about helping customers do meaningful work and build lovable products.

I was excited to accept a software engineering position focusing on platform development. It was exactly what I wanted to be doing at this point in my career — maintaining the back end of an exceptional product to ensure a quality user experience. My day-to-day work consists of implementing behind-the-scenes performance improvements, enhancing system infrastructure, and building new features for our customers.

Our users trust that our product will meet their needs today and in the future — I am proud of the work I do to support that.

I learn something new about the inner workings of the application every day. I also appreciate that we have a framework for success. We follow The Responsive Method, which is centered around addressing requests when the need is fresh. For example, I am encouraged to use my curiosity so I can quickly uncover the "why" behind a problem.

There are many more aspects about Aha! that I enjoy. The company’s leadership really understands engineers, giving us plenty of flexibility to build things how we want to. And the culture is fantastic. Everyone is willing to help, questions are welcome, and communication is frequent.

I may not have put my psychology minor to use in a conventional way, but I do believe it led me to where I am today. My passion for understanding how things and people work still drives me. And I am grateful that Aha! gives me the opportunity to put it to good use every single day.

That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.

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