My Name Is Kyle d'Oliveira — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Vancouver, British Columbia | Photo by Kyle d'Oliveira, Aha! Engineering

October 8, 2021

My Name Is Kyle d'Oliveira — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

by Why I Joined Aha!

How did you entertain yourself on road trips as a kid? Music, trivia, and reading are all popular choices. For me, it was math workbooks. Numbers and puzzles made sense to me in a way that words and pictures never did. I later learned why — I have a condition called aphantasia, the inability to conjure mental images. Instead of visualizing things in my mind, I think in terms of concepts and principles.

Once I understand the fundamental rules behind a concept, it is easy for me to spot patterns and identify compelling solutions.

I earned my undergraduate and master's degrees in math and computer science. During school, I began working as a software developer at a web hosting company. It was there that I discovered Ruby on Rails. I loved everything about Rails — it allowed me to combine my mathematical background and programming skills to produce real solutions. I could immediately see how the code I wrote created a better experience for users.

After graduate school, I joined a legal software company close to my home in Burnaby, British Columbia. I focused on behind-the-scenes projects to help the engineering team specialize and work faster. For example, I sharded the database so we could spread load and scale more horizontally. I also helped to pave the way for breaking up the code monolith and built educational tools to train new developers.

Transforming abstract ideas into working software was thrilling — my code made life dramatically easier for customers and colleagues alike.

I also continued to immerse myself in the world of Ruby on Rails. I built a gem (a Ruby library), appeared on an episode of the Ruby Rogues podcast, and spoke at events like RubyConf and RailsConf in 2019 and 2020. I stayed at the legal software company for eight years — in both management and individual contributor roles. It gave me great joy to share my knowledge with others, and I eventually realized I was ready to push the boundaries of what I could learn and teach others.

So I began searching for a new opportunity. I had been working remotely since the pandemic began and enjoyed the flexibility. When I saw a job posting for Aha! on LinkedIn, I was intrigued. It is rare to find a profitable SaaS company that is entirely remote and has been from the start. During the interview process, I learned more about the principles behind The Responsive Method and the culture of gratitude. (We call it hatitude.) But what really impressed me was the concept of lovability — and how Aha! actually tracks it as a business metric.

Since joining Aha! last year, I have worked on projects that help us operate at scale, such as rebuilding our filters and optimizing the worksheet and progress equation code. So far I have shipped more than 250 features for Aha! Roadmaps and merged more than 400 pull requests. The best part? I do a lot of my work in Ruby.

I am proud to say that I was even able to introduce my Ruby gem to Aha! — which has further improved the performance of the app.

My engineering teammates are all talented and generous. It is gratifying to both share my knowledge and learn from a community of passionate programmers. Together we are creating lovable solutions from end-to-end.

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

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