My name is Maeve Revels — this is what I achieve at Aha!
What is the best way to accelerate your career? Work at a high-growth company that challenges you and puts learning first. An unwavering motivation to continue improving and achieving is also key. The highest performers constantly pursue new ideas and seek to understand the experiences and motivations of the people around them. We can learn a lot from them.
Curiosity fuels growth — which is why we want to bring you personal stories of achievement from talented people. Our hope is that some of their ideas are useful (and maybe even inspirational) as you work to become your best.
Meet Maeve Revels: a principal software engineer who has been part of the Aha! team for more than five years. In her role, she identifies problems and builds solutions to help the engineering team work better. She loves telling the story of the "why" behind her projects so everyone is aligned. Maeve lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family.
Read on to learn more about how she finds meaning and joy in her work — in her own words.
What energizes you about being a principal platform engineer?
"As a principal platform engineer, I solve production performance and scalability problems. I also develop internal tooling. My job is to help other engineers do their jobs more efficiently."
"I feel energized when I can see how my work is directly improving people's daily lives in some small, but measurable way."
What is something that makes your role at Aha! unique?
"My role at Aha! allows me a great deal of autonomy. I get to proactively identify problems — while providing a realistic process for designing, implementing, and supporting the solutions. In a sense, I get to work on whatever I want. But our process ensures that my work remains aligned with the needs of our users and the business."
What is a recent accomplishment at Aha! that you are proud of?
"Last year, I was the technical lead for a team project to replace the backend infrastructure for processing integration webhooks. We replaced it with a new architecture built on Apache Kafka — a high-performance event-streaming platform.
The potential benefit was large, but there was also significant risk. Integrations are mission-critical functionality for many of our users. And Aha! software handles tens of millions of webhook requests every day.
After designing the new architecture, I developed a roadmap for a team of engineers to gradually roll out the changes — with safeguards, contingency plans, and real-time monitoring each step of the way. I am very proud that we successfully implemented the new architecture without any service disruptions or data loss. These changes have reduced the average webhook processing latency by 99%."
What are the biggest challenges in your role — and how have you solved them?
"I take a data-centric approach to technical problems, but people often respond best to engaging, persuasive stories."
"My job presents many interesting technical problems. But my biggest career challenges usually involve communication. One of my responsibilities is to identify potential issues before they impact users. When I know a problem will require a lot of resources to solve, I must build consensus and support for the solution with the platform team, the broader engineering team, leadership, and ultimately the rest of the company.
I have learned that it is important to craft a compelling human narrative around dry technical material such as production metrics and system architecture diagrams. I try to tell the audience the story behind the charts to explain how we discovered the problem, how we have decided to solve it, and why they should care."
How do you keep learning and building knowledge in your role?
"One thing I love about this role is that I can use it to feed my innate sense of curiosity, which is voracious."
"Learning and building knowledge is actually one of my primary job responsibilities. I spend a lot of time analyzing different sources of information — always asking myself 'why?' like a 4-year-old child. Why does this chart look like this? Why does the system behave this way? Why is this new pattern of support escalations happening? The process of answering these questions tends to lead to more questions, so the research and learning never stops."
What is the most surprising, but useful career advice someone has given you?
"Remember that everyone you respect professionally has also suffered from impostor syndrome at one point."
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