Welcome to our second installment of Meet the Crew, where we highlight some of the incredible people who work here at Blacklane. Today, we’re celebrating Tech Lead Anderson Queiroz.
About three years ago, Anderson moved to Berlin with the aim to learn Go and instantly fell in love with the language. So, when a friend who worked at Blacklane mentioned their company was migrating from Ruby to Go, Anderson jumped at the chance to be part of building out a foundational base for the language – creating libraries and best practices along the way.
We chatted with Anderson about his progress through the company and some of the biggest highlights of his career at Blacklane so far.
What made you want to join Blacklane?
I joined Blacklane to develop my career. Blacklane was migrating from Ruby to Go and they didn’t have expertise from people who’d used Go before, so everyone was just learning. I joined Blacklane to support the company on this transition. Maybe because both of my parents are teachers, I am super comfortable helping people to learn, it pleases me and it’s something I really like to do.
As I helped people to learn Go, I also learned a lot. When people asked me questions about Go, I would stop and research more and link all the proper documentation. As people were asking me more and more things, I would research more and more, which helped me to increase my knowledge.
How has Blacklane helped you with your career?
The company’s personal development days, as well as the support from my manager, have been quite important in helping me strengthen my career. I’ve held a series of talks and workshops about Go within Blacklane and I’ve written some material to help the team understand how to get started and work with Go, to help spread best practices and so on.
Just before I joined Blacklane, I went to GopherCon UK, one of the biggest Go conferences in Europe. I really wanted to present at a conference but I didn’t know if I could do it. I talked with one of the speakers at the conference and he said I should give it a try. So, on one of my first personal development days, I spent the whole eight hours writing a talk and submitted it and it got approved. Since then I’ve been putting effort into trying to speak at more conferences.
How has your experience with Blacklane evolved over time?
When I joined Blacklane, I was a “Go advocate”, helping with Go and so on. After some time, I became a Tech Lead, which enabled me to work with more teams and support them in general, not just with Go.
I’m not taking on tasks in a team anymore, I’m overseeing everything, trying to connect all the dots, and to make sure that everything is consistent and everyone is following best practices.
What is a moment or time where you have felt proud to work at Blacklane?
I was really proud that Blacklane took a huge stand to not lay anyone off during the pandemic. I saw a lot of other companies doing that. That was something that makes me proud to work at Blacklane.
Also, I think it was a bold move to build out our on-demand service, called chauffeur hailing, properly, instead of just coming up with a workaround. That was really good, especially because it was done in a strong learning and supporting environment.
With the pandemic, there was so much communication around COVID-19, we had regular updates about the restrictions and so on. We also had a series of workshops to help us to cope with the situation — among them was a mindfulness workshop and one about dealing with loneliness. I really felt that Blacklane was taking care of its crew.
Can you tell me about a project that you’ve been excited to work on?
One thing I really enjoyed was the opportunity to create a set of libraries in Go to help everyone adopt the language. To make a production-ready application, you need a lot of stuff at once. These libraries are helping the company to move faster as the different teams adopt and learn more about Go.
The libraries aren’t mine, it’s open to everyone to help, to change, to contribute, to question. In the end, I make most of the decisions because most people recognize my expertise, but even so I have learned a lot from the feedback. I like it because it helps spread the best practice on how to use Go and its tools in a better way.
What challenges you in your role?
Right now, it’s trying to support everyone and be on top of everything that’s happening with chauffeur hailing at the same time. The balance is quite challenging.
It’s important to give people room to be creative, realize their ideas, and even make mistakes. At the same time, I need to make sure we’re not deviating from our architecture and our long-term tech vision.
What would you like people to know about Blacklane?
It’s a really friendly environment, we value learning a lot, we provide space for growth and new ideas — it doesn’t matter what level you are.
The relationship between product and engineering is good. No-one is getting crazy deadlines that are impossible to meet.
If you want to develop yourself, we want to support you. And, for those on the more senior level, we want people who can develop themselves by spreading knowledge, spreading good practices, and mentoring.
Visit our careers page and find out how you join us in solving the challenges of moving travelers around the world and support a thriving community of professional chauffeurs.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed.