Welcome back to our Employee Spotlight series, where we highlight members of the Tonkean team who exemplify the unique spirit of our company. This week, we’re spotlighting Anna Matveev, a full-stack developer and squad leader based in Tel-Aviv who brings an indelible spark and sense of joy to our company — not to mention tremendous technical chops— and who, it must be said, has many amazing hats.
Anna Matveev: What brought you to Tonkean? (What’s your story?)
I came to Tonkean through a recommendation from a friend and did not know much about the product or the company other than reading online. I was looking for a fast-growing place where I would feel my impact. I also wanted to be part of a company that seeks to do good in the world. I also felt I had good chemistry with the folks who interviewed me [Editor’s note: these guys were Bar, Afik and Offir]. They gave me the feeling that I could sit down with them for lunch and talk about technology as well as stuff unrelated to work. To top it all off, I could really feel they had a true passion for what they do, and I could see myself working well with them.
I was looking for a fast-growing place where I would feel my impact.
Anna Matveev: Describe the work you do at Tonkean in a few sentences.
Over here in the world of Tonkean, what we’re thinking about all the time is how to bring the product to the next level. At the same time, thanks to the fact that Tonkean is still relatively lean, working as a full-stack developer here turns out to not just be about developing the feature code itself. You also need to know the customers and their problems; understand what problems are worth solving; examine solutions and compare them with the technologies available; develop the feature — while communicating challenges that arise in the process — and, finally, make sure the customer’s needs are met. This process is constantly evolving and never ceases to challenge us.
Which Tonkean Core Value do you identify with most? Why?
I’m a strong advocate of “People First.” I read a book once called “Peopleware,” which transformed my way of thinking about work — good interactions lead to successes while miscommunication leads to failures. I believe that if you communicate well with people — if you truly care for one another, trust each other, and empower the team you’re a part of, everything is possible.
What’s your favorite part of working at Tonkean?
Without a doubt, the opportunity to be a part of something small (initially) and see it progress at tremendous speed. With each passing month, I look at the product and see the significant improvements we’ve accomplished and it’s really incredible. Such rapid progress could not have happened without a fleet of determined and brilliant people who constantly offer great ideas and then act on them. My team constantly exceeds my expectations.
Describe the Tonkean culture on the Tel-Aviv team! What’s it like?
What I love most about our culture is that everyone is always there for each other. The day-to-day can be stressful — deadlines, complex features, dilemmas, meetings and disagreements — but the support and help we offer each other gives a lot of confidence and peace of mind. There is always someone willing to lend a hand. I feel that there is trust between the people in this company; the communication is great; and we can truly lean on each other. With each passing month, I look at the product and see the significant improvements we’ve accomplished and it’s really incredible.
We build a platform that integrates with a great deal of third-party systems and that creates the connections between them. The challenge is to know how to translate and transcend the complexity that defines each disparate system so that the user can simply come and build what they want without thinking about how it works behind the scenes. The amazing thing about Tonkean is it accomplishes that. It understands how all of these systems work, facilitates communication between them, and stitches it all back together for the user in a fashion that’s remarkably accessible even to people who have no idea how to code / who don’t have a technical background.
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I love traveling the world and visiting unusual places with my best friend and life-partner, Daniel. When you travel you realize that there’s no one way of living a life, and it helps me think about what I truly want to achieve in life — not just at work — as well as focus on the things that make me happy.