A summary of LendyConf 2022

Sam JonesSam Jones


Having just joined Lendable a couple of weeks ago, I was really excited to be attending Lendyconf, the annual conference organised by Lendable. It’s been open to folks outside of Lendable in the past, but this time it was for us Lendies only, and what an amazing day it was!!

Lendable has doubled in size over the last year - the company was 129 people in 2021 and now we’re around 250 people. We currently have 118 folks in Product, Engineering, Data Science and Credit, so this was a fantastic opportunity to bring everyone together for some learning. The day was organised with the three main objectives of promoting general learning, encouraging teams to share what they’ve been working on and the challenges they’ve solved, and connecting with colleagues across the company in a more casual setting than sitting at desks in the office. It was run in-house entirely by Lendable folks like Neal who is an Engineering Manager for the Credit Cards team, and Harold from the People team.

Luis Galeas presents how Zable are managine to support 200k Transactions Per Second

Engineering values, machine learning

Teamwork, Resilience, Kindness and Excellence are our Engineering Values. Lendyconf is one of the ways we come together as a team and invest in these values. It’s really important that teams building our solutions really understand the business and it was fascinating to learn about how the world of Credit Risk, and how we manage the risk of lending people money. We then had a presentation diving into some of the detail of how our Machine Learning models analyse data points and enable us to manage that risk well, so we can provide excellent service to our customers as a responsible lender.

Design tokens, and improving our customer experience

We had some talks by the front end folks - how we are rolling out Design Tokens to unify our colour scheme and naming conventions across all of our Products, with a view to rolling out a wider design system in future, and how animations can be used to enhance and delight the Customer Experience in our React Native app for our Credit Card offering, Zable.

One of our React Native engineers also took us through how using Codepush to make JavaScript updates to our app without the Play or App Store release process actually had a negative impact on our customer experience due to the frequency with which the CodePush updates stalled the customer from accessing the app.

We reacted (pun intended!!) by drastically minimising the frequency of using CodePush but then the team reflected we can use it but without negatively impacting customer experience by moving the timing of the update to download and install when the app is in the background, making the update unnoticeable to customers - this is a great learning.

Learning new languages and skills

We took a journey through Kotlin - how it’s different to Java, with far less boilerplate and has integrated features meaning it doesn’t need frameworks and libraries as much as other languages. The Lendable stack is primarily PHP with React (+Native for apps), and Python for Credit/Data Science, but the team are starting to diversify on the backend using Kotlin. We learnt about how our DevOps team uses Terraform and how they are going to support our Product engineering teams to learn and use it as part of delivering their projects. One of our technical architects talked us through how we’ve scaled our backend so we have the capacity to handle to 200k transactions per second.

Wrapping up and looking forward to the future

The keynotes took us through which parts of the culture at Lendable have enabled the company to reach triple unicorn status, valued at £3.5 billion with an impressively small number of people - ownership, bias for action and kindness. These are the things we want to continue to value as we grow and continue to be successful. The conference closed with some thoughts and actionable advice about behaviours we need to adopt now the company is bigger - for example, reducing duplication in our different Products by creating a new Central Platform, sharing knowledge and aligning in guilds, and writing more documentation to help each other out.

It was brilliant to see a balance of presentations from across Product, Engineering and Data Science and I learnt a great deal about the business domain, and how we approach building solutions - it’s really helped with my onboarding into the company!

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