From Ireland to Munich, senior back-end engineer Stephan Lengl discusses his current work at Personio.
From his base in Munich, Stephan Lengl works as a senior back-end engineer for Personio, having joined the German HR tech company in June 2022.
He has years of experience in software development, including a stint in Ireland in the HR tech space.
“I worked on building HR software at Amazon in Dublin for a number of years, so I have a strong base in HR product development,” he told SiliconRepublic.com.
“During my time at Amazon, I learned a lot, particularly about the daunting complexity of the human resources domain.”
These days, he is focused on applying the skills and knowledge he gained at Amazon to his current role at Personio. The company develops software geared towards businesses with between 20 and 2,000 employees, helping them automate and simplify HR processes.
“Personio’s offering is all about leveraging software to automate and optimise business processes every company has to get on top of – such as recruitment, performance management, payroll and attendance management,” said Lengl.
At the moment, Personio is undergoing a company-wide re-platforming effort, which aims to ensure the platform’s technical architecture is keeping up with the company’s business growth.
Lengl contributes mostly by sharing his engineering and domain knowledge with his colleagues, as part of work to gradually replace its existing monolithic application with a distributed system composed of autonomous micro services.
‘Being a great coder is not enough. You need to strive to build something that will make your customers’ lives easier’
– STEPHAN LENGL
Overall, Lengl sees digital transformation as “a means to an end”.
“As software engineers, we need to understand that and contribute to our customers achieving their goals,” he added. “Digital transformation is therefore the crux of everything I do, my team does – and Personio stands for.”
When it comes to digital transformation, Lengl said you need to ensure that everyone involved is “genuinely curious” about the problems being solved and the processes being optimised.
“Being a great coder is not enough. You need to strive to build something that will make your customers’ lives easier – and that you can do only if you have a willingness to understand your customers’ needs and pain points, and dive head first into any project you are working on.”
But maximising the efficiencies of the company’s own platform is also important. A better tech stack means the Personio team is prepared to grow and scale in response to customer demand.
It is necessary to do the re-platforming sooner rather than later, Lengl said, to avoid reaching the point where scaling becomes more difficult and more expensive due to technical limitations. “We need to ensure that our technical architecture does not become a hindrance to the further growth of our business.”
Re-platforming also allows Personio to reduce dependencies and optimise communication between teams.
“This is necessary to turn engineering teams into autonomous units that can drive a particular subdomain and release new features quickly to meet the market’s demands.”
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