Employee Spotlight: Houda Belefqih
Houda works on the backend at Telnyx to keep our internal systems optimized.
By Emily Bowen
Houda works on the backend at Telnyx to keep our internal systems optimized. She works remotely from sunny Adagir, Morrocco and is currently part of our Revenue Squad.
What do you do at Telnyx?
I’m a Backend Software Engineer on the Revenue Squad here at Telnyx.
What made you pick software development as a career path?
I got my undergraduate degree in electronics, which included a 6-month internship I completed at a manufacturing company called ST Microelectronics. During my internship, I developed a desktop application that takes manual input, does calculations, and then sends them to another software. It basically got approved, put into production, and was working and everything—they might still be using it today—so I was really happy. Even though it wasn’t object-oriented design or anything, I really enjoyed it; it ignited my passion for software development. From there, I moved on to do my masters in computer science, and the rest is history.
When did you join Telnyx and what was your work experience before this?
I joined Telnyx in March 2021, so I’m coming up on my first year here. I previously worked as a software developer on a monolithic app on the Django framework—which is very different from Telnyx, where we build on microservices using Aiohttp. I enjoy that Telnyx has its own web framework because we get much more insight into what happens behind the scenes, along with complete control over the framework.
What were some things that struck you as unique when you first joined? Do you feel like they still apply?
The ability to be able to move within different teams so fluidly. One of my teammates who was on our Python team decided he wanted to learn something new, so he decided with the help of management to move to our Elixir team, and basically learned it from scratch. I thought it was so cool. Typically you move up, but to be able to move across different teams and be given the freedom to work with new languages that you haven’t had exposure to, and for leadership to encourage it, I think is really special.
What excites you about what you do?
The services that we have at Telnyx are pretty large, so you can find sections of code that you’ve never seen before. There’s so much opportunity to learn on the daily—I’m always finding things to improve or build. There’s no shortage of initiatives or new features to build; we have quite a big backlog here. We’re also very spoiled in the amount of tools we have. And, for all the tools we have, we have educational channels associated with them, so it’s really a great environment for learning and growing your skillset.
What kind of tech stack do you work with?
I primarily work with Python as a backend language. I love working with Prometheus and Grafana, and building alerts. My favorite thing, though, is Prometheus. We use our own framework, built Aiohttp.
Can you walk me through a typical workday?
I start with checking emails to see if there have been any updates on JIRA tickets, or when we have pull requests for review from other teammates I’ll check in on those updates. We also have a Slack channel to remind ourselves of pull requests that are ready to review. Then typically I’ll get to work on my tickets. I check our help channel to see if any support is needed from me. I check the alert channel to see if anything is broken or needs to be fixed. Then, in the afternoon, I have the bulk of my meetings such as standups, engineering fireside, 1x1s.
What kind of projects do you work on at Telnyx?
One project I worked on focused on account rescoring. Our CEO asked us to look into adjusting our sign-up requirements, because we weren’t accepting freemails. We evaluated our options and built a system that assigned risks more accurately, so we could make block and unblock decisions more confidently. I worked closely with the Fraud team and got to learn about their processes around user scoring as well.
What’s it like to work remotely at Telnyx?
Hours are super flexible even though we’re a global company with employees based pretty much everywhere. Our product managers are always more than happy to reschedule meetings if they fall after hours for some people, which I think is really nice and not always the case with remote work setups. Before I joined Telnyx, I really appreciated James, our Director of Engineering, when it came to putting me into a team. He took my experience level into consideration and put me on a team with some seniors so I could learn from them, along with my buddy, and have the right support in place to set me up for success. My team is great—most of us work remotely. We try to have coffee meetings every Monday and Wednesday to talk about things other than work, which is really nice. I feel very close to them even if we aren’t physically in the same location.
How would you describe your team dynamic? Does anything about it stand out from previous work experiences?
Everyone is ready and extremely willing to help. I’ve never felt that I couldn’t ask a question, or that I was pestering people when I joined with questions. I didn’t have to think about it. Everyone around me was so happy to help and guide me here. However, I am also really empowered to take ownership and come up with processes and ideas. Our leads, the seniors in the team, and leadership in general, take my thoughts, ideas, opinions very seriously even if we are juniors, which is really refreshing.
How would you describe the culture at Telnyx?
Telnyx is very fast-paced. It’s so easy to spin up a service and build features. There’s no obstacles in the way. Of course, it needs to make sense to the product manager first, so we have a discussion, but that’s all it takes to start on a new service and get it up and running.
What do you love about working here?
We have a very transparent and open culture. We have weekly firesides, where our CEO answers our questions candidly. We’re also pretty diverse in both our cultures and our skillsets. People on the team are willing to share their knowledge, so I feel there’s always new things to learn. I never get bored.
Does pineapple belong on pizza?
I’ve actually never tried pineapple on pizza, so I can’t weigh in with an opinion. It sounds kind of weird, since it's a fruit, but then again tomato is a fruit so… I’ll have to try it sometime!
If you'd like to know more about the Telnyx Team, and learn about opportunities to join our mission, check out our open roles.
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