We sat down with Asaf Yonay, our Head of FED Infrastructure, to hear his take on FED infrastructure management, development velocity, propagating knowledge and dealing with growth.
What is your engineering background?
I’ve been a part of the high-tech industry for 15 years and programming for around 12 of those. I started out as a QA, product and then moved to R&D. I’ve always had a passion for front-end development, but dabbled a lot in back-end development and scale as well. I really enjoy seeing the full picture, even when focusing on a specific aspect of the stack.
What is your role at Wix?
I’m part of the FED Guild Management at Wix. The purpose of the guild is to provide engineers with common technological and educational tools, promote best practices, care for professional growth, and encourage the sharing of ideas across departments.
We manage many guild activities like tech talks, round table discussions, and pair programming.
We constantly try to raise the bar in terms of professionalism, product excellency and development velocity.
But my main focus is the FED Infrastructure groups. We have two of those. One is focused on improving the development experience of our FEDs through better local development tools and high reliability tooling to promote safe CI/CD. And the other group works on developing all of the UI frameworks and infrastructure tools required to build our rich products, while also providing full scale product solutions to Wix users.
Why did you decide to join Wix?
Long story short, I wanted to do the thing I loved (front-end development) in a company that does it best in Israel. Enter Wix. I had spent the 3 years before I joined Wix leading groups that were backend-oriented and learned a whole lot from the experience, but I missed working with rich UI and interactive products.
When I joined Wix, I couldn’t imagine how complex and deep the work we’re doing in the FED Infrastructure groups would be. The best part about doing these things and being part of a cutting edge company is that you have to innovate and reinvent the technological solutions, organizational structure, and mostly, yourself. I’ve learned something new every day in the past year.
What are the biggest challenges you and your group are facing?
I have three main challenges as both the software infrastructure group manager and FED guild manager:
Understand the company vision and support it Wix is laser-focused and we have clear goals which are presented to the whole company once every 6 months. I feel it’s my responsibility, and of other managers like me, to align our groups with the company focus. This becomes especially important within an Infrastructure group, as we need to be “first in” and pave the way for our FED developers.
Balance supporting existing products and creating innovative tools We have a lot of new ideas on how to improve our ecosystem. Nevertheless, we also have a large community of developers that need our daily support. A big part of ensuring the group’s success is providing clear documentation and communication methods as well as keeping in touch with other groups in the company.
Scaling up Wix, the FED guild, and the FED Infra group While doing all of the things we do, we also have to keep a keen eye on making sure our tools and processes are fit for rapid onboarding of developers. Wix continues growing even in times when the rest of the market is on hold and part of my job is to make sure the “newbie” experience is a great one for FED developers.
What lessons from your earlier career do you bring to Wix?
Stay calm, avoid the sunk cost fallacy when prioritizing your tasks and make sure you deliver user value.
There are always more tasks you want to achieve than what you are capable of doing at any given time. Keeping your head clean and your backlog prioritized helps you in both preparing yourself and your team for the future and in communicating to the company what you are and aren’t doing at any given time.
Another important thing is to understand the value of each task you set your team on. If you can’t explain to your team why you’re doing something, you should drop it.
Thank you, Asaf!
Want to hear more from our Wix Engineering FED Guild? check out our latest podcast episode "Outmatched: How Svelte Beats the Odds" with Rich Harris, creator of Svetle, and our very own Eliran Hezkia:
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