HYPR Engineering: The Next Generation
5 Min. Read | November 1, 2023
HYPR is expanding its original mission to take a more comprehensive approach to Identity Assurance. We have introduced two cutting-edge products, HYPR Adapt and HYPR Affirm that round out the HYPR platform.
We grew from a small team around a table to a multi-team organization with a range of talented specialists. Arriving at this milestone after many lessons learnt, we took a pause and looked at what worked over the last 5 years, and how we could apply them going forward.
Exciting New Changes
As part of these changes, we are excited to announce that Baljeet Sandhu, formerly our Chief Architect has been promoted to CTO. Baljeet joined us several years ago and his contributions have been invaluable to the business around too many areas to count. Robert Panebianco, is promoted to the chief architect position after many great years of service here at HYPR. Rob has been our resident cryptography expert and has done amazing things in our efforts to build a highly scalable and secure SaaS platform.
Shaun Gerner, who was one of our first engineering hires and first mobile engineer many years ago has been promoted to VP of Engineering. He is now responsible for running the various feature teams at HYPR who have been working with Shaun shoulder to shoulder to deliver the amazing products our customers use today.
We’re also happy to announce that Sal Rizzari is now our official VP of Infrastructure. Sal’s ability to organize a team to automate and deploy HYPR at scale has been a force multiplier for our development teams as well as our customers.
Our Engineering Philosophy
Solving a Problem
Building software is, at its core, an exercise in solving a problem for your customers; understanding the things that matter to them. As we grow we want to preserve HYPR’s traditional cycle of working with customers, delivering the next iteration, listening and refining.
With this in mind, we organized around delivery-oriented feature teams. Each team includes the complete set of specialists needed to deliver the solution — developers, QA, Product and DevOps. The team takes on a customer problem and owns solutioning through delivery. They build, own and operate. It's a close group which relies on each member operating with a high context and owning their role in the team delivery. Working with a high context and problem solving mindset is fun!
We believe that software is a process of continuous refinement and ideation. This can only happen if we move forward quickly, in small steps. We love showing our early work to feature partners and gathering feedback. Some of our best ideas have in fact, come from our customers! However, this needs to be balanced with the stability needs of a critical platform like HYPR. We facilitate this by releasing all of our features in alpha, beta and GA cycles. The expectations and guardrails in each of these are well-defined internally. Most of the iteration happens in alpha and starts tapering off as we approach GA. At GA, change control and release compatibility guidelines kick in.
Using the Best Tools
The best available tools are necessary to enable our teams. HYPR’s tech stack uses proven platforms, like JDK, .Net and Node. We upgrade aggressively and are on the latest stable within a few months of release. Being techies at heart, we continuously watch and experiment with a wide variety of new tech. Native images for Java, Flutter for mobile UIs, WebAssembly in browsers, are just a few of the things we evaluated in 2023. Experimentation usually starts on non-critical utilities and moves gradually to core if proven successful.
Baking Security In
We take a security-first approach, baking it into the design at all stages. Security design is vetted by our in-house experts. During build, automated checks in our CI pipeline continuously run static and dynamic analysis. Additionally, separate scans continuously look for CVE vulnerabilities in our libraries. We take CVEs seriously. A CVE trip will break the build at HYPR. During the testing phase, our in-house experts try to compromise the solution. The findings are reviewed with the feature team. But we don’t stop there — we invite even deeper scrutiny through our public HackerOne program.
Running a successful SaaS platform needs fast testing feedback and consistency in deployments. HYPR got this right early on. We treat our test automation code with the same standards as our production code and it lives alongside in code repositories. Highly recommend it! Our DevOps team brings similar discipline to the job. Manual configuration is for experiments only. For everything else there is Infra As Code (IAC).
Doing More With Less
At HYPR we have always taken a pragmatic approach to building software. We choose good tools and keep the number of frameworks limited. We endeavor to apply these uniformly across teams. This gives us an advantage of being able to move people between teams and get up to speed quickly. On a new team, engineers can focus on the difference in product; the tech is already familiar.
Our Team and the Work Ahead
HYPR aims to be the best place for engineers to work. We highly value all team members and are committed to individual empowerment aligned around not just our engineering philosophy but shared values of transparency, collaboration, impact and adaptability. I am extremely excited for our engineering voyage ahead.