Meet Chaaru, Platform Engineer at Crunchbase

  • 3 min read

Platform engineers at Crunchbase build our microservice-based reactive, eventually consistent core data storage and retrieval machinery. Their goal is to lay the foundation for the Crunchbase to come while maintaining a balance between rapid feature iteration and future maintainability.

Meet Chaaru, a Platform Engineer at Crunchbase

Chaaru Dingankar is a Platform Engineer at Crunchbase.

Chaaru is a Platform Engineer who has been working at Crunchbase for the past 5 months. We’re thrilled to have him here and are happy to work with him every day. Chaaru’s manager says, “He’s a great person to be around. He just gets it.” 


Most exciting things CB engineers are currently working on? 

Some engineers are working on workflow, so trying to find new ways to ingest large amounts of data and make it available. It’s a cool backend problem to work on even if it won’t change the user experience. The technologies they’re prototyping for that are neat and the data team is working on cool things in relation to that. 

There’s also the new homepage experience, which is very exciting. 



What’s rewarding about your work? 


There are a couple of ways to answer that question: 1. I get to learn from really solid people and have access to great resources. We have a group of people with the right skill sets that collaborate well together. Some people are experts in this field, but everyone is learning something. So, I like the people aspect. As a group, the backend engineers we have at Crunchbase make sense. 2. I also get to build neat projects. 



What exciting projects are you working on?


I have the opportunity to support concrete new features. We’re working on a lot of exciting stuff happening around feeds and the homepage. This project has an appropriate balance between product-driven initiatives and scope to make existing code more sane. Rather than doing the wrong thing for expediency’s sake, and we’re building new things in the right way. We’re also restructuring the organization of the engineering teams and I’m excited to work on more project-based teams. The focus of this is really cool. 


What have you learned since joining CB?

I joined three months ago. I didn’t know anything about Kubernetes before working here, and now I know some things about Kubernetes. Since joining, I also learned a ton about Kafka and Akka. 

Also, being a part of Crunchbase means you have a somewhat unique perspective on the startup funding scene because of the company’s domain itself. 


How easy is it to collaborate with other teams? 

It’s very easy. I’ve been at other places where there are artificial restrictions in terms of communication, like having to go through product teams for everything or a strong emphasis on Jira and “Jira-ing” everything. Engineers here are super collaborative and people are eager to help one another. 


What’s the most challenging part? 

Documentation and how things fit together. Knowing where to look. It’s a double-edged sword because the more documentation you have, the more you have to maintain. For someone new, this could be challenging to hit the ground running without well-documented resources. 


What are the biggest advantages and benefits of working for Crunchbase?

One of the coolest things about Crunchbase is the fact that we are in a sort of meta position. In that, you work at a company that is about other companies. It’s kind of cute sometimes to see news articles about other companies that your friends work at or you’ve worked at through Crunchbase News. 

Outside of the projects and people, there are also great benefits, like two days working from home per week, and the learning and development benefit, which is a $3,000 stipend per year. Those are the things that not everyone else has and are pretty solid. 


Crunchbase has a number of open positions in engineering and looking for Scala developers. Can you tell us more about how Crunchbase uses Scala?

Scala is our backend service level language. Every piece of logic we need to write that supports what the user sees, (so not bringing data into the system, nor the javascript in the system) all business rules are implemented in scala. 



  • Originally published October 18, 2019