GRIFFEYE AT WORK
“Inspiration often comes from hearing about examples of our customers’ work.“
Josef Eklann is a Senior Software Engineer and Software Architect who’s been part of Griffeye for nearly a decade. Here, he talks about day-to-day life on his development team, problem-solving with customers, and how he and his team manage to find time in between meetings and backlogs to bring new ideas to life.
What’s your role like at Griffeye, and what does your team do?
I’ve been at Griffeye for 9 years, and during that time I’ve had different focus areas. When I started, there was only one development team that did it all. These days, each team is more focused and specialized in their respective area.
My current team is focused on delivering AI, Machine Learning and Big Search components to the product. My job is really to be a part of the team, and contribute to what they produce— with all that follows.
Since we are a small team, the day-to-day tasks vary over time. Most of my time is spent discussing potential solutions with customers and the rest of the team, researching ways to make our functionality useful on a large scale, writing code and implementing new features.
Of course, there are a lot of other things that need to be done from time to time, including fixing bugs, acquiring datasets for development, improving our own process, explaining new features to sales and trainers, etcetera.
How do you find inspiration for new ideas and projects?
My inspiration often comes from hearing about examples of our customers’ work. Due to the nature of what our typical customer works with, they work within closed networks and are very careful not to share any data. Fortunately for us, we have many customers who are happy to take the time to talk with us about how they use our software and what obstacles they face in their daily work.
Sometimes, the customer has a pretty clear idea of what they need in order to work even more efficiently. Other times, it’s easier for us developers to solve the problem at hand by envisioning what is possible from the technical point of view.
Where do you find the time to develop these new ideas and projects?
We have about 10% of our time available to dedicate to our own projects, as long as these projects are aimed at improving the product or our process in some way.
I usually use that time to test out the ideas I’m not sure are feasible or not. Sometimes, the result is that the idea seems like it’s not going to work. Other times, it leads to a PoC that a customer can try out. The best ideas lead to a new feature being planned for the product as a part of our regular backlog.
How do sessions like these contribute to innovation at Griffeye—which eventually leads to bringing value to users?
Ideas that are both technically feasible and appreciated or longed for by the customer are often taken over by the regular backlog. That way, the whole team can put in the time and effort needed to bring the idea into production.
Ideas that are uncertain in the first place would probably never even be tested if it weren’t for our enthusiastic developers. Some of the time, these ideas turn out to be great!
Do you have an example of an idea that ended up getting developed?
The component that we now call GID (Griffeye Intelligence Database) partially started as a technical idea about how to make hash searches faster and more adaptable. That first implementation, along with lots of architectural discussions, eventually led to the GID as we know it today.
How did that idea make a difference for Griffeye users?
While some of this functionality already existed before the GID, the ability to collaborate and work with the GID in a team is vastly improved compared to what we had before. By making it easier to collaborate on hashsets, we enable our users to easily make use of the work already done by their colleagues and others.
The main benefit is that it removes the need to review material that has already been reviewed in some other case by some other investigator. This saves lots of time, and the investigator can put more focus on potential new victims.
Thank you Josef!
GRIFFEYE AT WORK is a series of interviews with employees exploring topics related to life at work, how we develop our products—and who the people are behind them.