We recently met with Ian Sutherland, engineering lead and Head of Developer Experience at Canadian fintech startup, Neo Financial. Ian has been with Neo Financial from the very beginning and has seen the engineering team grow from 1 employee to over 150 individuals in the last three years. Ian is also a Collaborator on the Node.js project hosted at the OpenJS Foundation. Watch the full interview:
What is Neo Financial?
Neo is a financial technology company that is reimagining how Canadians bank. Their first product was a rewards credit card, they later introduced a top rated high-interest savings account and recently launched Neo Invest, the first fully digital, actively managed investment experience. With Neo Invest your portfolio is actively managed by experts and engages a greater range of asset classes and investment strategies than most competitor portfolios.
Working with Other Open Source Technologies
Open source packages and plugins help speed up their team’s development work. Chances are, someone has already dealt with a similar problem. These packages make it easier to solve whatever the needs are without recreating the wheel.
A Note on Security
As a financial company, security is top of mind for Ian and his team. The Node.js project has also been focusing more on the security of Node.js itself. As a result, the devs at Neo feel very comfortable running it in production.
Contributing to Open Source
On a personal level, Ian has been involved in open source for several years. He started by making smaller contributions and later got involved in the React community. He eventually became a core maintainer of the Create React App and has been working on that project for the last three or four years. Then, about four years ago, he got involved in Node.js itself, primarily as part of a working group called the Tooling Group. The focus of this group is on making Node.js the best tool it can be for building things like CLI tools, or other tools that might run in a CI or build environment, lambdas, etc.
As a team, the Neo Financial engineers try to do their part. They’ve open sourced developer tools and GitHub actions and try their best to give back wherever they possibly can. In a big thank you to the open source community, Ian said, “We have an awesome community. People are doing development on open source projects for free as volunteers when they contribute lines of code and fixes and documentation.”
We at the OpenJS Foundation feel the same way. We wouldn’t be anywhere without our contributors and our fantastic community. It was a pleasure speaking with Ian, and we’re grateful for his input as an individual and an engineering team leader.