At iCapital, Engineers Don’t Take Orders — They Take The Lead in Driving Innovation

An engineering leader describes the building blocks of the company’s engineering culture, the growth opportunities available and the reasons why engineers should join the company.

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on Jul. 25, 2023
At iCapital, Engineers Don’t Take Orders — They Take The Lead in Driving Innovation
iCapital
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Some engineers don’t like to wait for orders to create change. Instead, they take the initiative and drive innovation for themselves — and their employers. 

Milan Rikic has seen this firsthand. The managing director of platform engineering said iCapital’s engineers are encouraged to be leaders, thanks to a culture defined by teamwork, open communication and growth. 

By embracing these values, team members strive toward the company’s mission to “power the world’s alternative investment marketplace,” building software solutions for financial advisors, wealth managers and asset managers. The way in which employees accomplish this work is important, as it directly impacts those who use the company’s platform. 

“For our company to grow, we must continue to be creative,” Rikic said. “This innovation, and our focus on our clients, will continue to differentiate us from our competitors.”

While innovation plays out on a daily basis through regular tasks and projects, it’s also cultivated through individuals’ personal growth. Rikic said that engineers can take part in various learning opportunities, including an annual hackathon, design reviews and iCode sessions — the latter of which are hour-long presentations on a specific software topic. Additionally, most junior engineers participate in a rotation program, granting them exposure to different team cultures and tech stacks. 

As employees grow through brainstorming sessions and hackathons, they’re learning more from each other in the process. According to Rikic, iCapital offers engineers a space to step up while surrounding themselves with others who are equally passionate and ambitious. 

“If you are self-motivated, self-disciplined and act like a leader, then this is the place for you,” he said.   

Below, Rikic describes the building blocks of iCapital’s engineering culture, the growth opportunities available to team members and the value proposition for those considering joining the company. 

THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF ICAPITAL’S ENGINEERING CULTURE

  • “We encourage open communication and promote continuous learning.”
  • “Teams take ownership and are empowered to make decisions.” 
  • “Our software development process is agile and iterative with a focus on code quality and best practices.”
  • “Our team culture fosters inclusion and diversity.” 
  • “We care about work-life balance and employee well-being.”
  • “We celebrate successes and actively try to learn from our mistakes.” 
  • “Open communication guides our standup meetings, retrospectives and one-on-one sessions.”

 

 

What opportunities do engineers have to stretch their skills and grow?

Milan Rikic
Managing Director of Platform Engineering

At the companywide level, we provide opportunities for both virtual and in-person training for individual contributors and managers in addition to numerous career development workshops. On the software engineering side, we have a yearly hackathon, which encourages innovative thinking outside of day-to-day work, as well as iCode sessions, which are hour-long presentations on a specific software topic. We also offer weCode, which are in-person, open-ended hacking sessions, and design reviews, during which teams present their solutions to a specific software challenge. 

Most of our junior engineers participate in a two-year rotation program, where they step into a different role every six months. There’s a matching process that takes into consideration engineers’ and teams’ preferences. Working on different teams exposes engineers to different team cultures and different software stacks. 

 

INNOVATION IN THE WORKS

During a recent hackathon, one of iCapital’s engineering teams created a concept that will support the company’s platform expansion outside of the United States. Rikic added that the company’s engineers are also building out a portfolio analytics solution that will bring alternative investing into the mainstream, as well as working on internal ChatGPT applications.

 

Why should engineers be excited to join iCapital?

You’ll be working side by side with several industry veterans from top financial institutions. Our clients and partners are the “who’s who” in the alternative investments space and financial industry. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to grow your career surrounded by other engineers who love working here. Not many software engineers leave iCapital, but those that have moved to top tech companies, such as Tesla, Apple and AWS. The company emphasizes having a growth mindset and focuses on continuous development, no matter the stage of one’s career.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by iCapital.

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