Conga engineering: driving change through development

Kelli Blystone

May 16, 2019

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At Conga, our team culture is a core part of who we are as a company. We think Conga is a great place to work, and we want to share our experiences—and our team!—with the world. In our Employee Spotlight blog series, we’re introducing readers to the talented folks in the Conga offices, and sharing how they’re finding success on this high-growth, fast-paced team.

Aaron BatiloToday we’re talking to Aaron Batilo to learn more about engineering and development, his journey in tech, and how he finds inspiration.

Name: Aaron Batilo
Title: Senior Software Development Engineer in Development

How long have you worked at Conga?

I started at Conga on January 29, 2018!

What’s a little known fact about you?

I’ll give a few, it’s my time to shine.

  • I used to be a competitive yoyo-er. 
  • In 2011-2012ish, I was genuinely trying to be a YouTuber. 
  • Lastly, for a few years, I was ranked in the top 1-2%, globally, as a StarCraft 2 player where I served the Queen of Blades.

What inspires you as an engineer?

The ability to build things feels like magic to me some days. Being a software engineer allows for creation like very few other industries and professions. If you want to be a sculptor or painter, you need to purchase materials. To write software, all you need is a computer and a text editor. I can create something from almost nothing, and the somethings that I can build can drastically change the lives of people globally, all just by typing a little and a few mouse clicks.

How would you describe the culture on your team?

These days I work primarily on the Conga Platform services. Under our umbrella are some microservices which power and enable other Conga products. The culture on my team revolves around continuous, passionate improvement. Every step that we take in encouraging each other to improve, and every step that we take to improve our software, has a rippling effect on improving the experience of other Conganeers, Conga products, and thus improves the lives of our customers.

Aaron Batilo and another member of the Conga development team

Front-end or back-end development: how would you explain the difference between the two to a non-engineer, and which category do you prefer?

The way I explain it to my wife is that front-end development involves everything that you see on a website. Back-end development is how you can make websites talk to each other behind the scenes.

I am most definitely a back-end engineer. I can and have done front-end work before, and I’m pretty good at it, but only if I have a design to follow. I can implement but don’t ask me to think of how to make things look pretty.

What does your career path look like? How is Conga helping you get there?

You know, that’s a great question. I was able to try management at Conga, and unfortunately (or fortunately) I very quickly discovered that the expectations and responsibilities of being a manager just aren’t for me right now. But it was really awesome that Conga let me try that experience. For the foreseeable future, I want to travel down the career path as an individual contributor, and to grow and evolve as a technical leader.

Conga’s helping me get there by having me be more and more involved in important conversations, and they’re supporting me in asking me to speak at conferences so that I can grow my own personal brand and digital presence.

How do you like to spend your time outside of Conga?

I’m pretty boring outside of Conga. I spend a lot of my time reading about new technologies, and new tooling. If I’m not doing that, I’m spending time with my wife and my four-year-old dog.

Aaron Batilo and his wifeAaron Batilo and his dog

Kelli Blystone

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