Lendable is a top UK Fintech, which was set-up in 2014 with a mission to bring personal finance into the digital age, making borrowing money a customer-friendly and hassle-free experience.
Lendable is revolutionizing consumer finance through AI and automation, providing a fast, secure, personalised service to get approved loans, credit cards and car finance to customers in a matter of minutes.
Well established now in the UK, Lendable is now expanding to the US.
Lendable had a pressing need to rapidly build a new consumer credit product within their existing credit card application, but with using a new language for the backend. Lendable took this opportunity to diversify their technology stack by choosing Kotlin, to help attract a wider engineering demographic to the company and to leverage the performance benefits Kotlin offers.
Additionally, Lendable wanted to review current delivery and team practices in order to maximise team empowerment and efficiency.
A Collective Approach
OB Collective landed a specialised team within two weeks of being formally engaged. Using the principle of ‘narrow focus, but wide context’, the team rapidly identified the first end-to-end customer journey, ‘To make a Purchase’. This was selected to prove out the technology stack and key integrations, enabling the quickest route to market.
OB Collective’s mantra is to leave a sustainable legacy. Which means the solution is well understood, extensible and supportable. OB Collective takes pride in aligning architecturally and also culturally. At Lendable an iterative approach to domain-driven design was taken, establishing a ubiquitous language common across the technology and business team; and using hexagonal architecture to best align with Lendables' needs.
Choosing the Team
Building out the right team in terms of competencies, leadership and perhaps most importantly - personas, is the backbone of any successful partnership. OB Collective can leverage a huge existing network of known associates extremely rapidly; we understand the importance of finding the right people for an engagement, and use several techniques to select a team. One of the techniques deployed at Lendable, was to assess the design personas of the team to ensure a good alignment of principles, ideals and personality. Additionally in order to select the best engineers for the engagement, real life PRs from the codebase were used to make sure potential team members had the best possible match.
A founding principle of OB Collective is to write concise and loosely coupled code for our clients. This not only benefits our own client teams in the short term, as we can deliver more with less, but also continues to benefit our clients long after we’ve left; creating applications that are easy to test, maintain and handover.
Lendable needed to select a supportable architecture; but also wanted to diversify their technology stack to attract a wider engineering demographic. To complement the existing PHP stack, Kotlin was selected during the advisory process and OB Collective were able to land a specialised Kotlin team.
Hexagonal architecture was selected for the solution, as it allowed the team to focus on the most technically challenging development tasks - specifically, allowing business logic to be implemented in isolation. By decoupling the business logic from other technical concerns (http, database, etc), this allowed the team to react quickly to changing requirements and easily test. Hexagonal architecture also aligned well with Lendables' existing technical topology. This meant upon project delivery, the code had a similar look and feel architecturally to other codebases in Lendable, enabling a seamless handover.
Tooling and Collaboration
Working practices have fundamentally shifted since COVID, forcing a rethink of remote working principles, and triggering a rapid adoption of tooling to support distributed teams. OB Collective and Lendable established a delivery and engineering framework, to empower the distributed development team and make use of best-in-class tooling and process. In one example, Miro was fully leveraged to turn the usually ephemeral Event Storming into a corner stone for mapping out the architecture and domain design; creating living and tactile artefacts. Knowing when to bring the team together for co-location is critically important and essential for an effective distributed team; OB Collective worked with Lendable to identify what worked best for the team and individuals, whilst ensuring delivery goals could be met.
We selected OB Collective because we wanted to rapidly scale up our capability to deliver new products. OB Collective offered us the ability to do that quickly, using an engagement and staffing model that worked well for us. We were able to build the team quickly, within a matter of weeksPatrick Myles — CTO
OB Collective aligned very well with how we operate our existing teams, creating a very positive engagement from the outset.Patrick Myles — CTO
We were able to align across product and engineering and figure out what was holding us back.Product Manager