The People category in the Blogs Section of the eCabs website

Here one can find informative and interesting blogs which the tech mobility company publishes from time to time.
Please click on the photo above each item to access the original blog post.

Traversing the Agile seas: a Scrum Master’s journey

Traversing the Agile seas: a Scrum Master’s journey

The idea of helping people to help themselves is probably the key factor which drew me towards becoming a Scrum Master.

My journey into Agile, not just Scrum, has been a long one. I was one of the first three Scrum people certified in Malta (one other Scrum Master and a Scrum trainer).

Can you tell us a bit about your professional journey in this field?

Agile and Scrum were practically non-existent on the island back in 2007. Along with the other qualified Scrum Master, we had started an NGO called Agile Malta. Through this NGO, we used to hold Agile focused conferences and used to help companies to transition to the Agile mentality.

Over time, I learnt different Agile methodologies which have progressed towards scaled Scrum.

Can you provide an overview of your role as a Scrum Master at eCabs Technologies? What are your primary responsibilities and objectives?

When I joined eCabs, one of the very first things I noticed – and liked – was that the company was not developing a ride-hailing platform separate from everything else. But as a consolidated operator platform, integrating app, phone, web and API integrated bookings, amongst others.

My role has evolved from aiding eCabs’ tech team to understanding Scrum, to helping them to understand their autonomy and self-responsibility.

My primary objective is to ensure that we give back the flow of work from our customer and product team’s minds, along with our company experience, to our customers with a high level of quality.

eCabs Technologies is known for its tech-driven culture. How does the Scrum framework contribute to the development and improvement of these solutions?

Scrum fosters the creation and maintenance of a mentality of small increments totaling up to one great improvement. Based on how the local and foreign customers and business are progressing over time.

Changing people’s behaviour is never easy. But the Agile/Scrum perspective comes to the rescue in the form of small changes over time. In terms of what we communicate, as well as when and how. All the while focusing on how people are feeling during the communication exchange.

My main objective is getting the tech teams to functional in a holistic and professional manner. In the long run, my end game is to foster collaboration and self-management across the entire company.

eCabs Technologies Scrum Master Aldo Cauchi Savona

At eCabs Technologies, my main objective is getting the tech teams to functional in a holistic and professional manner. In the long run, my end game is to foster collaboration and self-management across the entire company.

Communication is enhanced with the use of informative automated boards. As well as the use of Slack and Scrum’s correlated rhythmical set of meetings, one of which occurs daily.

Getting all team players rowing in the same direction at the same time, where all the company is working as a team, will allow us to beat groups of any size.

What advice would you give to aspiring Scrum Masters who are looking to excel in their careers within the tech industry? Especially in companies like eCabs?

It is good to always keep in mind that Scrum is not unique or special only to tech companies. Social sciences use what they call a ‘grounded thinking’ methodology, which involves the cyclical application of inductive reasoning.

In anything in life – not only in the tech industry – start small and cyclically build yourself. All the time, adapting your current short-term plan towards achieving a long-term goal, which is also an ever evolving and constantly changing process.

For instance, improvements through small increments is also an aspect of physical therapy (which I travel abroad yearly for after a nasty incident a few years ago which left me in need of the aforementioned therapy.)

My personal experience has taught me that, sometimes, even those things that are deemed impossible or unlikely, are achievable. With the right mindset, the appropriate direction, and a dose of hard work from your end. And I try to apply that reasoning to everything I do.

Interested in joining the eCabs Technologies team?

Aldo Cauchi Savona Traversing the Agile seas: a Scrum Master’s journey
Safeguarding the three pillars of technology

Navigating the digital maze: Tales from the tech frontline

In this blog, eCabs Systems & Network Administrator Osama Belaama dives into the digital maze of the three pillars of technology – first line tech support, network, and security.

Tech presents both opportunities and challenges. For businesses like ours, navigating this area requires a keen understanding of tech support, network management, and cybersecurity.

At eCabs Technologies, we believe that technology is the backbone of our operations. And I am committed to realising this every day.

By giving the areas below the attention they deserve, businesses not only ensure smoother operations but also fortify themselves against potential threats.

First line tech support to the rescue

In the vast landscape of technology, first line tech support stands as the front-line defenders, ensuring a smooth experience for end users.

Whenever a user finds a technical glitch, it’s the first line support that rushes to the rescue.

The primary role is not just troubleshooting the cause but also understanding, and guiding users with patience and expertise.

First line tech support makes technology approachable, ensuring a smoother digital experience for everyone. In principle, they are the human touch in an increasingly digital world.

A strong network is not just a luxury

A robust network is essential. Think of it as the highways and roads in a city. The more efficient they are, the smoother the traffic flow.

Similarly, in the digital area, a strong network ensures efficient data transfer, seamless communication, and optimal user experience.

However, just as a pothole can disrupt your drive, network issues can interrupt a business’s operations.

Moreover, as businesses evolve and grow, their networks must be agile and scalable.

Technology is an enabler but not a complete solution. Use it to reduce risk – but be prepared for a breach.

eCabs Systems & Network Administrator Osama Belaama

Utilising a robust network infrastructure not only streamlines communication and traffic flow but also safeguards critical business information against potential cyber threats.

Security: safeguarding the digital system and infrastructure

Finally, the final of the pillars of technology – and the most important aspect of business nowadays – is security.

With a rising number of cyber threats, security isn’t just an option; it’s a priority.

A single breach can lead to financial loss, damage to reputation, and a loss of trust. Therefore, it’s vital for every user to identify the importance of digital security.

Whether it’s about setting strong passwords, MFA (Multifactor Authentication) or understanding phishing threats, a little knowledge can go a long way. Knowledge is always your best defence.

No such thing as 100% invulnerability… ever

This is a crucial fundamental truth.

Despite our best efforts in deploying firewalls, adopting MFA, or integrating IDS (Intrusion Detection System) and IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), the advent of supercomputers and sophisticated hacking techniques has proved that every digital fortress is vulnerable.

Technology is an enabler but not a complete solution. Use it to reduce risk – but be prepared for a breach.

Even with all these advanced warnings, one of the most vulnerable aspects that may result in significant business loss is the user themselves.

According to research, 88% of all cyberattack incidents are caused by an employee. Either due to a mistake or lack of awareness.

An accidental click on a malicious link, a download from an unverified source, or simply entering their credentials on a false page can open floodgates to potential threats.

It is my utmost responsibility to highlight and repeat the importance of caution to users. Staying informed, alert, and proactive is not just a recommendation; it’s a crucial component for you to hold.

Osama Belaama
The thrill of ‘breaking stuff’ in software testing

The thrill of ‘breaking stuff’ in software testing

As a manual tester, Maria’s role is directly related to the quality assurance stage of the software development of the eCabs Technologies’ product.  

This involves the execution of manual tests with the objective of ensuring that the software which is ought to be delivered to customers meets the respective requirements.  

Maria’s primary responsibility constitutes the analysis of software so that any foreseeable issues are identified and prevented.  

“A good software quality assurance analyst must be capable of putting themselves in the shoes of the person who will be making use of the software in question,” Maria explains. “Even though this might sound pretty straightforward due to the fact that I am one of these users (given that I make use of eCabs in real life), one must keep in mind that the consumer aspect of this ride-hailing technology is just one piece of the puzzle.”

For instance, there is the driver’s aspect which works hand-in-hand with the consumer’s, the business-to-business aspect and so on.  

“The mixture of these kinds of personas and scenarios is what makes the nature of this industry challenging enough to keep the testing strategies required interesting. The complexity of the processes involved from the minute the booking is created to when the booking is completed, not to mention the payment infrastructure that proceeds this, creates ample room for creative test cases designs. The trick is to learn how each piece links to and affects the others.”

Challenges and strategies in software testing

During her first few days at eCabs Technologies, Maria was involved with the general testing of the main mobile apps (the consumer app and the driver app).  

However, her main focus during the past few months has been the B2B portal which was recently launched for both Malta and Blue in Romania.

This portal gives businesses the opportunity to register, and make use, of the eCabs Business to Business feature.

A good software quality assurance analyst must be capable of putting themselves in the shoes of the person who will be making use of the software in question.

eCabs Technologies Manual Tester Maria Mifsud

Given that Maria has a lot of experience in web testing, she says that this project was as fun to test as much as it was interesting; it is just a shame that, since she did not start working on this project since day one, she was not involved in the requirements gathering process.  

“This posed the challenge of having to go through a lot of documentation. And having to ask a lot of questions on the business logic and the user flow. Having said that, my Quality Assurance team colleagues and the product owners of this project were always extremely helpful. I have always felt welcomed to voice my concerns and advice on user experience improvement and product stability.”

Enhancing software quality through clear communication

Maria is an avid advocate for good communication. She says that a tester must always have a clear vision of what the requirements and business logic are.  

“For this to be possible, there must be clear communication between the QA team and the product owners. In this regard, communication must be a two-way street, as it is our duty to voice our opinion when we think that a better approach can be taken. Given that bug reporting is part and parcel of our daily life, we need to have clear and constant communication with the development team to indicate any issues observed during testing.”

Seeing is believing

Maria says that the most rewarding feeling about working at eCabs Technologies is the fact that the work that she and her team does is tangible and can be observed in action on a day-to-day basis. Either by seeing an eCabs driver driving past or when using the customer app itself.

She believes that she still have a lot to learn on the possibilities that the mobility sector has to offer. And she hopes that she can implement such knowledge in a way that compliments the major advancements of the technology in this sector.

“From my experience, I can say that there are two types of people in the tech industry – those who like to build things and those who like to break things. Software quality assurance requires a reverse engineering mindset with the objective to break the software being tested so as to enhance its quality. Breaking stuff is cool and fun. Come join the party!”

Would you like to join Maria in the eCabs Technologies family?

Maria has always had an interest in breaking things apart to understand how they work and then following the reverse pattern to put everything back in place. In 2017 she graduated as an electrical and electronics engineer from the University of Malta. Soon after, she had the opportunity to pursue a three-month internship with Fraunhofer FKIE in Bonn, Germany. As far as her free time goes, if eating counts as a hobby, then she’d say she loves to eat! To keep this hobby ‘sustainable’, she goes running, does weight training and has also recently started indoor climbing. She also enjoys playing the piano, baking… and assembling furniture.

A journey of personal growth and success

A journey of personal growth and success

Personal growth is very important to me. And I count myself fortunate that the field I work in is conducive to pushing boundaries and fueling creativity.

My fascination with people and their dynamics drives me to work towards finding solutions that can enhance the quality of experiences for both customers and businesses. This gives me a sense of purpose in my professional endeavours.

Outside of work, my most important role is being a mother to two young and lively boys. They keep me happily occupied in my free time, and I cherish every moment spent with them.

I have also actively pursued further education through various courses and engaged in diverse projects. These experiences have enriched my skillset and allowed me to contribute effectively to different challenges.

As far as my career trajectory goes, I had worked as a Business Analyst since 2016, three of those years in a Scrum environment at eCabs. The company then offered me the possibility to move on to a Product Owner role smoothly and naturally.

Nowadays, I am responsible for defining the vision for the product with our key stakeholders.

One thing that I like – and feel is essential in my role – is to understand and anticipate our users’ needs. So, I can evaluate and prioritise product features and goals.

I truly believe my commitment to understanding customer needs and feedback here at eCabs has allowed me to contribute to my professional and personal growth.

Learning as I go

Scrum allows the team to work in small iterations. This helps the product to be built in an incremental approach, as we adapt to changes to return maximum value. This enables us to handle multiple projects concurrently.

One of my main tasks is evaluating the product progress at each iteration, as well as planning for the next one, based on the priority assigned.

So as a Product Owner I do not need to know all requirements in advance. Instead, I must take decisions to prioritise any backlog.

My fascination with people and their dynamics drives me to work towards finding solutions that can enhance the quality of experiences for both customers and businesses.

eCabs Technologies Product Owner Stephanie Portanier Mifsud

Our teams are very lucky to have a leadership team that is very approachable, supportive, and willing to support us through their invaluable and rare industry experience. They provide us with the individual space for all team members to be able to learn and excel in our roles.

I learn as I go along through continuous collaboration with my team. In this way, I can make the decisions and priorities to continue developing the right product for the business and stakeholders.

Pride and satisfaction

As a technology company that benefits from the wealth of knowledge that has been garnered over 13 years of operational experience, we are eager to bring our expertise and powerful technology platform to investors and operators alike as we venture into new territories.

Our decision to explore new markets was driven by the rising demand for our services. As well as a strong belief in the huge potential of our software offering.

My team and I have had the benefit of being able to rapidly push and test new product features onto the hyper-competitive local market, and then take those learnings and wins to our foreign partners.

We are proud and eager to bring our expertise and innovative solutions to a wider audience and make a positive impact on their lives and businesses.

I feel my journey and commitment to understanding customer needs and feedback has allowed me to contribute substantially to eCabs’ products. I cannot wait to see operations in the new markets scale!

Do you have the skills required to join Stephanie in eCabs Technologies’ super Product team?

People-related career

“My ‘people’ career makes me excited to go to work every day!”

Tracy Vella recently joined the eCabs Technologies family as Head of HR at their offices in Malta. She says that she always wanted a people-related career, even from a very young age. So, a career in HR, particularly recruitment, was a perfect fit for her.

Building a career focused around people

Tracy is originally from the United States but grew up going to Malta regularly, as her extended family lives there. She has a Master’s degree in Psychology, a BA in Psychology, and a dual minor in Human Resource Management and Sociology. Throughout her career, Tracy has worked for both for-profit and non-profit organisations across multiple industries and territories.

“I knew at a very early age that I wanted a career focused around people. And I studied all things people-related in school. So, Human Resources – especially a people-related field such as recruitment – was a natural fit. I’m very excited that all my previous experiences have led me to this new opportunity,” she says.

Why join eCabs Technologies?

The role/opportunity is what initially attracted Tracy to the organisation. However, once she interviewed with the hiring team, she realised that she would be able to grow and thrive in the environment/culture, and with the people she had met as colleagues. 

“We spend so much of our time at the office and with our colleagues. It is important that we feel comfortable and appreciated, and are given the autonomy to succeed in our own way,” she smiles. “If I have any questions, I’m encouraged to ask them. On my second day on the job, we all brought in baked goods and had them over a cup of coffee and a chat! I was also invited to a team building dinner with our Tech team at the end of week one. Everyone is just very approachable and willing to assist, up to and including the CEO.”

What does Tracy do in her day-to-day work?

It is Tracy’s responsibility to ensure that eCabs attracts, recruits, engages, and retains the most viable, talented, and appropriate people to join the eCabs Technologies team. She also works closely with the Marketing team to let the general public know what differentiates eCabs from their competitors. 

“It is important that we feel comfortable and appreciated, and are given the autonomy to succeed in our own way… Everyone is just very approachable and willing to assist, up to and including the CEO.”

eCabs Recruitment & Employment Branding Manager Tracy Vella

“I let people know who we are as an employer, what employment opportunities we currently have available, and why they should join us. If successful in round one, then round two would be to onboard our new team members from a recruitment/HR perspective,” she explains. “I am currently meeting all the team members, assessing recruitment needs, working with our wonderful Marketing team to put together some amazing employer branding campaigns to show that we are an employer of choice.” 

From the USA to Malta

Tracy is from New York and has been living in Malta for just over five years.

“I think the island is amazing, especially the people and the weather! However, every location has its pros and cons. I’m accustomed to businesses being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; the convenience is unmatched, but the work-life balance can be lacking,” she says. “I think the biggest challenge has been trying to rebuild my ‘community.’ When you relocate, you have to rebuild your network and rediscover your way in a new environment.”

This, of course, is something that the eCabs Technologies HR and Recruitment team can help every new eCabs recruit with.

During her free time, Tracy enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, picnicking, and BBQing. She also loves spending time with her friends and family.

“For me, work-life balance means that you have time for both your professional, as well as your personal responsibilities,” she states. “I totally feel as though I’ve achieved it. I work until I accomplish my tasks at hand. Then once I shut down for the day, I refocus my attention on other people, places, and things. That’s not to say that I am immune from sometimes continuing to try to resolve work-related issues after I leave the office!”

Are you interested in a job with us?