Sami Hamed | Product & Software Developer

Work experience

My favourite battle stories

A collection of stories about special projects from the organisations I've had the pleasure to work with and some of my most valuable takeaways from each adventure.

Head of Engineering

AMORELIE was founded in 2013 in Berlin and is know to be Germany's largest e-commerce platform for sexual wellness products. Its products are aimed at trend-conscious singles and couples with a huge digital product landscape encompassing e-commerce, toyparties, educational content and a digital magazine. The engineering department consisted of two agile development teams with a Typescript/React, PHP/Magento and Ruby/Rails stack and more than 21 team members. AMORELIE was acquired in early 2022 by EQOM.

Building synergetic growth plans for two agile teams of software developers

AMORELIE's engineering department consisted of two scrum teams which were developing and maintaining the companie's software products. As its first Head of Engineering, I did a 3-month deep-dive into the capabilities and desires of the team members to develop a growth plan along the companies OKR cycle. With each junior, intermediate & senior developer, I went through a process of understanding their skills and growth opportunities. In the end, we created personal development plans on all levels of experience while using synergies between the developers' goals. We hosted hackathons, tech demos presentations and provided a large array of courses for the developers to empower them to implement new innovative tech solutions in the future while keeping employee satisfaction at an all-time high.

Implementing a standardised incident management plan

With two disconnected scrum teams and very different tech stacks, AMORELIE faced issues with its non-standard alerting and incident management setup. Together with the teams' Senior Engineers, I set up and supervised an incident management plan on top of a standardised alerting system. This way, the engineering department ensured to always know first about issues across its huge software landscape with thorough logging, a plan to update stakeholders, and a shift system with a contemporary set of automated tools.

My takeaways from this journey:

  • How to grow and lead a team of interdisciplinary software developers at various skill levels
  • How to implement impactful and productive scrum rituals
  • How to truly prioritise software products in an organisation with a multimillion €€€ revenue
  • How to bring maximum transparency to stakeholders
  • How to manage software projects with dependencies in various non-engineering teams
  • How to integrate engineers from external contractors into in-house development processes

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Head of Technology (interim, after acquisition)

HABYT develops and manages beautifully designed, community-driven and technologically empowered co-living spaces all across Europe's most attractive cities. HABYT has built most of its digital product landscape around its CRM management tool and automated multiple tedious onboarding processes with software solutions.

Integrating the entire software landscape after the company's acquisition

After homefully's successful acquisition by Habyt, I was appointed to lead the technical integration of homefully's complex software systems into Habyt's digital product landscape. Together with my team of two project managers and two software developers, we created a 6-week plan to integrate homefully's system while keeping the sales process up, not losing any revenue and reaching weekly milestones in the process automation.

My takeaways from this journey:

  • How to collaborate with external agencies to develop software products
  • How to scale products in an aggressive M&A environment
  • How to ship quick solutions in a highly dynamic environment
  • How sometimes Salesforce can be the right tool to manage customer data at a certain scale

How it ended:

After the successful integration of HOMEFULLY's software systems into HABYT'S CRM tool, I was eager for new challenges. At HABYT, I would've had to re-build similar tools to the products we created at HOMEFULLY. This and the fact that HABYT did not see technology at its core, led me to move on to new adventures.

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VP, Head of Product / Product Owner: Digital

As one of Frankfurt's top 20 startups, HOMEFULLY was created as a SaaS (Space as a Service) platform for a diverse community of young professionals from all around the world. Initially, I was hired to develop a digital product roadmap. After my first quarter in the team, I was promoted to Head of Product and responsible to build an in-house product team for physical and digital experiences. HOMEFULLY provides more than 250 fully furnished shared apartments as co-living spaces. It has an algorithmic approach of matching the right flatmates to create sustainable communities and an overall great home experience. homefully was acquired by HABYT in summer of 2021.

Establishing a data-mindset at a Series-B-Level startup

As the first experienced product owner, I joined homefully at an early stage in the company’s history in 2020. Throughout the following 1,5 years, I established detailed quantitative and behavioral user tracking to learn more about our customers’ behavior. In line with implementing this methodology, I successfully established a data-driven mindset for strategic decision-making across all customer facing departments.

Eliminating 96% of manual sales work by automating onboarding processes with a progressive web app

homefully handles ~250 co-living residents moving in/-out every month. In just eight weeks, my team of developers and I automated an organically grown onboarding process which cost the company lots of time and money whenever new residents moved in or out. Through a smart concept connecting digital UX best practices and a crowd-enabled approach to optimizing the onboarding process, we successfully managed to automate 96% of all user transactions. This feature improved team performance by 20%.

Improving B2C core KPI by 600%; while saving €180k/year

An introspective product research unveiled that only 8% of sales calls resulted in the actual closing of a successful contract. Within three months, we conceptualized and implemented a digital onboarding journey, reducing the manual sales overhead to an automatically scheduled phone call. By utilizing an algorithmic approach to evaluating the most promising leads and reorganizing the process, we increased our previous conversion rate from 8% to nearly 50% - establishing a workflow which lead to every second sales call resulting in a successful closing. As a consequence of this digital process, we were able to strategically restructure the entire sales department towards much higher post-sales value for our customers increasing the overall stay duration and per-unit profitability.

My takeaways from this journey:

  • How to create a digital product landscape and translate its development to roadmaps for various product owners
  • How to collaborate at VP level
  • How to connect physical products with a digital product experience
  • How to implement highly-efficient performance marketing in a B2C context
  • How to lead teams of interdisciplinary members (Product, Sales, Support & Marketing)
  • How to keep daily operations running in a business
  • How to set team budgets and manage expenses alongside ROI plans

How it ended:

HOMEFULLY was acquired by HABYT in mid-2021. I proceeded to integrate homefully's software products into Habyt's CRM systems as Habyt's interim Head of Technology.

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Software Developer (UX)

FINANZCHECK is the leading independent online comparison portal for consumer loans and private financial products. FINANZCHECK provides its customers with access to the best offers from the biggest banks in the market, bringing transparency to a very opaque market. I had the pleasure to join a fantastic team of highly skilled engineers who pursued the company's strategy of developing the best UX in the FinTech market.

Implementing company-wide A/B-testing to improve key conversion rates with 40+ developers and 20.000 users per day

At Finanzcheck, I had the chance to evaluate the behavior of ~20.000 web users on a daily basis. One of my tasks within the UX-focussed team of software developers was implementing an A/B-testing scheme which could track the behavior of users along various variants of the same web apps to evaluate which variant would perform best. With this project, I was in the lead of implementing the technology with various stakeholders, including UX consultants, C-level executives, external agencies and our in-house team of 40+ software developers and product managers.

Building a reusable UI component library based on qualitative (and quantitative) UX research

My role at Finanzcheck provided me with the chance to grow my Frontend Development skills within the company's UX task force. I took part in and hosted qualitative user research sessions at the company's headquarter to test our department's UI prototypes. Based on this qualitative (and later, the A/B-tested quantitative) feedback, I created a reusable component library to be used by all major development teams in the company. After I completed the implementation of the company's A/B-testing tool, I set up insightful campaigns to measure the success and KPI improvement rates of various visual and functional features.

My takeaways from this journey:

  • How to develop the RIGHT features based on insightful data
  • How to implement internal software projects in a big organisation with multiple software teams
  • How to collect qualitative data via in-presence prototype testing with test users
  • How to evaluate statistical significance of A/B-test
  • How to build beautiful and scalable UI components
  • How to build highly-performant web applications

How it ended:

There was a personal disconnect between me and FINANZCHECK's core product. A fantastic offer to build digital products at HOMEFULLY led me to pursue new adventures.

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Lead developer / Frontend Developer

ACOMODEO provides the biggest catalog of options for short- and long-term-stays in serviced apartments worldwide. With its innovative and individual software solutions for customers and operators, ACOMODEO covers the entire value chain and adapts it to the current state of technology.

My takeaways from this journey:

  • How to develop digital products in a professional software development environment
  • How to lead a (small) team of engineers
  • How to create product roadmaps
  • How to automate onboarding processes for customers
  • How to collect feedback from internal stakeholders and translate it to feature requests

How it ended:

A drastic change in leadership led to me and various other developers moving on to new projects after building ACOMODEO's product landscape for the previous 2,5 years.