All articles

Engineering UnZipped: Q&A with Archana


Archana Kanakamedala


October 17, 2023

Engineering UnZipped: Q&A with Archana

Say hi to Archana Kanakamedala, and learn who and what have inspired her journey and career progression to her current role of Engineering Manager in our ANZ Core Product Squad.

Archana tell us about your background, how long you’ve been with Zip and a little bit about your role and your day to day work here

My name’s Archana and I’m an Engineering Manager in the Core Product squad, where I’ve been for the last six months. I started at Zip four years ago as a Software Engineer, and have grown with the company thanks to some great mentors and leaders who supported me to progress through our Associate Engineering Manager pathway. This role enabled me to build my people management capabilities while honing my technical skills, giving me the confidence to step up to the next level as an Engineering Manager.

What I love about my current role in Core Product is that I’m constantly learning. Our team works with so many different parts of the business, which means there’s still a lot of learning ahead of me. For a lifelong learner like me, that’s very exciting.

What are some of the benefits of working in an Engineering team that is constantly building and shipping new work to customers?

Zip is a fast paced environment and we need to adapt to changes quickly. We don’t have to wait for multiple layers of approval to deploy our code - when the Engineer is confident to release. they do. This means that we are always building with the customer in mind and are able to make the biggest impact for our customers within the quickest time.

What are some of the examples you can share that highlight how Engineers are empowered to do impactful work and grow their careers at Zip?

In our team, even the more junior engineers are encouraged to take ownership of really big, impactful projects. A great example is the work we’re owning on instalments, which is a really complex piece of work. Our engineers have been building tools to automate manual processes, aimed at fixing issues customers may see with their payment instalments. The team is given the time and space to experiment with this highly technical work which means they’re able to grow outside of their day to day responsibilities.

In some organisations, junior engineers wouldn’t get the opportunity to work on projects of this nature due to the implications if something went wrong. Here we put trust in Zipsters at all levels.

What are some of the important projects or pieces of work that have tested your skills, and had a significant impact on the business?

One of the pieces of work that I am most proud of is when I joined the Customer Core squad, I noticed that there was an opportunity to speed up the response rates for customer tech support queries.

Taking ownership of this project really helped me feel closer to our customers, meaning I could see the positive impact my work was having on their experience transacting with Zip.

As I’ve moved through my career, our team has implemented this shared way of working and we all set aside time on a Friday to work through these tickets. As a team, we feel it’s the best way for us to better understand what our customers are looking for, so we can build products that better meet their needs.

What’s a key learning that has helped you grow?

At Zip I’ve had the opportunity to step into the Associate Engineering Manager role which is a pathway Zip has designed for engineers who are individual contributors, to test whether leading a team of people is aligned to their career aspirations and personal development plan. I’ve found this pathway a great fit, as it’s allowed me to test and grow my skills as a leader. My main takeaway is the learning that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’. As a leader you need to tailor your management style to fit with your team members’ needs.

Working in smaller squads or teams at Zip means we often need to take on new responsibilities, learning on the job as we go. What appeals to you about this way of working?

In Core Product we work on a variety of different tasks, each with their own set of challenges that we need to tackle every day. It’s a lot of fun to start exploring solutions knowing the impact our work can have on the end user, and on Zip’s strategy more broadly.

What’s more, Engineers at every level have the flexibility to step outside of their day job and take on broader responsibilities that align with their interests. These come with their own unique opportunities for problem solving, but also help us gain knowledge and grow new skills.

You don’t have to solve the problem on your own, but we all make sure we’ve completed our own exploration before leaning on other Zipsters who in my experience are always eager to support.

What sets working in Engineering at Zip apart from how you’ve experienced working in your previous career?

The vibe and energy that Zip has is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and that’s one of the things that has kept me here for four years. During that time I’ve also had so many opportunities for growth and learning, including being a part of three different squads and more recently, I’ve been given the opportunity to step into a people leadership role through our Associate Engineering Manager pathway.

How does Zip support Women into leadership roles?

At Zip we have support groups where women in technology can come together to share their experiences and impact change across the business to better support other female technologists. We also have a partnership with Girls In Tech and hosting events at Zip has allowed us to build a broader community of women in STEM.

What has been the most rewarding part of managing a team at Zip?

I would say that when your team is happy and when your team is growing, you grow. I feel fortunate that reflects my experience so far.

Like what you've read?

Check out these other articles

Writing my own story: From employee number 5, to Zip’s Delivery Manager for New Zealand

Author: Lionel Yip

Based out of Auckland, New Zealand, Lionel Yip is a Delivery Manager in our Technology team. Read on to discover more about his journey with Zip.

November 9, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Data UnZipped: Q&A with Alvin

Author: Alvin Rusly

Meet Alvin, a Sydney-based Senior Data Analyst, whose work is helping Zip's New Zealand team make better data-driven decisions
Levelling up with Zip’s Product Design and Research team

Author: Mel Hambarsoomian

In the first of a three part blog series profiling our ANZ Product Design team, hear from Director Mel Hambarsoomian about the team's focus on design maturity, tri-track agile and craft and quality.
Making the most of my Volunteering Leave with the Snowy Brumbies

Author: Laure Salou

Meet Lead Product Designer for our ANZ business Laure Salou and learn how she discovered a new passion while Volunteering on Zip’s time.

October 5, 2023

Candidate Support
My role building and growing a team that’s Stronger Together

Author: Hannah Scott

Read on to hear how our ANZ Senior TA Partner Hannah Scott’s focus on candidate excellence has helped develop her passion for DEI, and get her top tips on how to excel in your recruitment process and your career as Zipster

September 21, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Celebrating Wear it Purple Day

Author: Zach Rennick

We recently sat down with CX Superstar Zach Rennick in celebration of Wear it Purple Day, an annual LGBTIQA+ awareness day especially for young people, based in Australia.
Zipsters support the Future of Finance

Author: Lucy Lindsay and Jimmy Kelly

Hear from Sydney-based Zipsters Lucy and Jimmy who volunteered their time to partner with Young Change Agents, a nationwide social enterprise helping youth from all backgrounds see problems as opportunities

June 6, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Risk UnZipped: Q&A with Priyamvada

Author: Priyamvada Kamra

Meet Priyamvada, our Director, Risk Strategy based in the US. Read on for her career story, the work she's leading at Zip and how she brings her true, authentic self to work.

May 2, 2023

Life at Zip
Celebrating our Zipsterversaries: February - April

Author: Multiple contributors

Each month we recognise the tenure of a Zipster who has truly lived our values during their time here. This article re-caps the stories of the three Zipsters who we celebrated from February to April.
Zipping it forward - our partnership with The DV Collective

Author: Anna Wei and Ying Zhang

Meet two of our fearless Product Managers, Anna Wei and Ying Zhang, and learn how they used their Volunteering Leave to support The DV Collective, a national domestic violence initiative.

March 27, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Inspiring our next generation of female sales leaders

Author: Karen Farrar

In this article, Senior Director, Commercial Karen Farrar reflects on this year's International Women's Day theme and how it resonates given her experiences as a Zipster.

March 16, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
How we celebrated IWD 2023

Author: Multiple contributors

Learn all about how we recognised International Women's Day 2023 and what a gender equal future looks in the eyes of four of our fearless Zipsters.
Sustainability UnZipped: Q&A with Oli

Author: Oli Nelson

We recently sat down with Zip’s Sustainability Associate Oli Nelson to hear what the team have been up to in support of our global Social Impact and Sustainability initiatives.

February 16, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Building a fit-for-purpose modern data stack, part 2.

Author: Moss Pauly

In this second part of a multi-piece article, Moss Pauly, Senior Manager, Data Products, deep dives into the key decisions the team tackled when modernising Zip’s data stack.

February 13, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Building a fit-for-purpose modern data stack, part 1.

Author: Moss Pauly

In the first instalment of a multi-part blog post, Sydney-based Zipster Moss Pauly introduces our ANZ data platform and the team’s journey over the last 18 months.

February 15, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Risk UnZipped: Q&A with Mohamed

Author: Mohamed Afifi

Meet Mohamed, based out of our NYC office, who's leading our Enterprise Risk Management strategy at an exciting point in the journey for Zip in the US.
All Things Product: Mel Hambarsoomian

Author: Mel Hambarsoomian

Our Director of Product Design, Melanie, recently sat down to reveal her career highlights, sharing what she looks for in talent, her insights on design maturity, product thinking and design leadership.

January 29, 2023

Life at Zip
Celebrating our Zipsterversaries: November - January

Author: Multiple contributors

Each month we recognise the tenure of a Zipster who has truly lived our values during their time here. This article re-caps the stories of the three Zipsters who we celebrated from November '22 to January.

January 26, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
How our Zipsters celebrated Lunar New Year

Author: Multiple contributors

Hear about the significance of Lunar New Year to Jess and Clement, and learn how they celebrate.
Making use of our Volunteering Leave

Author: Multiple contributors

Every year Zipsters get 2 days of paid Volunteering Leave. Here's how a couple of the team used theirs...
Engineering UnZipped: Q&A with Philip

Author: Philip Laureano

Meet ANZ Engineering Manager, Philip Laureano, and learn about the technology that decides which Zip customers are approved for credit.
Engineering Unzipped: Q&A with Autumn

Author: Autumn Ragland

US-based Engineer Autumn shares her experiences as a Zipster.
Atomic change and the future of Technology at Zip

Author: George Gorman

ANZ CTO George Gorman gives a glimpse into the opportunities that lie ahead for the team.

November 11, 2022

Data, Analytics & Risk
Moving at Zip speed while building data that stands the test of time

Author: Tal Bergman

ANZ Director Data Tal Bergman offers insight into life in the Data & Analytics team
Engineering UnZipped: Q&A with Kalpana

Author: Kalpana Chandrasekar

Meet ANZ Engineering Manager, Kalpana Chandrasekar, from our Shop & Rewards team.

November 11, 2022

Data, Analytics & Risk
Master these three skills to grow your data and analytics career

Author: Will Walker

Looking to grow your data and analytics career? ANZ Senior Manager, Analytics Will Walker shares his top tips.
View all articles