Meet the People Behind Smart SMS: the Insights Team
Aug 9th, 20214 min readEdited on Sep 17th, 2021
Truecaller’s Insights Team is focused on building a space for trustworthy conversations by introducing smart services.
Across the world, the COVID-19 crisis has been a challenge for many organizations. This brings us to these questions – Is it possible to stay productive while working from home? Is there room for new feature development during this health crisis?
Today we have Mathan Raj, Senior Android Engineer, from our Bangalore office to answer these questions for us and open the door to their secrets in “Behind the Code.”
What is the Insights team?
At Insights, we are a young and energetic team of 15 and growing. The best thing about our team is that every one of us has expertise in different domains. Ranging from machine learning, natural language processing, mobile engineering, backend engineering, and UX.
'They are always available to help each other when needed.'
How do you keep in touch during the pandemic?
The pandemic has been tough for us initially, without in person human interaction. But we started finding small things that helped us keep in touch. We have Monday morning video call sessions, and we share movie recommendations, memes, and interesting reads on our chat groups. We also do Friday evening game sessions where we play online multiplayer games that help us engage with each other and have fun.
How do you organize your work?
Within my team, we follow monthly sprints and have clarity on what is planned for every month. Before I start working on any feature, the whole team gets together for a grooming session to discuss the new changes and complexity of the feature. This helps me in planning the delivery & timelines for that feature. I usually start the day off with code reviewing, which unblocks other team members for their day. I also help with reviewing the assignments when we are interviewing for a new Android role. Being part of the core Android team, I spend two days a month discussing and improving the overall Android codebase as a whole.
Have you worked differently during the pandemic?
For me, there’s not much difference. On the positive side of things, now I don’t worry about the morning and evening commutes anymore. That translates into two things – more peaceful work and extra time doing the things I like.
What is the most exciting part of working for Truecaller?
The first thing is the scale of Truecaller across the world. Just the thought that I can work on and develop something that can positively affect over 250 million people every day.
'It’s an exciting opportunity to be in and give the best for our users.'
Without any doubt, Truecaller’s Insights Team has known how to overcome these difficult times. Not only having effective remote communication but also developing new features, such as Smart SMS. This feature helps you stay on top of important SMS while being protected from spam and fraud. Essential information within SMS is highlighted and categorised for you, like travel updates, transactions, bill reminders, and more.
What are you most proud of about Smart SMS?
I’m most proud about developing a solution that is scalable and can be enjoyed worldwide. But the best thing is that all the processing that is required for the Smart SMS features to work happens within the device. This means that no information from the SMS ever leaves the phone.
What were the main challenges in making Smart SMS?
One of the challenges we faced was to understand what messages were important and which ones were not relevant for users from different countries. For example, for users in South Africa, betting messages are considered important, whereas in India it’s considered spam.
How did you develop Smart SMS during the pandemic?
A couple of processes helped us develop Smart SMS fast and effectively. The grooming sessions before every new feature aligns everyone from the team about the feature on the same page. The brainstorming sessions to discuss the problem statements around Smart SMS, and possible solutions. And finally, the retro sessions to get feedback from the team to analyze how effective the last sprint was.
What has been important for the team to keep in mind while building this feature?
The most important thing has been privacy. We always discuss how we can deliver every feature without affecting the user’s privacy. For every piece of feedback we get from the user, we always ask for consent, so that the users are in complete control of their data.
Ready to dive in and discover how Smart SMS works on the Truecaller app ��? Go and find more stories from “Behind the Code”. Don’t forget to download Truecaller and visit Truecaller’s Youtube Channel, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for all the latest news and information.