An Interview with Guidepoint Senior Principal Engineer, Mark Shehata


Meet Mark! Mark Shehata is a Senior Principal Engineer here at Guidepoint. Mark is originally from Mansoura in Egypt. He received a BSc in Engineering and moved to the US in 2008. While working full-time as a junior programmer Mark studied for his Master of Software Engineering at USC. Mark joined Guidepiont in 2014. When he’s not in front of a screen, Mark spends time with his family and when alone, books are his best friends.

What products and technology stack do you work on?


Mark: At Guidepoint I mostly use PHP, Symfony, Redis, RabbitMQ, SQL Server & Elastic Search – Also, Angular and .NET. Recently we moved to Microsoft Azure Cloud so, I have been using many services from Azure. For my personal projects, I use Java, Python, and PHP.


Would you like to learn another?


Mark: Of course! Kafka and Event Streaming, gRPC, and NLP.


How are you making an impact on the company and the technology team?


Mark: At a high level, I oversee the new features making sure they must not affect the performance of our systems. Not only that but also, any new ‘custom’ feature should be abstracted in a way that we could reuse it in the future. I also do a lot of refactoring for legacy components.


What’s one of the biggest misconceptions about the tech field?


Mark: I got a couple that I hear a lot:
– “Legacy code is bad or should be replaced with a new code”, I would say Legacy code/system is a successful system as long as it does its job. Of course, it needs more maintenance and attention to bring it up to the expected operational and functional level. To know more I recommend “Working Effectively with Legacy Code” by Michael Feathers.
– “Hire more engineers to fix the problem/ship the project”, this is a classic misconception – throwing more engineers at the problem will slow the team down because of the knowledge transfer part, more communications needed, and conflicts. A classic book “Mythical Man-Month” By Fred Brooks explains this nicely.


How have you grown in your career since joining Guidepoint?


Mark: It is an enjoyable journey. I joined as a Back-end Software Engineer. The team was small and everybody was doing multiple jobs. I was doing BI/Reporting, a little automated testing, and coding, then after a few years with successful projects I was promoted to be a Lead, and lucky enough to supervise a few brilliant engineers. Then I asked to switch to a different route, the individual contributor path so I became a Principal Engineer. With each role, there are many lessons learned.


What’s your favorite thing about working on the tech team?


Mark: Observing how small ideas become something meaningful. A small chat with a colleague could lead to a successful product within a few months.


Why should potential candidates think about joining Guidepoint’s technology team?


Mark: I would say if you would like to get a real-world experience in a friendly environment come join Guidepoint. You will not only enjoy your time here while solving interesting problems but also will understand how the world works behind the scenes.