Laika is a recruitment platform that helps companies source, acquire and retain top Balkan Tech professionals from a curated community.
From engaging with tech talent to positioning as an employer brand, Laika provides 360 recruitment solutions. Their product is a smart platform, matching talents, and companies based on skills, preferences, and competencies.
They had a clear vision about how they wanted the product to look like and a thorough business plan. That’s why they had to make a platform that supports a large number of IT talent profiles and company profiles. Moreover, they needed a matching engine between companies and job seekers.
However, they didn’t have a team that could bring the product to the market as soon as they hoped. On top of that, they didn’t have the technology to achieve this.
The We Are Laika team liked the developer-centric nature of Microtica’s solution. That’s why they decided to leverage it and bring their solution to the market as soon as possible.
They started out with a team of two developers setting up the backend logic and the development infrastructure by themselves. Microtica’s team gave them minimal support.
In order to meet the projections of the Laika team, numerous talent portfolios, job posts and matchings between them, we needed to prepare the infrastructure having several things in mind:
Why Amazon Web Services
Having all these requirements for the project, AWS seemed like the immediate choice for a cloud provider. With AWS we took advantage of the security benefits of their data centers and networks architected to protect user information, identities, applications, and devices. We were able to build a secure global infrastructure, having ownership of the data, encrypt it, move it, and manage retention.
One component of the AWS secure global infrastructure that we use is the IAM service. With IAM, you can centrally manage users, security credentials such as passwords, access keys, and permissions policies that control which AWS services and resources users can access.
AWS offers many useful security tools and configurations, such as AWS CloudTrail and Amazon Cloud Watch that can be used by teams for logging and monitoring. On top of this the team builds solutions to protect data within sensitive workloads.
Scalability is very important for the system since it processes a lot of real-time data. We are using EKS, EC2 with extensive usage of AWS Auto Scaling to meet our customer’s demands. This enables us to automatically adjust needed capacity to maintain performance at the lowest possible cost. The team was able to setup application scaling for multiple resources across multiple services in minutes.
We are Laika has a very unique advantage when it comes to developers’ data safety. This advantage is that they are anonymous until they choose to reveal their data to a company. Microtica is based on AWS as a cloud provider and uses the user’s AWS account.
This way, Microtica only uses the user account in its actions (building, deploying, configuration, etc.). We don’t have any access to their data. Moreover, Microtica adds another layer of security on top of AWS with the provided ready-to-use components.
We built Laika using the following free components:
- Relational database
- Kubernetes cluster
and two custom components for lambda functions. The team divided the business logic of the product into five microservices. They are loosely coupled and each of them covers a defined business capability. The web application in React JS is also delivered with Microtica.
The Laika team divided the activities into three phases. The first one was a pre-launch campaign, when talents got early access to the platform, which was in its beta phase. Their plan was to offer a large number of job posts posted by IT companies in the Balkans.
After the release of the pre-launch campaign, everything went smoothly. Thanks to the cloud-native capabilities of scalability, we supported over 3000 portfolios in the first five hours. The pre-launch phase included signups by talents only, so the team was able to scale only the necessary part of the system which they specially designed for signups and portfolio creation, instead of scaling the whole system. In order to achieve this, they used our microservice architecture.
This feature also came in handy for the Beta release, where the main buzz was around the matching algorithm. This is a unique approach to the pairing of talents and companies based on the skills required for a certain job post.
When a company posts a job post, they get a pool of talents with a rating descending from 100%, depending on the match they have with the particular skills required. This is a high-performance task, especially when you have a large number of talents. Here too, the cloud-native options and the microservice architecture enabled the scale of the necessary part of the system that performs these calculations.
The Laika team leveraged the ready-to-use Kubernetes component, which meant that the team didn’t have to take care of setting up and maintaining infrastructure.
Fast feature delivery
As a team, Laika works in the most agile way you could imagine. They imagined the delivery process in three phases:
- Beta version of the product consisted of several features
- Feature-by-feature delivery
In this whole process, going live was our main concern driven by the industry’s perception of how stressful a go-live can be. This team had several big ones.
The Laika team used the Replicate functionality in Microtica to set up new environments with ease. They managed to replicate the infrastructure and settings of the development environment, configure it and go-live with a few clicks.
Microtica strongly supports continuous work and delivery, enabling the team to develop features on top of the Beta product, test, and release it to production in a week. This brought engaged customers, less stress around the delivery, focused marketing, and a very happy development team.
In order to meet customer needs, the team needed to release features fast without affecting the quality of the work. Using Microtica, they configured their deployment pipeline to run code quality tests and avoid sending “bad” code to production, since Microtica ensures the deployment will not pass and rollback to the latest healthy version.
Microtica helped Laika improve its security, scale smoothly, and release features in no-time. We were the team they were missing to take the product to the market without any complications. Laika’s platform now has the ability to handle countless portfolios and release features, through an automated process that leaves the quality of work untouched.
We had an idea but we didn’t quite have the technology infrastructure and expertise. Microtica unlocked our team’s potential. It enabled us to focus on our product, providing technical solutions for rapid development and faster go-to-market. A team of 2 developers set up the backend logic, the development infrastructure, the testing, and the production environments, cutting us time and effort.
— Aleksandra Janakievska, We Are Laika