Just last year we launched the mobile t: connect® app, with which pump data can be uploaded wirelessly to our t: connect web application, notifications about insulin pump alarms and alarms can be received and a discrete secondary display of the pump therapy data can be provided. We are now looking for iOS engineers with Swift experience and Android engineers with Kotlin experience to further develop our mobile offerings.
We sat down with a few team members to help you learn more about what it’s like to work on our mobile team in case you’re looking for new opportunities and want to make an impact on the diabetes community.
Tim Sloncz, manager and software engineer, was commissioned to make the first mobile app version compatible with iOS. The latest release was a major milestone for Tandem. Tim’s contributions to the growth of the mobile team are equally impressive. Tim found new ways to bring the team closer and improve the development process and quality of mobile software. His passion for writing quality software and delivering value to users drives the people around him to get better.
Jake McGhee, Android Software Engineer, helped develop our t: connect app for mobile devices before it was first released on Google Play and Apple App Store. He is currently working on version 1.3 of the application, which fixes many bug fixes and includes some new features for the app.
Courtney Langmeyer, iOS Software Engineer, is new to Tandem and has already made a significant impression! She is currently working on the next generation of features for mobile apps. Her teammates report that she brings great energy to the group.
Q1: Why use Swift and Kotlin?
Courtney: Swift is a native language for iOS development, which means we can use its functionality safely and effectively. This is essential in our apps Bluetooth® Technologies in which we focus on communicating safely and reliably with the tandem insulin pump. Swift is a powerful yet easy-to-use language that creates quality apps that are even fun to develop! The Android team here at Tandem use the Kotlin language, which has many of the same benefits as Swift.
Tim: Swift is a modern language that maintains the speed of its predecessors while increasing security and expressiveness. I guess we don’t have to go without writing clean code to prevent undefined behavior. It is well suited for building robust applications and is very readable.
Jake: As an Android developer, I can only speak to Kotlin as Swift is used by our iOS developers. Android development can be done with either Java or Kotlin. But as someone who has used both, Kotlin is definitely my preferred language. It offers a number of features that make code writing much cleaner, more concise, and safer. In addition, Kotlin has the added benefit of being Google’s preferred language for Android app development, making it a safer choice for app maintainability over time.
Q2: Did the use of these technologies move you to join Tandem?
Tim: The future is fast. It was still young when the mobile project started and I think it says a lot about Tandem that we chose Swift at that time. We want to make the best products for our users, and that means choosing the best technology for the job, even if it’s new.
Courtney: Yes! I love programming in Swift. It’s a very approachable language with endless possibilities. Before working at Tandem, I was curious about how Bluetooth® wireless technology works with mobile apps. Therefore, tandem was the perfect solution. It’s also very cool to find out about the technologies that other teams use here too, such as the software used in our insulin pumps. It’s great to work so closely with different development teams – there are a lot of clever people!
Jake: Not really. What moved me to join Tandem was the opportunity to use my technical skills to achieve what I believe has a positive impact on the world.
Q3: What do you enjoy most about working with these technologies?
Tim: I love being part of something that is growing. It’s full of pain points, but that makes it exciting and keeps you going. I didn’t really understand what it would take to maintain API excellence while I was working on evolving it until I followed Swift’s evolution. It’s an inspiring project and there’s a lot to learn.
Courtney: I love mobile app development because it’s fun to code something on your computer and bring it to life on your phone. More importantly, know that the technologies developed by our dedicated software and hardware teams are used to help so many people with diabetes. Our technologies are designed to make life easier, and that’s what I enjoy most.
Jake: What I love most about application development is that mobile technology is pretty much the primary way most people interact with computers these days. It’s a great feeling to be able to deliver software to our customers in a format that is easy to transport and easily accessible.
Q4: How would you describe the team dynamics?
Tim: To open. All ideas are welcome and will be considered. Code design, CICD, app functions, team organization – everything is fair play. We believe that the best way to succeed is to have great ideas, no matter who they come from. Our goal is to make users happy and it drives team dynamics in a positive way.
Courtney: The team dynamics are so good that I would rather be in the office than work from home [because of COVID-19]! This team has some of the best talent, collaborations, and work ethic I’ve come across while still maintaining a good level of ease. It’s a respectful, positive, and productive atmosphere with a sense of humor.
Jake: I would describe the team dynamics as casual and playful. I think our team shows well that it is possible to deliver really good software development without taking yourself 100% of the time seriously.
Q5: What do you like best about being on Tandem’s mobile team?
Tim: The drive. Trying to create medical device software quickly is a real challenge. It’s easy to keep our drive and enthusiasm going as the end goal is incredibly rewarding. We’re constantly growing, not just in terms of coding skills, but also in terms of teamwork and process quality.
Courtney: When we worked in the office before COVID-19, it was probably near my desk to the drinks machine in the break room, but it’s always the people! The mobile team is not huge and everyone is busy, but there is always room to support more young people on the team like me. The mobile team is full of extremely competent employees who all lead diverse lives outside of the office. I learn so much when I’m part of this team.
Jake: Probably my team members. Everyone is very smart, friendly and respectful, which made me very grateful to work at Tandem.
Q6: What advice would you give to someone interested in joining the team? Any tips for the interview process?
Tim: Keep learning. Medical device software is very rewarding and also very challenging. Take the additional steps to really understand what your code is doing. Read blogs, Apple® documents, and Swift documents, but don’t stop there. Experiment, build great systems, and explain them. Establish a good relationship with learning and the rest will take care of themselves.
Courtney: It’s a cliché but just be yourself! Of course, it’s important to wipe the old textbook off to make sure you can answer technical questions and solve a bit of problems, but it’s important to show the team that you are someone we’d love to work with.
Jake: The ability to demonstrate a good familiarity with the Android or iOS framework, teamwork / soft skills, and humility will work in your favor.
If you or someone you know would like to have the opportunity to work with these people and be part of the tandem team, please visit: https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/careers
The information on the display of the t: connect Mobile App may not be identical to the current status of your pump. A compatible phone and an internet or wireless data connection are required for wireless uploads from the mobile t: connect app to the cloud-based t: connect web application. Uploading to the t: connect web application is not real-time and should not be used by healthcare providers or caregivers for remote patient monitoring. Standard carrier data rates may apply.
Important safety instructions:
ONLY RX. The t: slim X2 insulin pump with interoperable technology is an ACE (Alternate Controller Enabled) pump, which is intended for the subcutaneous delivery of insulin at fixed and variable rates for the treatment of diabetes mellitus when people need insulin. The pump can reliably and securely communicate with compatible digitally connected devices, including automated insulin dosing software, to receive, execute, and acknowledge commands from those devices. The pump is intended for people aged six and over. The pump is for single use at home and requires a prescription. The pump is designed for use with NovoLog or Humalog U-100 insulin. Pump users must: be ready and able to use the insulin pump and all other system components in accordance with their respective directions for use; Test blood sugar levels according to the health care provider’s recommendations. demonstrate adequate carbohydrate counting skills; maintain adequate diabetes self-care skills; visit health care providers regularly; and have adequate vision and / or hearing to recognize all functions of the pump, including warnings. The t: slim X2 pump as well as the CGM transmitter and sensor must be removed prior to MRI, CT or diathermy treatment. Visit tandemdiabetes.com/safetyinfo for more important safety information.
t: connect mobile app: The t: connect mobile app is intended as a secondary display for compatible Tandem Diabetes Care® insulin pumps and can upload the received pump data wirelessly to the t: connect web application. The t: connect mobile app is not used to control an insulin pump and is not a substitute for the information displayed on your insulin pump. Dosing decisions should not be made based on the secondary indicator. The user should follow the instructions for the continuous glucose monitoring system and insulin pump. This secondary display is not intended to be a substitute for a physician-recommended self-monitoring practice.
Disclaimer of liability
Tandem Diabetes Care Inc. published this content on January 14, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by the public, unedited and unchanged, on January 22, 2021 6:01:08 PM UTC