Greg Nokes is a Master Technical Architect at Salesforce. His focus for this interview is on two members from MX Technologies, a fintech startup that helps financial institutions: Garrett Thornburg, an engineering team lead, and Brett Allred, its CPO. A consequence of COVID has been an increase in unemployment. In response to this, the U.S. Government came out with a paycheck protection program, or PPP, to lend money to small businesses to pay their staff. The program turned out to be incredibly popular, as banks and credit unions were inundated with applications to apply for these PPP funds. Many of these loans were processed by hand, and banks turned to MX Technologies to help process these faster.
The technical challenges were daunting, and due to the urgency of the situation, the team at MX Technologies worked on a solution over three days to try and get an app out there. Choosing Heroku as a basis for the tech stack was not a difficult decision. They were able to code something up using Rails, and an automatically scalable Redis and database system. The only concern was that because they were working with financial data, they needed to ensure that whatever system they used met rigorous security guidelines. Naturally, Heroku did, and it even passed third-party penetration tests, instilling confidence in their use by the government.
The MX team decided to open source their app and the Terraform scripts used to generate it because they want to make sure everyone is able to benefit from this essential program. Through their efforts, they've been able to help distribute $5 billion dollars, helping to save thousands of jobs and businesses.