by Kelly O'Halloran
September 9, 2019

Data is typically a good thing to have: We draw insights from it, predict trends, manage risk and more. Sometimes, however, the amount of data becomes so widespread and disparate — like in healthcare — that it actually becomes a big problem.

Rally Health understands this problem well, and its knowledgeable team is working to simplify how Americans manage their health services by personalizing the experience and funneling data into one user-friendly platform.

We spoke with three members from Rally Health’s technical team to dive into how they work together to support more than 20 million users throughout their journeys to better health.

 

rally
photography by Nikki Segarra
rally office
photography by Nikki Segarra
rally health hq
photography by Nikki Segarra

 

FOUNDED: 2010

EMPLOYEES: 1,430+ nationally, 194 locally

WHAT THEY DO: Rally puts consumers in the driver’s seat of their health by providing them with a personalized experience that helps users understand their benefits options, find the best care and meet daily goals. 

WHERE THEY DO IT: Chicago

RALLYING THE WORKPLACE: “Rallyers” can expect unlimited PTO, daily catered lunches, regular office outings and conference sponsorships.

BUILDING UP: Committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment, the company has several employee affinity groups, including Rally Women’s Leadership Network and Rally Pride. Additionally, the company hosts regular events and discussions that celebrate all walks of life and encourage a culture of asking questions. 

FUN FACT: Rally Health initially launched under the name Audax Health in 2010 by a 21-year-old college dropout. 

 

rally health engineering

rally health cindy engineering

 

Cindy Li, Software Engineer

A Rallyer of one year, Cindy is a software engineer on the UHC Mobile team, which works on a product that helps people use their health insurance more easily. Using a React Native app, she and her teammates can share code and collaborate with both mobile and web teams at the company. 

COOKING UP CODE: Before becoming a developer, Cindy worked in restaurants as a cook. Today, she enjoys cooking as a hobby. 

 

What attracted you to the company or your role when you first joined? 

All of the people who interviewed me said that their favorite part of working at Rally was something along the lines of getting to work with smart people who were happy to collaborate and teach. The interviewers themselves reflected the ideal they described, and I ended up learning quite a bit just going through the interview problems.

 

What technologies does your team use? How does Rally Health stay on top of technology trends and encourage innovation? 

We work on a greenfield React Native app that’s currently available for iOS and Android. I think Rally does a pretty good job budgeting time for developers to try new technologies, get feedback on adoption and transitioning code bases. Currently, our team is exploring integration of some of Rally’s native mobile modules into our React Native codebase and vice versa.

We host hackathons that let all of us — not just developers — work on a project and present it to our peers.
 

This industry can be notorious for its toxic masculinity, and [our team offsite] was a moment that gave me more trust that the people I work with care about their emotional impact on other people.


What’s been your most memorable experience since joining Rally Health?

During a retreat for a team offsite, one of the things people said they really valued from the offsite, in addition to our tech-focused talks, was a workshop on emotional intelligence. This industry can be notorious for its toxic masculinity, and this was a moment that gave me more trust that the people I work with care about their emotional impact on other people.

 

rally health

jazmin rally health

 

Jazmin Schroeder, Manager, Engineering

Jazmin leads a team of six engineers who build products that help their users find the best care providers for their specific needs. They regularly team up with product to deliver quality experiences for their users and actively look for opportunities to assist other teams within Rally. 

RIGHT SIDED: Jazmin flexes the creative muscles of her brain outside of work through photography, gardening and other activities that fuel inspiration. 

 

We heard you’re a part of the Rally Women Leadership Network. What is it, and how has it impacted the culture at Rally Health?

The RWLN was created to help shape the company we want to have: an inclusive workplace where people can thrive at every level of the organization. The mission of the group is to recruit and retain diverse talent, foster a work environment where all voices are represented, and help people develop leadership skills. Having a dedicated group focused on values has been instrumental in keeping Rally a great place to work as we continue to grow.

 

How else does Rally Health promote a diverse and inclusive work environment?

In addition to recruiting from minority career fairs, Rally hosts panels, engagement circles, moderated roundtable discussions on different topics — such as “how to handle difficult conversations”— and regular Q&A sessions on diversity and inclusion. Rally also shares daily emails, pulse check surveys and engagement surveys, and supports employee-driven initiatives like yoga in the park and book clubs. Our culture is built on the expectation to ask questions. 
 

The mission of the group is to recruit and retain diverse talent, foster a work environment where all voices are represented, and help people develop leadership skills.


Switching gears to engineering. Tell us about the Engineering Branding Committee. How does it help engineers on your team?

The Engineering Branding Committee is a cross-functional team dedicated to promote our values, our product and our engineering practices. The goal of our program is to get involved in the tech community, share the lessons we have learned, host events to give back and offer support to people at Rally who are interested in writing blogs, give tech talks, host events, create podcasts, and more. Everyone in the company is encouraged to participate.

Some of the initiatives that are coming out of this group are a blog writing club, Rally Ambassador incentives, and of course, Built In Chicago!  

 

rally health chicago

rally health joe kardia

 

Joe Kardia, Software Engineer

As a software engineer across the entirety of Rally’s stack, Joe works on one of their core products and has implemented features in most nooks and crannies of their code base. He said his main goal is to ensure anything he touches or works with is more maintainable and understandable than before.

HANDS ON: While biking, writing and cooking rank high on Joe’s favorites list, he recently rekindled his affection for woodworking when he completed a box project for his fountain pen ink and supplies. Up next? A couple of bike racks, modular shelving system, a new folding table and bed frame. 

 

What’s different about this engineering team than the ones you’ve worked on previously?

The skill levels of the engineers around me are next level. I regularly feel outclassed, but I’m regularly told I’m blowing it out of proportion — I don’t believe that for a second. The fact that I can turn to nearly anyone on my team and learn nearly everything I need to know about one of our services or who to talk to to get that information is amazing. Every single person I work with has got something I can learn from, and I’m incredibly lucky to work with them. 
 

Every single person I work with has got something I can learn from, and I’m incredibly lucky to work with them. 


How have you used Rally Health’s solution for personal use? What’s it like to be a user of the platform you’re helping to build?

Frankly, I use it several times a week, and my roommate actually uses our product as well. Being able to check the status of my healthcare, claims, and all the details are super helpful for me, and knowing that I’ve built out a feature I’m using? That’s a great feeling. Though it can get a little annoying when my roommate has an issue and I get a text message saying, “Fix It” with a screenshot. I usually tell him to turn off his ad blocker, and he grumbles when that works. 

 

What are you most excited for in the coming year for Rally Health? 

Oh boy — we’ve got some very cool stuff coming down the pipeline. We’re migrating several of our front-end products over to React, we’re building out cool new features left and right, and we’re even going to be doing some visual redesigns that should make our systems even easier for people to use and understand. Plus, our team is going to support some interesting new use cases for our existing product. I can’t wait to see how those applications turn out.

 

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