I’ve always considered myself a software engineer by craft and an entrepreneur by accident. I never planned to end up in fintech, and I certainly never envisioned myself at the helm of a company like Moov. Technology has always been a passion of mine, and even as a CEO, I’m answering technical questions in our Slack community or commenting on pull requests on GitHub asking for test cases.
Despite my laundry list of responsibilities as a leader, it’s hard to turn off the builder mindset. I spend most of my in-between time digging into our technology, product documentation, and open source libraries because I want to ensure they meet a standard we’d be proud of. And while it’s frustrating when I find an issue, it’s satisfying knowing that each fix will save some other developer from a headache.
When you work as an engineer long enough, you realize that the thrill of successfully building something is exponentially greater if you teach others how to do it. I started Moov on my WadeArnold GitHub because building payments technology from scratch is an all-around horrible experience. Zero stars. Would not recommend it to my worst enemy. Yet time and again, developers are asked to figure it out. Building new technology can be a grueling experience (not to mention all the time, money, blood, sweat, and tears throughout the process), and it’s why I made it my mission to share critical banking primitives through open source.
I’m proud that Moov was the first fintech on GitHub, and now we have over 60 low-level payment libraries. But I cannot emphasize enough that we wouldn’t be here without our community of builders. This community is at the heart of what Moov was, is, and will be—and I owe you all a debt of gratitude for what you’ve helped build.
So here’s my thank you letter to all the people who have given back to the Moov community in some way, whether big or small:
(And yes, I’m going to write it like a real letter.)
Every day, I’m amazed by how many contributors share their work with us, and I’m absolutely floored by your skill level. Remarkable engineers, much smarter than me, generously give their time and energy to donate code—all for the sake of democratizing knowledge.
Recently, Synctera’s team contributed to the ecosystem by building a new banking primitive in Canada called CAD EFT. It’s exciting to partner on this library and leverage the 4500 people in the community to help battle-test it. In a world where companies can simply choose to keep code to themselves, Synctera has chosen to support the open source community and empower other innovators working to advance the Canadian banking landscape.
To all the people making pull requests to improve our libraries, I see you and think about you often. My gratitude for all you do is immense. To every builder helping us add terms to our fintech dictionary, you’re an absolute gem of a human (feel free to quote that on your resume).
To all the builders brave enough to ask questions in the community Slack channel, I know it’s not easy, but that’s why it exists. And to all the people who’ve chimed in to help a fellow builder solve a problem, you’re a saint. I hope to someday meet you in person, and if I do, I’ll buy you a drink.
To all the Moovers who spend their days (and sometimes nights) building the best payments platform possible, taking care of our customers, and helping us live up to our vision, I am at a loss for words. You make Moov, and me, better than I could’ve imagined.
To our board, whose guidance and wisdom help us stay on course; and our investors, whose faith and support keeps us afloat, thank you for understanding that the horizon we’re sailing toward is reachable and that the journey is worthwhile.
And to all the speakers who’ve shared your experiences at fintech_devcon, you astonish me. Believe it or not, I fanboy over your talks and rewatch the recordings. And to all the individuals who are thinking about speaking at fintech_devcon in 2024, thank you for being vulnerable enough to acknowledge your roadblocks and generous enough to consider sharing how you overcame them.
Giving first without the expectation of receiving something in return is the lifeblood of the open source community. It’s a value I treasure, and that each and every one of you embodies. Thank you for prioritizing the well-being of others. Thank you for helping move our industry forward. And thank you for all pulling in the same direction in order to make software work for everyone.