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Cedarians in (Zoom) Cafes Getting Coffee — with Hanna Feibus, tech lead

Need a virtual pick-me-up? Grab your coffee (or tea!) and join us for Cedar’s first-ever virtual employee spotlight. Today’s featured Cedarian is Hanna Feibus, a talented engineer who joined Cedar directly out of graduate school and now serves as the tech lead for the strategic initiatives team where she is developing end-to-end digital solutions for patients and providers.

Hey Hanna! Given the pandemic shelter in place orders, we haven’t been in our West Village office for several weeks, but what’s your go-to spot for when we’re back?

I love going to David’s Tea, on Bleecker Street. Even though we can’t go there in person for our chat, I chose a virtual background photo of their tea canisters. While working from home, I’ve enjoyed making myself a chamomile tea every night to help wind down from the day.

Tell me a little bit more about your background. How did you end up coming to Cedar?

Cedar is my first full-time employer out of graduate school. I studied mechanical engineering in undergrad and intended to follow that career path. But in my last semester at school, I took a computer science class and just fell in love with that kind of problem solving. So when I began a master’s program in engineering management the following year, I found a small startup that hired me part-time as a web developer; I taught myself how to build everything on the job. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to keep coding and I was looking for a company that would help me grow into a seasoned engineer, but also allow me to feel ownership of the problems I was solving. When I found Cedar, I knew it was the right fit.

What about Cedar appealed to you?

I needed a place that would support my growth as an engineer. The team was willing to teach me when I needed help and also to trust me to figure things out on my own when that's what I needed.

As part of the interview process, I spent a full day on site working on actual bugs in the codebase. I felt comfortable asking for help, but what really won me over was how the other engineers joined in my excitement over my tiny wins. After spending the day at Cedar, it was obvious to me what everyone there had in common: they were all so proud of the company they worked for. It was infectious - I was proud to have even interviewed there.

What do you work on these days?

I’m the tech lead on our new strategic initiatives team. We work on Cedar’s pre-visit products, including digital patient check-in and price estimates. I love getting to work on these products because offering an end-to-end experience from pre-visit check in through post-visit billing allows us to solve so many user experience problems and truly provide a better financial experience for patients.

You work on very innovative projects. What has building new products taught you?

I’ve learned how important it is to talk with users about their needs and experiences. We’re designing and building for patients, as well as hospital front desk and revenue cycle staff; we’re always rigorous about conducting user research and testing products directly with those on the front-lines.

You joined Cedar when it was ~30 people and have watched it grow to ~120. What things have changed and what has stayed the same during your time here?

When we were a small team, I always knew exactly what everyone was doing on a daily basis. As the team has grown, that doesn’t happen organically so we’ve had to create knowledge-sharing initiatives such as the weekly product and engineering demos.

But I’m happy to say that what has stayed the same is how excited people are to be at Cedar and how invested everyone is in our mission to improve the patient financial experience.

Do you have a favorite Cedar team ritual?

I love our weekly game nights. It used to just be a lot of engineers but now people attend from all different teams and we try out lots of different games (such as Codenames, Dominion, Quiplash, Drawful). We’ve been doing it remotely lately and it’s still kept most of its charm!

How have you been adapting to work-from-home during the COVID-19 crisis?

I do miss being around my team in person and just having that easy ability to collaborate all day. But we’ve been having a meeting every afternoon at 4:30 just to say hello, check in on each other as people and stay connected. On the bright side, it’s been nice to get to squeeze in some midday workouts while working at home.

What’s something about you that might surprise people?

I like to paint in my spare time - I used to when I was younger and I’ve gotten back into it as a working adult. For the last six months, I’ve been working on a painting of buildings in Paris.

Is there anything else about Cedar that you want to share?

I started at Cedar relatively new to coding and now I’m a tech lead on the initiatives team; the culture of the engineering team has been instrumental to my growth. Cedar has an amazing culture of mentorship and our leadership encourages each person to take ownership of their own development.

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Hanna Feibus is the tech lead for Cedar’s strategic initiatives group. In her free time, you can find her playing sports, painting or partaking in Cedar game nights.

Interested in becoming a Cedarian? Check out our current openings.

Tags: Innovation, Employee Spotlight, Diversity & Inclusion