Meet Renan, Team Lead Backend Python Developer, in our R&D Interview Series

Anna Mohn

Anna Mohn

September 8, 2023

At Optibus, we are proud to bring together some of the brightest and most passionate minds in the transportation technology industry. To showcase the incredible talent within our team and offer valuable insights to aspiring R&D Engineers, we are thrilled to present the Optibus R&D Interview Series.

In this exclusive series, we provide a platform for our R&D engineers to share their personal experiences, motivations, and the fascinating aspects of their daily work at Optibus. We aim to showcase the exciting projects and initiatives our R&D engineers are involved in, highlighting the challenges they face and the innovative solutions they create. We also examine the profound impact of AI technology on their work, exploring how it enhances productivity and shapes the future of transportation.

Today, Renan Butkeraites, team lead of the customer-oriented research and development team, shares some of his insights with us.

Meet Renan

What is your job at Optibus and what is a typical workday like? What are some interesting aspects of your daily work? (

I lead the team responsible for specialized exports that integrate our Optibus platform into client workflows. My day starts with catching up on communications and addressing questions. We hold a daily team meeting to discuss progress and challenges. Then, I collaborate with our Product Owner and other team leads, ensuring alignment. My day is dynamic and revolves around interactions with my team and colleagues worldwide, making it engaging.

Why did you choose to work at Optibus? What attracted you to the company and its mission?

Optibus' ability to solve complex operations research problems quickly caught my attention. The company's culture, growth opportunities, and the chance to improve public transportation were compelling factors.

What do you enjoy most about working at Optibus? 

I am fortunate to be in my dream job. I have the chance to make a meaningful impact on society through my daily work. By actively participating in diverse discussion forums, ranging from cutting-edge technology to process standardization, I continuously enhance my professional growth. Moreover, I am dedicated to nurturing my team's development, providing them with the same growth opportunities that have enriched my journey.

What specific features and functionalities have you worked on with your team that you find particularly exciting or challenging? 

Our team has been working on protocols and reports that directly impact thousands of people. Currently, we're focused on integrating extensive data with an external vendor to create real-time transportation maps. This project is challenging due to its complexity, but the opportunity to improve the public transportation experience is exciting.

How has AI technology influenced your work at Optibus? In what ways does it enhance your productivity or impact the solutions you develop? 

AI significantly influences my work. One key tool assists in writing by suggesting optimal words for clarity, which is particularly valuable as a non-native English speaker. Another AI companion accelerates coding by suggesting intelligent completions. While these tools are helpful, they require careful judgment. AI is a valuable, albeit imperfect, resource.

Can you share an example of a complex problem you faced as an R&D engineer at Optibus and how you approached solving it? 

Navigating interpersonal dynamics in my daily role has proven to be a multifaceted endeavor. Maintaining team morale, fostering a culture of shared knowledge, and encouraging collaboration are ongoing challenges. To address these complexities, I've implemented strategies such as "Optifridays", where team members share interesting topics they've explored, promoting knowledge sharing and collective growth.

Additionally, I've initiated job rotations to encourage cross-team interactions, allowing team members to gain exposure to different departments and broaden their skills. This approach enhances individual expertise and overall team proficiency, promoting motivation, knowledge exchange, and collaboration within the team.

What kind of development tools, technologies, and programming languages do you work with at Optibus? How do they contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of your work? 

In my role at Optibus, I work with a diverse range of tools and technologies to enhance my efficiency and effectiveness. Here's a breakdown:

  • Python: We use Python for its versatility and ease of use, enabling the development of robust and scalable solutions.
  • JavaScript (React): For front-end development, we leverage JavaScript (React) to create highly responsive and interactive user interfaces.
  • AWS (Amazon Web Services): Our infrastructure is built on AWS, providing scalability and reliability for our cloud services.
  • MongoDB: We rely on MongoDB for data management due to its flexibility and scalability, ideal for efficient data storage and retrieval.
  • Jenkins: To streamline development workflows, we employ Jenkins for continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), ensuring a consistent and efficient software delivery process.
  • GitHub: GitHub is our platform for collaborative version control, facilitating code sharing, reviewing, and tracking.
  • Sentry: Sentry plays a crucial role in error monitoring and tracking, allowing us to proactively identify and resolve issues.
  • Agile (Scrum): We follow Agile methodologies and implement Scrum to manage projects, fostering transparency, collaboration, and incremental progress.
  • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP): We adhere to OOP principles in software design, creating modular, reusable, and maintainable code.
  • Unit Testing: Rigorous unit testing ensures code reliability, catches bugs early, and supports confident codebase refactoring.
  • CI/CD Integration: We integrate CI/CD to automate integration, testing, and deployment, accelerating development cycles and promoting continuous improvement.

These tools, technologies, and methodologies collectively empower me to deliver high-quality software, respond to challenges promptly, and collaborate seamlessly with my team in our dynamic development environment at Optibus.

In your opinion, what sets Optibus apart from other companies? How does it create a unique and fulfilling environment for R&D engineers? 

Optibus stands out as a people-centric technology company, fostering an environment that encourages innovative and disruptive thinking. This alignment with my values makes it the ideal place for me – a dream job that allows me to engage in pioneering initiatives while also witnessing my daughter's development. Optibus’ commitment to flexible schedules enables me to achieve a harmonious equilibrium between my professional and personal spheres. This unique advantage empowers me to actively contribute to parenting duties alongside my wife, while consistently delivering impactful, cutting-edge technology that leaves a lasting imprint on the lives of thousands every day.

What opportunities for growth and professional development does Optibus provide to its developers? Can you share any experiences you've had in terms of advancing your skills and knowledge? 

At Optibus, our dynamic work environment encourages innovation and cross-departmental collaboration. An example of this is our recent offsite event in Rio de Janeiro, where I led a presentation on optimization techniques, aligned with my professional interests. This opportunity deepened my knowledge and allowed me to make complex concepts accessible to the audience, emphasizing Optibus's commitment to enjoyable and accessible learning

How does Optibus support work-life balance for its R&D engineers? Are there any flexible work arrangements or initiatives that help maintain a healthy work-life integration? 

The company's perspective on this aspect is what truly distinguishes it as my dream workplace. The emphasis on work-life balance, facilitated by our flexible hours, allows us to allocate time to our personal lives without compromise. It's heartening to observe dedicated slots in colleagues' schedules devoted to family commitments, a testament to the company's understanding of the importance of personal well-being.

While our team exhibits unwavering passion and dedication to their roles, the management takes a proactive stance in preventing burnout from encroaching upon our professional lives. This foresight underscores the company's commitment to nurturing a sustainable and thriving work environment, where our fervor for excellence coexists harmoniously with our overall well-being.

What advice would you give to other R&D engineers who are considering joining Optibus or pursuing a career in the transportation technology industry? 

Embark on this journey if your passions align with people, cutting-edge technology, computational thinking, fostering a growth mindset, and a genuine enthusiasm for public transportation. This field offers a unique opportunity for social impact, resonating with your values.

Working in public transportation has a transformative influence, shaping both your family life and contributing to the future of society. It addresses critical challenges such as congestion, pollution, and global warming, making it at the forefront of scientific and technological exploration.

If you enjoy challenges and seek an arena full of possibilities, consider joining our community and embracing the title of a "transit nerd." Your contributions can reshape urban landscapes, improve environmental sustainability, and enhance the quality of life for generations to come.

How does Optibus promote diversity and inclusion within the R&D team? How does this contribute to a more robust and inclusive work environment?

The company's commitment extends beyond gender pay equity to embrace equality across the board, including a battle against discrimination, and a genuine commitment to support the LGBTQIAP+ cause. This resolute involvement is underscored by the active engagement in advocating for these standards within the public sphere.

This deliberate approach has yielded a remarkable diversity of viewpoints that significantly influence organizational decisions. The resultant tapestry of perspectives enriches collective insight, enhancing the depth and breadth of our product development process to be inherently inclusive.

A particularly compelling movement gaining traction pertains to language refinement. We're diligently working towards eliminating presumptive gender references throughout our platform. While this endeavor encounters occasional language barriers, a dedicated cohort is resolutely addressing this issue in real time. This exemplifies our proactive stance in fostering a truly inclusive environment, reflecting our unwavering commitment to progress.

What do you think makes Optibus a great place for R&D engineers to grow and build a long-term career? 

In our organization, personal growth aligns seamlessly with our company's trajectory. We continually innovate and embrace new challenges, providing you with opportunities to advance. Our commitment to cutting-edge technology allows you to be an early adopter, refining your skills and methods.

We approach challenges with a rigorous scientific mindset, modeling and unraveling them mathematically. Our solutions contribute to technological advancement beyond our organization.

We also prioritize work-life balance, ensuring that personal and professional lives harmoniously coexist at Optibus. You can thrive at the forefront of technological innovation without sacrificing your personal life.

Any hobbies in life? 

My main hobby is mathematics, and I enjoy delving into intricate problems during quiet moments, even while lulling my daughter to sleep. Currently, I'm engrossed in three fascinating puzzles that captivate my mind. However, my deepest fascination lies at the intersection of optimization and machine learning under uncertainty. I relentlessly pursue elegant and effective solutions in this domain, pushing the boundaries of what's possible.

Beyond these intellectual pursuits, I find joy in savoring delicious meals and music, which provides a symphonic backdrop to my thoughts and inspirations. My journey is one of curiosity and constant exploration, where mathematics, problem-solving, and the synergy of optimization and machine learning drive my intellectual pursuits.

We hope you enjoyed this interview. Stay tuned as we release each interview, unraveling the secrets behind the success and innovation that drives Optibus forward in the transportation technology landscape. If you want to be a part of it: Come join our team! Learn more at


Topics: Engineering, Algorithms, People