Dec 18, 2020

Inside Noyo Engineering: The bridge to connected insurance

Connected insurance experiences are integral to meeting employer's changing demands. Noyo Software Engineer Tony Wahl provides insight into his career path and why API engineering is the next step in the future of health insurance software development.

The millions of people who rely on their insurance also rely on a complex, tangled web of systems that connect insurance data. While we can reimagine the insurance industry from the ground up, that’s not exactly how we can rebuild it.

The Noyo engineering team navigates this complexity, architecting new, API-driven ways of interacting with insurance data. They also have the added challenge of ensuring that Noyo’s APIs can plug into any system or stack, so all of our partners have a path toward digital transformation. 

Noyo Software engineer Tony Wahl gives us an inside look at how his team is building a bridge to a more modern, connected future for insurance, and he also shares his path to Noyo.

Tony, tell us about your role.

I’m a software engineer, and my team is focused on setting up and expanding integrations with our insurance carrier partners. There’s always new and interesting problems to solve because each integration is unique. I’d say the most challenging aspect is finding the commonalities among all of the various systems we encounter.

For example, we may interface with carriers via RESTful API endpoints or via batch SFTP files, but in both cases, we can apply changes to coverage in the same manner before converting to the carrier’s format. When we can anticipate patterns like this, it allows us to write more reusable code, which makes maintenance and future integrations smoother.

What excites you most about engineering at Noyo?

I love that in my role, I feel like I always get to work on the right thing at the right time, whether it be a feature request from a valued client or refactoring code to be more scalable and maintainable. My team is focused on implementing large-scale integrations with leading insurance carriers, as well as thinking through new ways to improve those connections. There’s a lot of competing priorities, and I appreciate that our team thinks critically about how we invest our time, so we’re able to adapt without it feeling overwhelming or chaotic.

When you think about the future of health insurance, what do you see?

The future of health insurance probably looks a lot like what domain experts would build today, if they could start from scratch with modern software architecture. The tricky part is that you can’t start from scratch while millions of lives are depending on a service every day, which is why Noyo is helping bridge the gap between old and new. Once insurance data is flowing through secure, intuitive, and performant APIs, it unlocks innovation in the space that, otherwise, hasn’t been possible.

We’re already seeing this happen with many of our insurance carrier partners. We see the value of APIs continue downstream to their distribution partners, who can now build new, exciting experiences for consumers. As more of the industry adopts modern infrastructure, it acts as a catalyst so that interacting with insurance can eventually feel as easy as shopping online.

What did your path to Noyo look like?

I got my CS degree from the University of Michigan (die-hard fan, Go Blue!) and moved to Oakland, CA after graduation. My college curriculum was primarily in C++, so in my first couple of jobs, I learned a lot about building web applications using technologies like AngularJS, React, PHP and Node.js.

I had been working as an Engineering Manager at a fintech startup when I was introduced to Noyo, so I was excited for the opportunity to tackle new problems and get back to regularly writing code. I didn’t have any Python or health insurance knowledge when I started, but I’ve found that my experience building APIs in a complex domain like finance has helped me transition smoothly.

What would you say are the top 3 reasons you joined Noyo?

First, it’s an innovative product. Even for someone without an insurance background, it’s easy to see the value of increasing access to insurance data and also building tools that enable new possibilities with that data. Second, we have a strong Engineering team, and a lot of exciting greenfield projects ahead. Noyo felt like a great place to grow. And then, I'd say the people and company culture—it's a lot of fun.

How would you describe the culture at Noyo?

The main thing that stands out to me about the Noyo team is how supportive they are. Whether it’s collaborating with another engineering team on new service architecture or learning about obscure insurance corner cases from one of our resident insurance experts, someone’s got your back.

If you could do someone else's job for a day, who would it be?

At Noyo, I’d want to do Brian Taylor’s job for a day. He knows everything about the Operations team, and their work is what keeps our company running. It would also give me more insight into ways that Engineering could assist Ops to reduce friction and relieve pain points in their workflows.

Not at Noyo... I can’t pick Brian Taylor again? Okay, fine. I’ll go with Puppy Bowl referee.

Noyo is a remote-first team hiring anywhere in the United States. Our engineering team is growing! Explore our open positions here.

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