How does it “feel” to work in the Hardware Tribe?

Written by Kamel Abu-Eisheh

I must say, I am biased towards the Hardware Tribe and, as Head of People, one of my main goals is to attract and retain the best talent. This translates into continuously obsessing about creating incredible employee journeys and awesome experiences.

So I asked myself, how does it feel like to work in the Hardware Tribe and what makes it so special? but then I realized that the answer is with the Hardware Tribe Engineers, Product Managers and the rest of the team. So I went to our #Tribe_Hardware slack channel and posted the following question: “Yes working in SumUp is Awesome! But what is so special about working in the Hardware Tribe?” A few minutes later and for the days to follow, I was very happy to see the engagement and all the great responses from the team. I summarize the main points below.

Why are we here?

Working on a product that you can touch and use in real life, that helps in creating connections between people everywhere and everyday and is loved by our customers. We work at the core of SumUp’s product portfolio, our work always has a tremendous impact.

It’s very rewarding when you walk into a shop and see someone actually holding a device/product that you helped build, or when a friend says that they used a SumUp device to make a payment and thought about you.

How do we do things?

  • Solution autonomy: We are able to pick our preferred approach/tool to reach our goals and have the possibility to challenge the traditional market with a different product (instead of copying and pasting solutions). For example, when Solo was built we were able to design everything from scratch (Behind the scenes of Solo video).

  • Nature of work: Our work is complex and brings interesting challenges as we work on the intersection of physical and digital products:

    1. Building physical products from start to finish: the full cycle starting from mechanical design, electronics, embedded software, and backend to supply chain is a unique thing and unconventional to have in a one team.

    2. Working in a regulated industry where you need to meet high-security standards.

    3. Ensure the products you build have the quality to be manufactured at scale and that new features can be delivered to merchants already using our product. Answering questions like: How can we monitor for errors, or get data on how merchants use our devices? How many times can we drop a card reader and have it still work?


We are a very diverse team in so many aspects like origin, culture, skills, and professional experiences: provides everybody with an amazing opportunity to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. We are proud to have 30+ nationalities in our Tribe and those who identify as women and diverse are 26% of the tribe (we are working on even doing better here!).

Cognitive Diversity: rich discussions and meetings with other people with different skills gives you the opportunity to get overviews and great understanding of other areas which you don’t do by yourself.

Diversity in technical challenges which provides an amazing motivation by creating so much space to grow and move. For example:

  1. Having the SDK opens the possibility to interact with integrators.

  2. Getting beyond the “regular” mobile—backend paradigm; It was Bluetooth connection yesterday (now pretty well established), it is the Register today, it will be USB soon.

  3. Archaeological exercises: Understanding the context the code was written in, to move toward the future, safely allowing refactoring and modernisation of the code base.

  4. Designing a new flow in our card readers can impact every one of our 30+ markets. For example, accepting PIX (instant payments) in Brazil, VAT in Europe, instalments in Chile, and the list goes on. This is a complex assignment not only because it’s hard to convey a clear message to users from all over the world, but also because we do it while touching a very sensitive subject, which is how they get paid for the work they do.

All the above-mentioned dimensions of diversity Sums Up to a great level of different brilliant minds and ways of working around a single desk!

I am personally very proud and extremely happy to be part of this great and talented team. It presents me with exciting challenges from a People perspective every day. It also further connects me to SumUp’s vision of creating a world where small businesses can be successful doing what they love!

If this really excites you and you are very passionate about building products that make a real impact, then you should definitely check out our job openings. We are always looking for great talent to join the Hardware Tribe!

Thanks to Gergana Zaharieva