We sat down with Nicole Moore, Software Engineer at Konsentus, to discuss what it’s like working at the cutting edge of fintech, at an international award-winning SaaS company.
Tell me a bit about your background, and what made you join Konsentus
Before Konsentus, I was working on the service desk at another SaaS company. Although I initially learnt a great deal there, I found I needed a new challenge. So, I taught myself how to code in my spare time, then started an apprenticeship as an engineer.
The culture was the main thing that attracted me to Konsentus. The team really support each other on projects and everyone’s contribution is valued.
The way the team works was also completely different to what I’d been used to. Continuous deployment seems like such a small part of it now, but at the time, it was a real eye-opener for me. I was used to large deployments all at once, which meant a lot of things would be released at the same time and without automated testing in place, this was an arduous process.
More generally, the technology was an interesting selling point for me. AWS is a core component of the Konsentus infrastructure and learning and using world-class tech was exciting for me.
What was it like starting at Konsentus?
I was very nervous when I joined because I didn’t have much coding or engineering experience. But the culture and flexibility alongside the kindness and encouragement of the team was incredible.
My first year was seriously intense because we use so many different technologies. It’s mind-blowing how much is out there and how much is available. It has been hard work, but really rewarding. At Konsentus, you’re never going to get bored – there’s always something new to learn.
What do you mean by flexibility?
Well, several things. The flexibility of working in the office versus from home, the flexibility we have around time management – we’re in charge of our own time and make sure we have cover if we’re away.
It’s a given that if you don’t know something, you go off and read about it – whatever role you’re in. This gives space to acquire new skills and time for doing our own research. If one of us comes up with a good idea, we act on it.
Describe a typical day at work
As an Engineering team, we alternate the ops manager responsibilities. On our designated day we keep an eye on alerts and make sure everything is running as expected. We always keep our customers informed if there is anything that impacts them and by providing 24/7 support we can react very quickly. We try to keep meetings to a minimum, so we have more time to focus on development and supporting the product roadmap.
We work in a two-week sprint cycle, with daily stand-ups to check how everything is going. We also have fortnightly Research and Development (R&D) time to enable us to further develop our skills and this is encouraged to be different from our normal daily activities.
What do you like the most about Konsentus?
For me, it’s the learning and support of the team. If something goes wrong, then that’s okay – there’s always someone on hand to help resolve it. The company is confident in who it’s hired, so there’s no micro-management and we are all able to manage our own time.
I love that you’re able to learn something every day at Konsentus and have the support around you if something is difficult. It’s very collaborative – we do lots of pairing which is useful for sharing and gaining knowledge. It’s been a great learning opportunity working with more experienced colleagues which has enabled me to grow in confidence.
Is work and life balance important? How do you manage it?
Work and life balance is very important to me for wellbeing! It was challenging during lockdown, so I tried to incorporate boundaries whilst working from home – starting at 8am or 9am, then finishing when I was scheduled to, and not forming a habit of letting work carry over into my evening.
Company quizzes were great fun, and Konsentus organised workshops around mental health, wellbeing, and handling stress. It was nice that they reached out to support their employees. In-person events since we’ve come out of lockdown have been great fun and enabled face to face contact with colleagues I’ve seen less frequently over Teams!
Outside of work, I like doing yoga, and finding time to cook and bake!! I love spending time with my partner, family and friends, getting out of the house and going out for walks.