Engineering Manager based in the West-Midlands
Experienced engineering leader but no stranger to rolling my sleeves up and getting stuck in. Advocate of clean coding, RESTful APIs, Microservices, Containerization, CI/CD and Cloud Hosting and DevSecOps as a culture.
I made the move into engineering management because I wanted to face a new challenge flexing the softer skills that are often overlooked.
I've helped encourage a positive culture of learning and experimentation by creating psychologically safe environments where we don’t assign blame but give quality, actionable, feedback. Encouraging people to own their own feedback and seek it out from their peers. I'm a big fan of Radical Candor and making sure we give feedback whilst caring personally & challenging directly without being aggressive or insincere.
Recently I have introduced ⚡ Lightning Talks to the department where engineers can share knowledge and gain exposure and confidence with presenting. This has been a great mechanism to help people who want to push for leadership roles to get that experience in talking to wider groups.
I have helped remove ambiguity from our promotion process by developing competency matrices for each role, working with engineers to self-grade themselves against this and then seek feedback from their peers to get a more detailed view. From here we can identify key areas to target with our objectives for the quarter.
Interviewed, hired, onboarded, and trained staff, leading performance reviews and offering constructive feedback. Mentored software engineers, providing careful guidance and targeted plans to address areas of improvement based on our internal competencies.
Actively work with the wider Engineering Management Community to improve tech across ASOS.
I made the move to ASOS and joined the External Product Feed team.
In this role I worked with serverless technologies such as durable Azure functions. I also gained exposure to Azure Data Factory and thinking about data in a whole different way.
I played a key part in modernising critical components that have a major impact(£m’s) on revenue, improving efficiency, reliability and cutting hosting costs. Implemented elastic scaling on critical services. This automatically scales to cope with peak periods and scale back down afterwards reducing costs by ~35%.
I was made the tech lead in the Revenue squad, this came with the added responsibilties of being ultimately responsible for the technical excellence of the product we develop and ensuring it meets our standards of security, architecture, and internal best practices.
Most recently I've been given a remit to improve our Developer Experience. This includes templating a lot of our common workflows such as creating a new API, or messaging publishers/subscribers, Azure Functions in order to accelerate and establish a best practice for our developers. As a part of this we're also standardising and upskilling the team on best testing practices including a good range of unit, integration and security tests. Ensuring that these are all run as part of a CI/CD pipeline. I'm really proud of where we've got these templates now, allowing a developer to spin up a new microservice, with all the core features such as; logging, swagger, authentication, data stores, application insights and it automates the creation of helm charts to deploy the whole solution to Kubernetes, taking what was previously a 4 day task down to a 15 minute task.
I transitioned into this role from DevOps to fill an urgent vacancy in the squads. In this role I have worked with various new technologies on a day-to-day basis. EventSourcing, Messaging Systems, CosmosDb, Multiple microservices, Creating and Managing multiple CI/CD Pipelines to facilitate our DevSecOps Culture. I also actively took part in developing the culture and progression frameworks internally. This included helping organise Hackathons and charity gaming streams, promoting a safe environment to discuss mental health issues and working with management to describe and implement a skill based progression framework.
Over the last year or so I've taken a more security and architecture position. This includes implementing best security practices and educating the wider team on these practices, setting up an internal Security Guild. From an architecture POV I've been working closely with the solution architect and business exec sponsors to design and implement core strategic business objectives. Then, working with the development team to translate these business requirements into a technical solution, with a focus on security, scalability and extensibility.
Being a senior in the team I spent a good amount of time practicing TDD with more junior members and mentoring and guiding the team with best practice and evolving our CI/CD ways of working.
I've been involved in the recruiting process of our latest team members, from the CV screening through to the actual technical interviewing. This has been a great learning experience as it's a very different feeling sitting on the other side of that table.
I started at Purplebricks as a DevOps Engineer, I worked on improving our monitoring and alerting platform and helping to coach developers in best DevOps Culture practice. After a few months there was a need for more developers and so I agreed to transition from this role whilst becoming a member of the 'Dev-Ops Guild' to continue to advocate the practices and culture of DevOps to other developers.
Built from the ground up a DevOps pipeline to automate build/releases getting the value to customers significantly quicker and without disruption to the service. Have an active input in the architecting of the API. Teach the team about new technologies, development and practices. Provide technical support to internal customers. Manage and maintain several databases including Azure SQL, Oracle and ERP DB. Create various Windows Services / Azure Web Jobs to automate tasks saving time and money. Liaise and code review for our outsourced developer.
I was the main engineer responsible for a large-scale integration with a new WMS (Warehouse Management System). We integrated with this new platform seamlessly causing no business downtime and allowing for stock to be optimally distributed in our region distribution centres. This had real cost savings for the company and greatly reduced our delivery timelines for customers.
Besides being a full time engineering manager, I spend some of my free time building a business with a friend of mine, we launched in October 2020, check out Powered4.TV!
We've been featured in the 2021 .NET Conf Keynote, you can spot us around the 52.25 mark here!
This has been a great learning experience for me and the ability to start something completely greenfield and build it from the ground up has meant we're able to put best practice in place from the start and learn and use new technologies I otherwise would not be able to in my day job, such as Blazor, Azure Tables, Azure Blobs and Terraform.
When not developing the app or learning, I enjoy playing games, reading, general nerdy pop culture.
This year I also adopted two cute rescue cats!🐈