What do you like about working at Tillo?
Michael Norris (VP of Engineering) “Tillo is a great place to build a career – I have been here for almost six years, and I love my job, not least because we work with cool technology and alongside retailers and partners from around the world. We’re a collaborative, innovative and supportive team where the focus is on progression opportunities and personal growth. We offer exciting career pathways that blend variety with autonomy and responsibility – exactly the qualities people really value in a modern employer.”
Brendan Lawton (Senior Software Engineer) “A tech-first company with the resources that Tillo gives to the engineering department is a real treat for an engineer; being able to show up at work, do your job and continuously improve. I love the crossover of hands-on engineering with coaching and knowledge sharing so that the whole team can learn and progress together whilst still getting my teeth into something.”
Leanne Zammit (Junior Software Engineer) “For me, it’s the little things like on my first day going to Hove Patisserie with some of the other developers for lunch. And on my first day, I had an introductory coffee with Michael at Small Batch where he got me up to speed with everything. The engineering team also goes to the pub after a new release and the company just generally has a nice atmosphere.
Obviously, you’re still at a workplace but it feels very colloquial, and as someone who’s up until now not been especially social in a work environment, it’s been nice to feel that it’s easier here.”
What are you working on at the moment?
Michael “For the last few years, the overarching focus areas of the engineering team have been on four key areas. These include;
Performance – particularly around scalability and meeting demand within peak periods.
Security – ensuring the integrity of our systems and team, product and system penetration testing, and implementing the ISO 27001 standard on how to manage information security.
Testing – focusing on maintainability, extensibility, robustness and delivering a positive developer experience.
Documentation – this is a key area that starts with onboarding new members of the team while also supporting the progression of existing colleagues to senior roles with more responsibility. The documentation function also enables us to more effectively share knowledge across the team and with the wider company.”
Noor “Currently, I spend most of my time building new features because I work in the main effort team. Right now, I’m writing some webhooks for a new partner, but every day is different.”
Leanne “I’m very new, so I’m still sort of getting to grips with it all. But I’m one of the PHP/ Laravel developers so I’m mostly focused on work that ties to the core - mainly the API side of things.
For example, I’ve been very involved with the onboarding of new brands and processes, creating asset changes, and taking up tickets. Each day starts with a standup meeting where we check in with what everyone’s doing, whether there’s any code that needs to be reviewed (before anything actually goes into the system it gets peer reviewed), what’s actively being worked on, and people give updates on how they’re progressing with projects.”
What does a typical day at Tillo look like?
Noor “My day starts with standup; during this time, my team gets together, and we walk through what everyone is up to and if anyone is blocked or needs assistance. I then get on with some planning, coding, writing tests or reviewing pull requests for the rest of the day - sometimes, I pair programs with one of the other developers.
I spend lunchtime away from the screen and mostly spend this time with colleagues, which is a great way to get to know each other more. I also attend the weekly book club and the backend code culture, which is again a great way of sharing ideas and expressing myself.”
Gerome “So typically, we have the same meeting every single morning at half nine, which is the “stand-up” where essentially you go over what you've done the day before, and share what you plan on doing today. If there’s any kind of hindrance that's holding you up, you share it with the rest of the engineering team to see if you can resolve that.
Some days, I don’t have a single meeting, other than the stand-up and catching up with my manager to check in and see how we’re doing. So I’d be mostly cracking on with my tasks. But it can vary - other days, there’s more scheduled in. I think a couple of days ago was my busiest day ever that was full of planning meetings, making sure we're on the right track. I also just had my chance to interview my first candidate, which is really exciting!
My schedule also depends on if I'm in the office or not; if I'm in the office on a Thursday, the whole company goes to the pub for some lunch, which is really nice. Something to look forward to throughout the week! It’s nice to have the flexibility to work from home but I enjoy catching up with people in the office as well.”
Do you have any advice for people looking to get into tech?
Gerome “I'd say probably the most encouraging thing to look at when you're looking for a new hire is just the enthusiasm that a candidate has for the job - even if you have very little experience. We’re looking for people that have a project and have gone out of their way to work on things in their spare time that are very exciting to them, even if they’re a bit basic at this stage. I’d say the important thing is getting stuff under your belt that you can then go on to show and talk about in interviews, that shows your skills and really shows your enthusiasm for the job.
There's nothing you can't do just by completing projects in your spare time. Come up with it by finding a problem that people have. Try and think of a solution for it, and make that your project. And that's all you need to do.”
Brendan “Ask loads of questions and dive right in with personal projects. It’s a really rewarding career path with a fantastic community and tonne of skills that transfer over into everyday life.
You can expect to be as proficient as you are passionate about it because it’s an ongoing process of continual learning that gets easier the more interesting you find it.”
Noor “If you can do basic maths, like 1+1, then you can do programming. In all seriousness, it may look intimidating, but curiosity is the key!
Luckily this industry has very good practices for supporting each other, like pair programming, shadowing, mentoring, research and development etc. Practising and learning from mistakes is the way to go.
While software development is quite a male-dominated industry, that is changing, so if you’re considering getting into it as a woman, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so!”
And finally what was the Tillo application process like?
Leanne “So after sending my application in, I heard back and got my first call booked in with Briony which was a case of getting some context about what the company does and sharing a bit about my background.
The next step was to have an interview with Joe and Jake to get more of a background on the technical side of things. At that phase of the application process I was also given a technical text in PHP.
And then the final interview was with Michael (VP of Engineering) and Naomi (Senior Software of Engineer). The interview was partly technical and also enabled me to get a bit of context about the company. At every state, I asked people how they felt about the workplace culture because that’s such an important thing to establish at the interview stage.
About a week later I got the offer!”
Michael “My search for a long-term career pathway brought me to Tillo (which was then known as Reward Cloud), and within a few days of applying, I was interviewed and hired as a senior software engineer. I was one of the first employees, and in the six years since, my experience has grown via different roles and responsibilities to the point where today, I have been VP of Engineering for 12 months.”
Noor “Like many of the new hires at Tillo, Sara, Tillo’s Talent Manager, was my first contact. She gave me all the information I needed to know about the company and its growth plans, and I knew almost instantly that I could see myself working for them – which was fantastic.”
Thanks everyone! You can check out Tillo’s live roles or join their Talent Pool on both mobile and desktop (https://web.haystackapp.io/).