TAB Career Stories: Andy Newman

Laura Kassapakis
By Laura Kassapakis under #TABLife 07 March 2018

We met Andy at the Siliconmilkroundabout jobs fair last year, and it’s safe to say we hit it off right away. A month later, Andy joined us as part of the growing App Services Community of Practice (CoP).

I wanted to get to know more about Andy’s role at TAB, and what makes it so different from his previous roles, so sat down with him to get the tell-all.

What’s your favourite thing about your role?

The best thing for me is the breadth, flexibility, and freedom I get in my role. Rather than being stuck with the same old tech doing the same old thing, I am constantly moving onto new problems, working with new tech, and working with great people.

What has been your most memorable moment at TAB yet?

The team Summer Party was a couple of weeks after I joined. We went to Regent's Park to play rounders, had a few drinks and headed out to Camden afterwards. It was a fantastic way to meet all of my new colleagues!

Why do you love working at TAB?

I feel a real sense of community working at TAB, everyone is welcoming and we work together so well as a team. The coffee machine is really good too!

Why did you get into tech in the first place and what excites you about it?

I've always had a passion for programming and technology - from making games as a teenager to digging into the Android SDK to figure out how my phone worked. Being a part of the tech community and building new ways to solve technical problems is the perfect place for me.

Tech is a very fast paced industry. There is always something new to be learning and something new on the horizon to be excited for. At the moment I am really interested in the way that AI and machine learning is taking off.

What does an average day at TAB look like for you?

Once I arrive at the office, I like to grab some breakfast and catch up with people in the kitchen. The day kicks off with a daily standup to keep up-to-date with project work. I then go back to my desk to work through my prioritised dev backlog.

At lunchtime, it’s nice to get out of the office and have a kickaround at the local five-a-side pitch and grab something to eat on the way back to the office. After lunch, I usually attend a meeting with a PO and tester to refine a story ready for dev - we call ourselves the three amigos! Then it’s some more dev and reviewing a couple of pull requests before heading home for the day.

What career advice would you give those starting out in tech?

Do something that excites you! Contributing to open source is a great way to get involved with the community, learn some new skills and showcase these skills to potential employers.

What’s been the steepest learning curve since you joined TAB?

My previous roles were not as big on agile as we are at TAB, so for me there was a bit of an adjustment period to a different way of working. Everyone on my team was super patient and helpful though!

What’s been most challenging and how did you overcome it?

Weekly, we have a wrap-up at TAB where the whole company gets together and we give updates on different projects and various goings on. This is hosted by a different person each week, with a bias towards nominating the newbies! I was pretty nervous when it was my turn to be speaking in front of so many people but I just went for it and everything turned out pretty good.

Describe TAB in 5 words?

We make really good apps.

What makes your job different to other Engineering jobs?

We keep a fast pace at TAB - nothing stays still for very long. This can get hectic at times but also keeps things really interesting. I feel like I am helping to shape the direction we are heading in - I never felt that in previous roles.

How long have you been at TAB?

I joined TAB about a year ago. 

So you met us at Silicon Milkroundabout?

Yes - and out of all the companies there, TAB engaged with me the most and within a month, I had the job!

Tell me about your CoP!

I am in the App Services CoP - we are polyglot engineers that pick up anything that is not related to iOS or Android. We do mostly backend work, but have also worked in web and most recently, we have been doing some exciting work with Alexa/voice too.

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We’re currently looking for great engineers like Andy to join the team. Learn more about our vacancies over on our Join page.