Life at tiney: Meet Lewis

Beth Toms

Beth Toms, Head of People

26 October 2020

We're kicking off a series of blog posts about our team at tiney, to help paint a better picture of what it's like to work here. First up, we have Lewis! 👋

Tell us about what you do here?

I’m an engineer here at tiney focusing on building the backend stuff, aka “behind the scenes magic”. At tiney we’ve used a micro-services approach to building out our backend systems. In a nutshell this means that we can build lots of small apps which focus on particular sections of the business. The benefit of this is that as we grow teams can have ownership over smaller chunks and we reduce the risk of the whole system going down at once!

Over the past year, I’ve been building out our payments systems. It’s an interesting challenge as there’s such a wide variety of different schemes parents can use to pay for childcare, and we need to make sure the money ends up with the right childminders!

Beyond that we’ve been working as a team to improve the way we build our systems. We love using TypeScript and the set of tools available from Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Up next we’re looking to improve the way we test our React Native app, we’ve started using Terraform to automate infrastructure and we’re investing in observability and tracing tools upfront.

How did you find yourself in the world of coding?

After learning about tech companies through some family friends, I started to teach myself how to code using online tutorials. My degree was in Economics but I knew I wanted to continue coding so I found a role at a company called GoCardless. I got to try lots of different things, like helping other developers integrate with our API or building ops tools, all while learning tonnes from the other engineers in the team.

On a day-to-day basis, who do you work with and how does the team run?

We have 6 full time engineers in our product team who I work closely with. It's great being in such a small team, tiney is just 36 people so I get to interact with the whole company regularly.

Every Monday morning we have a Product stand-up to run through current projects, update on progress and talk through any blockers. We aim to break projects down to 2 - 3 week sprints to avoid having long drawn out projects. The product team also works closely with the customer experience team to understand what they need.

I've also recently started to build out our engineering management tools with our CTO, Edd, to make sure we are supporting our engineers as much as possible. We're very aware at tiney that one thing we aren't great at is feedback, so we've formed a project team to tackle this. One of the great things about working at early-stage companies is being empowered to make changes and help improve the way we work.

What are you most proud of during your first year at tiney?

I can't take full credit for this, but I think we've built a team at tiney that builds great stuff. We’re a thoughtful and pragmatic bunch, and I think we take a really sensible approach to the way we build things. We’ve shipped a load of features over the past year but always with a focus on the key needs of the wider team and the childminders and parents we’re building for.

If you weren’t at tiney, what would you be doing?

Very rogue but I love antiques, especially mid-century. I would want a shop to deal beautiful pieces of furniture. You may or may not have seen me in the background on a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow 👀

3 words to describe working at tiney?

💪 Challenging - there's lots of stuff we need to do!

💥 Impactful - we're a small team with a huge mission

🌎 Meaningful - if we build this right, the impact on society and children will be huge

Beth Toms profile img

Beth Toms

Head of People

Beth spent the last three years building the digital bank Monzo. She worked hard to create an inclusive, honest and transparent culture whilst growing the team from 50 to over 1,600 in just three years. Beth began her career as a recruitment consultant in continuous improvement, then found tech startups and hasn't looked back since.

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