In our latest blog, Phillip talks about his experience of joining us in our brand new tech hub in Sunderland as a Tech Lead.
My BGL journey started when I came across a Tech Lead role in Sunderland on the Careers page of the BGL website. I’d hit a point in my career where I’d had several Lead Engineer/Dev Team Lead positions and was looking for a different challenge. I was really impressed with BGL’s website and its portfolio of brands, which includes comparethemarket.com. Having worked in the North East software industry since 2001, I was surprised I hadn’t heard of the company.
I wasted no time in applying and from the start found BGL to be very well organised. The internal recruiters contacted me with an invitation for a half hour Skype interview, along with further information about the role including the list of competencies and behaviours expected. I dialed into the interview and found out more about the role itself and that the reason I hadn’t heard of BGL in the region was that the role was in a new tech hub that BGL were investing £3m to open in one of their existing call centre buildings.
The discussion I had in the interview gave me a good feeling about the role and the company. The opportunity of being one of the first employees in something as big as the Sunderland tech hub was a unique opportunity that I was keen to get involved in.
Following the initial Skype interview, I was sent a technical coding test to complete and invited along to a face-to-face interview, where I would discuss my response to the technical test along with some competency and technical questions. This second interview was an hour and a half, during which it was very apparent that BGL values behaviours just as much as technical skills. There was a real focus on not just what I could deliver technically, but how I approached the challenge and how I interacted with colleagues and customers while doing it.
After being successful in my application, the recruiters kept communication channels open. I was kept up-to-date throughout background and reference checks, and given access to BGL’s intranet where I could get to know more about the company and, if I had time, do some of the mandatory training, which I took advantage of so I could get straight into work from day one.
With the tech hub being new, there was a real emphasis on transferring the culture, ways of working and best practices from the Peterborough head office. I spent sometime in my first few weeks in Peterborough, learning about the code-base, getting my machine set-up and understanding the processes the Agile Scrum teams followed. I also had an induction day in Peterborough where I got to meet and chat with the CEO and other Execs.
Since then, we have been busy filling roles in Sunderland including Business Analysts, Agile Delivery Leads, Software Engineers and Quality Engineers. We have our first Agile Scrum team in place and are working collaboratively with the Scrum teams in Peterborough, following a Scaled Scrum approach. Our second team is in the process of being spun up and we are still recruiting for members to fill our third team.
I’ve been in the role for nearly three months now and it has absolutely lived up to everything I had hoped to find when I started looking for something different. I’ve faced a lot of challenges during those three months, but they have been interesting challenges to tackle. I’ve faced them with the support and help of some amazing colleagues, both from Peterborough and the new employees in the tech hub itself. If anybody is looking for a new challenge that is different to anything else that you will find in region, I would reccomend looking into the BGL Tech team and seeing there are any roles that would suit you. There is still time to be one of the “original band members” in the Sunderland tech hub, be part of something amazing and help us shape how we do things.