Role: Manager - UI Engineering
Office: London, UK
Year joined Deltatre: 2014
Deltatre in three words: Young, diverse, innovative
I’ve lived in different places throughout my life. I was born and brought up in Saudi Arabia and went to school there until I was 16. Then we moved to India, which is actually my home country and I spent almost an equal amount of time there so it’s almost like my life has been divided into sections.
At school, I seemed to have an aptitude towards mathematical and analytical subjects and that's where the idea of going into engineering took root. I went to an engineering college and chose computer science.
I just thought that it would be something I would be interested in and that was reinforced when I studied it, as I found that it was something that I found a passion for.
My sister who's just two years older than me also went to the same college and studied the same course. I was choosing between medicine and engineering, and I just felt like engineering; especially engineering for girls, was something we hadn't seen in our older generations.
It was a very new thing, so I think that might be the reason why I chose it. I wouldn't say it was exactly uncharted territory, but it definitely was for a girl.
I did a postgraduate degree, and then I got a job on the campus before I started to work at a company where I brought Flash to mobile devices. It was my first foray into mobile device application development so it was really fun and interesting. Then I moved to London, got the job here and I've been here ever since.
When I came in for the interview, there was something about the culture of the place. It just felt like a nice place to work. One of the people who interviewed me was just about to go on maternity leave, and it was really encouraging for me to meet her – she ended up being a role model for me. I got a glimpse into the supportive culture that we have here.
Since I joined, I’ve always felt that the company looks at each person as a person. They tend not to generalise when it comes to helping them find their own career path and how they want to grow. People are more productive when they’re happy, and I’ve always really appreciated being treated as an individual.
I have a different kind of work schedule as I work part-time. Last year, I was working three days a week, and now I work 32 hours a week but take Mondays off and usually work one or two days from home.
When I come into the office, I usually start the day by looking at any holiday requests as I’m responsible for resource allocation in my team. 36 people report to me directly, the structure is another thing I like about working here as it’s quite flat and people get visibility into what’s happening at the top.
I have one to ones with the people that report into me, and we have meetings with Portfolio Managers to discuss new work. A lot of the rest of the week revolves around organising the action items from the meeting. The other aspect is recruitment, so there’s lots of interviewing!
Initially, we were working with mobile devices using Cordova and a very little amount of native code in some of the plugins, but we switched completely from using Cordova to fully native applications on Android and iOS, which in my opinion was a huge change. It was a big shift in technology.
I think the key to being on the cutting edge of technology is you need to have people that are really passionate about it – and people are passionate about it in different ways.
Some are more passionate about the intricacies and the insides of how things work, and some are more passionate about what the latest thing that’s coming out is. You need a mix of those personalities. I think to be on the cutting edge you have to foster both those personality types.
The pace at which new technology is coming out has accelerated, so I don’t think a single person can actually know everything. You need to have that team and community feeling, which we encourage here. We have UI engineering knowledge in sessions where people can share links and talk about interesting things they have found.
I like to crochet and baking is great as you get to make your cake – and eat it too! I also try to stay fit so I’ve started cycling recently. I always need to keep changing it up as I get bored.
It’s that start-up feel, even if the company is well-established with more than 30 years of experience. Also, that you’re not just a cog in the wheel.
Because we’re using the best technologies out there right now on every platform. I think that’s the biggest pull for an engineer. Also from a cultural point of view, we encourage a lot of discussion. We’re always open to ideas and creativity, as well as bringing new things into our technology stack.