Tell us about your journey at Moneybox
I began my career at Moneybox as a temp! I was originally contracted to help the newly formed Pension Operations team for 3 months, an exciting prospect as the Moneybox Pension product was in its infancy. I was later asked to join the team permanently.
Six months went by and an opportunity came up to apply for a role in the Investment Operations team, to help build out the business requirements of our cash and pension products. I was successful and it was here in this role that I got to work very closely with our app developers, and where I discovered a strong interest in SQL coding.
Due to my close collaboration with the engineers, they sparked a curiosity to learn about our framework and coding language. I went on to spend most evenings learning online and creating small projects of my own, allowing me to discover a great joy in programming.
What are the tools that helped you on your career journey?
I used learning platforms like Udemy and PluralSight, even YouTube and Unity. Moneybox provides the first platform to its employees, giving us the ability to study anything of our choice. Without this initiative, my learning journey would’ve been more difficult to say the least.
These courses complimented the mentoring I received from the team since everyone is always willing to share their knowledge and assist each other’s growth.
Do you feel like you got the support you needed in order to advance your career?
Prior to joining Moneybox, I was unemployed and in a bit of a difficult place. At a crucial point, Moneybox gave me a second chance to lift myself up, and almost three years later, I’ve been given countless more opportunities to grow and learn.
Moneybox has always had an open forum and actively encourages long-term thinking and planning. Its open-minded and leader-leader culture has created a safe space where you’re free to discuss your objectives and voice your feedback.
Moneybox has supported me at every juncture, and whilst the technological and educational tools provided helped pave the way, it has been the people and leaders of the company that have been the ones to listen and act deliberately on my requests for support and guidance.
Any tips for someone looking to move into software engineering without having formal training?
I’d say it’s important to stay humble and be curious – seek opportunities to learn and to build your own future. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly you think they might be. Most of the time they aren’t and they could be an opportunity for someone else to learn too.
At the same time, don’t do things entirely on your own. Surround yourself with like-minded people who you can learn from and forge a community – those relationships will keep you on the straight and narrow and it’s a place to go with questions and for guidance if things get tough. For example, outside of work I have a large community of software developers that I grapple with (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) two-to-three times a week. Each one of them has been supportive and has offered numerous mentoring sessions to me over the last year.
I’d also stress the importance of putting the hours in. You’re in control of how well you do, and one of the keys to success is to study diligently – which is useful when you’re looking to go into a career in software engineering.