Three years ago, I joined Mando as a Senior Software Developer and I have been enjoying the journey ever since. My role primarily involves hands on development. At Mando, we’re Microsoft technology based so the CMS platforms that we use are Episerver; Umbraco and Sitecore – I have mainly worked on Episerver, but recently I’ve started working on Umbraco.
A typical week
First and foremost, I will always start my day with a cup of tea and a rummage in the biscuit tin! Shortly after, we will have a “stand up” to see what people are working on – we will then discuss whether there are any challenges for that day and work through them collectively. Next, it’s time to get on with the development work, this is the most “hands-on” aspect of my day.
Our project teams work in sprints, so every week or two weeks, we will plan how we can successfully achieve the requirements for those weeks which is driven by the priorities of the client. We also review what has been achieved during the previous sprint and ensure we discuss any lessons learnt. Quality is key to everything we do here, so all code is peer reviewed by other developers to check and analyse whether we are following coding standards, it’s a great way of checking each other’s work and ensuring that we’re maintaining our standards.
A chance to progress
When I joined Mando, I became a line manager, and I now manage two other Software Developers which is a very rewarding part of the job. We have monthly one to ones and I review their objectives and career development plans, predominantly to go through their individual career progression. This really gives them a chance to have a chat about their goals within the space of a supportive and relaxed environment.
Additionally, as Senior Developer, I also get involved in quoting for projects, which involves looking at customer requirements and analysing their needs to evaluate timescales. Occasionally, I’ll be involved in client facing meetings; or I’ll be attending a pitch. While it can often feel like I’m juggling a lot of things, I always enjoy getting stuck in and it’s great to have a multitude of tasks to complete.
My favourite projects at Mando
My main project has been working on the Electricity North West website, and the Connections tool was built on top of that.
What excites me the most in my role is the hands-on aspect of the work, I will always find the coding and development really interesting and I enjoy working with new technologies in this digital age. However, I thoroughly enjoy the mentoring side of my role and working with junior and graduate developers. It’s extremely rewarding to watch them flourish and progress as individuals, until they become coding pros!
It’s hard to pick a favourite moment at Mando but working with Electricity North West would have to be the highlight of my career here so far. We were recently shortlisted for the Episerver award for the most innovative solution which was an incredible feeling as a lot of work went into the project. Knowing that it’s already having an effect and positive impact on the business, and their customers, is the most rewarding aspect of this job. It showcases just how well our work here can be pulled off. We were announced as finalists at the Episerver Ascend, which was an incredibly proud moment, particularly with the many different solutions that are out there!
Sometimes projects can become complicated, such as the Connections tool project for Electricity North West. On a long running project, the client’s requirements can change, which means we must regularly negotiate to ensure everything is kept running smoothly. However it’s even more fulfilling to get the end result in these situations.
Often there can be a stereotype around the environments in which developers work. But at Mando, everyone is on the same page. It’s great, we have an open environment where lots of discussions take place. For example, I may have been here for three years, but I’ve just started on Umbraco. Having not done it previously, I can chat with others to see what’s going on. There’s no hierarchy here, it’s a collaborative atmosphere. A junior might know something that I don’t, so every day is a learning day.
Getting involved with the team
Who doesn’t love a good social event? They’re always good fun at Mando but my favourite event would have to be anything involving food, and if there’s doughnuts involved, even better! The Christmas ones are always great too, but I’m biased because my birthday is nearby so it’s a bonus!
The people are the best aspect of the job. Everyone’s talented in their field and able in their role and ultimately, the work is always enjoyable. Being an agency is exciting, there’s lots of different projects and you’re never just stuck on one project. To see the original inception stage of a project, to then seeing the outcome used by the client is very rewarding. But yes, the people make it even better.
Mando is certainly a unique place to work. It’s very fast paced and there can be lots of change. But we’re well supported in our teams and we all look out for each-other in the relaxed environment. And there’s always time to switch off at the end of the day!
If you’re thinking about working at Mando, I’d simply say get stuck in! You don’t need to know everything, just embrace the opportunity as we’re always looking to get people moving up the career ladder.
If you are interested in joining the Mando team, take a look at our current vacancies here: https://mando.bamboohr.com/jobs/