What keeps the GoCardless engineering team motivated?

The UK tech scene is becoming increasingly competitive, with companies constantly on the hunt for great developers to join their ranks. With so much choice out there, developers can afford to be ultra-picky when choosing a job.

Today’s tech companies offer a wide range of perks to attract the best developers ahead of the competition. These can range from office treats such as well-stocked beer fridges and team lunches, to joining bonuses, conference budgets, and company holidays.

It’s great having office pizza for lunch. But when considering that all-important next career move, many developers also search for more meaningful factors in their work environments.

GoCardless recently won the Techies 2017 prize for ‘Best Place for Developers to Work’. In the process of creating a great work environment for all our people, we’ve learned a few things about what developers want in a role.

We chatted to some of our engineering team to find out what they look for in a role and what attracted them to GoCardless.

Collaborative culture, investing in people

A work environment where collaboration is encouraged comes high on the wishlist for many engineers. At GoCardless, this means working closely with peers in an environment where they can easily ask questions and collaborate with others. This approach is essential for creating an effective engineering team and solving problems in the best way possible. This ties in with the GoCardless company-wide culture, striving to continuously improve and constantly raise the bar.

“For me there's huge value in being in a room where people are pushing me to be better. I ask myself, is this a group of people that I want to be spending a lot of my time with? Of course!” - Walt

Investing in our people is something we do across the board at GoCardless - which is especially important for engineers to keep up to speed with fast-changing technologies.

Whether it’s receiving presentation training to speak at a conference, or learning a completely new programming language or framework, we encourage our engineers to stretch their skills with the company’s support.

“I look for signs the company invests in its people, such as having conference or training budgets. That’s really important. Helping your engineers to grow rather than expending them like a resource is key.” - Nick C

Technical challenges and testing

Many engineers are motivated by new technical challenges, and offering interesting problems is often what keeps a company’s engineers invested in the long term life of a codebase.

“Engineers should be proud of what they built but aware of how it could improve. Plus there’s everything else that comes with the job at a growing company: scaling a team, making mistakes and learning from them.” - Walt

As well as challenges, having the ability to solve them efficiently is key. At GoCardless, we've invested in automated testing. It means that when making changes or adding features, engineers can be confident that other things won't get broken, and it's especially helpful for new members of the team getting to grips with our codebase.

“I like how GoCardless puts a high value on automated testing. I could use tests to guide me as I learned the codebase. When changes are needed, testing means we can add them without worrying about introducing any bugs.” - Andrew

Autonomy and impact

Last, but not least, the knowledge that their work is making a difference is a meaningful factor for many developers. Most people want to have impact with their work, but having the autonomy to actually do so is essential. GoCardless offers its people the opportunity to handle projects from start to finish, making the work their own and having the chance to shape it how they want.

“I care about autonomy, getting to solve problems from start to finish, and working with great people that I can learn from.” - Tim

Whether you’re after a great collaborative work environment, plenty of autonomy to direct your projects, along with stacks of technical challenges and regular support - GoCardless could be a great fit for you. And we’ve got lots of the other typical perks too!

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