in Business, People

Springtime productivity tips from GoCardless

With spring now upon us, it’s time to refresh your working day and think about how to squeeze more value from your time. Working smart is something we think about a lot at GoCardless, so here’s a selection of our favourite tips and productivity hacks. From standing desks to white noise, and clever apps to handwritten lists - we hope you’ll find some useful ideas in here to turbocharge your own workflow.

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in People

A day in the life of developer support at GoCardless

Who am I?

I’m Nicola Pellatt and I work in the Developer Support team at GoCardless. I support merchants and partners who are building integrations using our API. My team also provides support to the rest of the company on more technical internal issues. I’ve been working here for a year and two months now - so I recently celebrated my first GoCardless birthday (and got a lovely bottle of champagne)!

What does my typical day look like?

Unlike Sam in Design and Ahmed in Legal, my typical day doesn’t start with exercise! I get into the office at around 9am and the first thing I do is grab a bagel and a cup of tea. It's always the same combination as I’m a creature of habit, but I do like to buck the office trend of coffee. That also means I don’t have to queue for the busy coffee machine!

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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.

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in People

A day in the life of a Product Designer at GoCardless

Who am I?

I’m a Product Designer here at GoCardless, which means I design the interfaces our customers use when they interact with GoCardless products.

At GoCardless, we maintain a number of products that create the experience our customers know and love. There's the dashboard, where our customers control their payments, our payment pages where they sign up new customers, and the admin screens where our operations team provide customer support.

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in People

Working with recruitment agencies: assessing effectiveness

Every company wishes that all potential candidates find them directly. However, that isn’t always the case. Although we want to keep recruitment spend to a minimum, we also need to face the fact that external agencies are one part of our sourcing strategy.

The scenario we found ourselves in about 6 months ago will be similar in other startups. We needed to grow fast and we saw numerous agencies come on board, either through contacts from hiring managers, referrals from other companies, or direct contact with the talent team. We suddenly realised we were working with about 25 agencies and we couldn't manage them effectively. It became frustrating for all parties involved.

Therefore, we decided to rethink our approach and put in place steps to get to know each agency properly, to understand how they will represent GoCardless, and how we can assess their performance. Moreover, we want to work with and manage a realistic number of relationships.

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in Announcements, People

Customer Support Interview Process

We take a lot of pride in our support team here at GoCardless. 😛

If we see a ticket that's close to breaching our service level agreement (SLA), we'll jump straight on it. Or if we notice a product update that's caused an unexpected issue, we'll quickly follow up to resolve it.

We're constantly working to improve processes, increase efficiency, and share more knowledge. Whenever our users get in touch, we have the right tools to provide a quick resolution that will minimise any disruption to their day. If we can put a smile on their face while doing so, well that’s just the icing on the cake.

We're also a team that knows how to have fun. Our Slack channel is widely revered across the company. If there were a prize for inexplicable overuse of giphys and non-stop banter, we’d win hands down. We all love getting stuck in at our company events…and the weekly Friday evening pub drinks.

Together we’ve sampled our fair share of bars and restaurants near the office, and we’ve competed in laser tag, bubble football, beer pong, and more – all in the name of creating a great team spirit.

Anyway, before we get too carried away, let’s get back to what you came here for – insights into our interview process.

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in People

What's up at GoCardless: November 2016

📷 Matt Heath @mattheath

2nd November - The DevOps Series: Insider Talks

The Insider Talks is the first event on GoCardless DevOps Event Series. Our own Chris Sinjakli presented "Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Postgres in Production at GoCardless" and Simon Vans-Colina presented "DevOps at Monzo". Stay tuned for more information on the next event!

16th November - Trans*Code London Remembrance Social

The Trans*Code community has had a busy year. It was one marked by incredible accomplishments from members of our community, but also touched by loss. One of our much loved community members, Emily Voukelatos, passed away earlier this year. Her coworkers, friends and members of the Trans*Code community created an event to gather and remember her, while looking back at the year that's ended and forward to the one ahead.

21st November - The Family. Stop Paying for It: How to Not Waste Money as an Entrepreneur, by Oussama Ammar

Join TheFamily for a talk by Oussama Ammar, Co-founder & Partner at TheFamily, to hear about how you can stop wasting cash. 💸


Wondering what we’re up to next month?

in People

How to interview at GoCardless

You’ve heard great things about GoCardless, you’ve applied for a job, and you’ve been invited for an interview – great start! Now what?

We know interviewing is hard. So we want to give you as much guidance as possible to help you succeed! Here’s what to expect, both at the telephone interview stage and in our face to face interviews.

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in People

10 ideas about 2.5 years

About two and a half years ago, I decided I fancied a change from working for myself designing & building WordPress sites in my bedroom, so I applied to work at GoCardless. From the website I wasn’t totally sure what the company did, but from what I could find on social media it looked like a group of people who were having a lot of fun working together building something they were proud of.

An image from the GoCardless jobs page at the time I applied, featuring Kit, James, Andy, Helen, Phil & Charlotte

After a quick Skype chat, a take-home challenge to test my design & front end chops and finally a trip to the GoCardless office, I left my final interview realising that I really cared whether I got the job or not. On the way back to the bus stop I reasoned that I would soldier on following a rejection — but that I would be really disappointed if I ended up not being able to work there.

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in Engineering, People

(Re)designing the DevOps interview process

Interviewing is hard. Both the company and the candidate have to make an incredibly important decision based on just a few hours’ worth of data, so it’s worth investing the time to make those precious hours as valuable as possible.

We recently made some changes to our DevOps interview process, with the aim of making it fairer, better aligned with the role requirements, and more representative of real work.

We started by defining the basics of our DevOps roles. What makes someone successful in this role and team? What are the skills and experience that we're looking for at different levels of the role?

It was important that the process would work for candidates with varying experience levels, and so it needed to be flexible and clear to assess skills at each of these levels.

The skills we’re looking for fall into three broad categories: existing technical knowledge (e.g., programming languages), competency-based skills (e.g., problem solving), and personal characteristics (e.g., passion for the role, teamwork and communication skills). After defining these skills, we mapped out how we would assess them at each stage of the interview process.

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