Current Role: Software Development Manager
Joined Tesco: 2020
Welcome to the first edition in the series of Tesco Technology ‘Work Anniversaries’. Today’s story is all about Gareth Shapiro from our UK team. Gareth shares more on how he shifted his career from self-employed, working in startups and agencies, to being an integral part of the Grocery Home Shopping team, and why he hasn’t looked back.
I joined Tesco Technology 2 years ago as an iOS engineer working on the Grocery Home Shopping app. My background covers a mix of other big corporates, like the BBC and travel company, TUI. But I also have 20 years of contracting in smaller organisations under my belt too.
I’ve always felt a bit nostalgic about Tesco. Back in my contracting days, I sometimes provided commercial training, covering a broad range of digital production subjects. There was a stage when I was training people on web accessibility and I’d always use Tesco as an example of a company with a website that had inclusive design. These standards were first emerging at the time, and Tesco were at the front – this left a lasting impression on me. This coupled with the values that Tesco have as an organisation, aligned to mine and made it an easy choice.
"That was really refreshing about Tesco, the code base I spent my first year with here is in great shape, as is Tesco Technology in general."
Being an engineer, you can have a long-term relationship with a particular code base. It’s almost like being married, as bizarre as that might sound. When taking on a new role, there’s always the risk that the foundations already laid are not going to be what you would’ve chosen yourself. It can make a big impact on your experience – and you don’t get a look in on that before you accept the job! That was really refreshing about Tesco, the code base I spent my first year with here is in great shape, as is Tesco Technology in general.
There’s also some really cool stuff going on, so much innovation on multiple fronts, often built in-house. So, the code base is good, the platforms are modern, let’s just say I was a very happy man at the end of my first week!
I speak to a lot of people from other companies who feel like ‘they are sitting on their hands, tied up in bureaucracy and red tape – it’s not like that here. On the flip side, it’s not chaotic like a startup either – you aren’t fighting yesterday’s fires. I think we really offer the best of both worlds. We like getting code into production continuously and do so using up to date best practice.
Without it sounding like a sales pitch because it really isn’t, we employ very good people, working towards very high standards at a massive scale, and one of the values of the company are to treat people the way they’d like to be treated. I see that value shine through every day.
It’s a diverse company, we employ different people from different time zones of all different ages. Sure, we could have women more represented – but I think that’s across the board in technology and something we are actively working on.
If you are new into your tech career I would whole heartedly recommend one of our Graduate or Apprentice schemes as a way of accelerating your career – the speed in which I see this home-grown talent develop, regularly blows my mind. It’s great to see everyone making an impact, pulling in the same direction and making great things happen.
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