Current Role: Head of Software Development
How long have you been at Tesco? What brought you here?
I’ve been here for two and a half years. I was working for a US-based company and knew I was ready for a change and I really wanted to join a company with a great working culture. When I was approached by a recruiter for Tesco, I wondered what a supermarket had to do with tech. But the conversations I had during the interview process were so intriguing, I found myself getting more and more invested in the opportunity. Now I’m on the other side, encouraging others to join us.
What’s your role and team?
I’m Head of Software Development, currently leading two areas. The first is Loss Prevention, where we focus on preventing fraud and theft. This includes everything from security scales at self-checkout in stores to credit card fraud online. With new technology such as Scan as you shop and GetGo, which make the shopping experience quicker and easier for customers, we’re constantly working on new loss prevention technology too.
The second area, the team I’m transitioning into, is the Store Platforms team. We’re working on the new generation of software for our tills. It’s a gigantic, complex project with hundreds of people working on it. The interesting part comes in when you think about the thousands of tills we have. Each has a server with 40+ different applications constantly running through every single one. And if there’s ever an issue in a store – like a bug – we’re able to create a change in one of our API teams, push it through the whole system and deploy it to 16,000 servers within only a few hours. From the outside, it might seem quite a niche thing to get excited by, but as an engineer, I think it’s incredible.
And what keeps you here?
I’m inspired by the great people, teamwork and collaboration at Tesco. The quality bar for our engineers and managers is very high, and I’m proud that I get to work alongside them. We’ve got brilliant people working together as a team, and Tesco always respect their time and private life.
How has Tesco made you feel comfortable to bring your authentic self to work?
I haven’t always had the confidence to be open about my sexuality; it’s been a personal journey of mine since the age of ten. And it can feel like a risk when it comes to sharing certain parts of your identity in the workplace.
Tesco is the first organisation where I’ve been open about being a gay man from the very first day. And the best thing? I’ve never been made to feel different. It doesn’t matter and makes absolutely no difference to the way I’m treated. My colleagues are genuinely interested in my life outside of work and I don’t feel like I have to overthink what I say. Concealing a piece of your identity takes so much effort. Having to be cautious around people and worrying about their reactions is exhausting, but I don’t have to think about that here. It’s liberating.
What is the culture like in your team?
My team are welcoming, helpful, and easy going. Most of the people I manage are from our India office and I’ve been able to visit them on a few occasions, and it always feels like I’m going home to family. My colleagues there really look after me, and it’s the same with everyone at Tesco.
How would you describe Tesco’s approach to Diversity & Inclusion?
There’s a big focus on D&I, and I’ve had the chance to attend loads of focus groups where they’ve created a safe space for people to ask questions without fear of judgement. We’ve also had the opportunity to hear from colleagues about their personal experiences and several speakers have come in to educate us about specific topics, including unconscious bias. When it comes to getting a role at Tesco, it’s about talent, not somebody’s race, gender or sexuality. And I think that’s really important.
Why would somebody want to join the Tech team at Tesco?
There are so many opportunities to grow here. The work’s interesting and there are always new challenges, so you’re constantly learning. Customers will always need food, so there’s job security too. But most importantly, Tesco is a place where you can be yourself.
Everyone’s welcome at Tesco. We’re there for our people, whatever life brings. So we’ll do everything we can to support you; to help you feel comfortable being yourself at work, and to ensure you’ve always got what you need to develop and grow with us.
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