It's been over a year since I became an OpenPayd employee and hence decided that it could be a good time to share a few thoughts on what to expect when joining a fintech scale-up. Before I start going into more detail around what the work entails, let me start off with a quick introduction on how I got there in the first place.
When I was first approached for the Senior DevOps Engineer role at OpenPayd I was already working for another fintech, so I was already familiar with the industry. What intrigued me the most was OpenPayd’s vision for the future and how that vision stood out from its competitors. It was clear that OpenPayd’s team had a passion for technology, change was welcomed and that you could have a direct impact on improving things on a day-to-day basis. This isn’t to say it was all plain sailing... I joined in the middle of a tech team reshuffle, when projects were growing rapidly, and new business requirements were being received daily. Due to this, there was a need to significantly grow the tech teams across the business.
As for the platform team - we started with little to no automation in a couple of environments. At that time there was three members of the team and now, a little over a year later, we’ve grown to a team of ten, introduced automation across the board, launched several new projects and managed to move some of our infrastructure to a data centre to cut the costs. If working within a high growth environment interests you and you have the ability to adapt to change whilst meeting challenges head on, OpenPayd could be a great place for you to thrive.
My personal journey
In the first couple of months, I managed to get to know the systems, deliver improvements and take ownership of our cloud infrastructure. Together with other DevOps Engineers, we ensured an impressive uptime of the applications and supported the launch of OpenPayd’s new banking platform. After taking leadership of the platform over a short period of time, my efforts were recognised, and I was promoted to lead the platform engineering team.
My initial thoughts were that I was excited to finally be in a position where I was able to call the shots and work on creating a great working culture for my team. That's not to say it was all excitement. Like many, when a new opportunity arises and you’re given more responsibility, impostor syndrome can kick in no matter how skilled you are. It took several months and a lot of small victories for me to convince myself that I was doing a good job. So, if you're having the same doubts, all I can say is don't be afraid to throw yourself into the deep end from time to time. Constantly challenging yourself is the fastest way to learn and grow as a person - and trust me you'll do a much better job than your fears let you think. This is my first leadership role, and I’ve made the transition from focusing solely on the technical tasks to managing a team of engineers, thinking about the architecture, managing the budget and drawing out the roadmap. All of this in the middle of the pandemic that was posing a lot of challenges in itself. I was lucky enough to have an amazing manager that guided me through the change and helped me to become the leader I am now. It’s been a bumpy road, but one I’m glad to have taken.
Enough about me. All of the accomplishments mentioned above wouldn't be possible without the amazing team I'm proud to say I'm part of. The thing that pleases me most isn't the amount of cutting-edge banking-as-a-service solutions we have developed during my time at OpenPayd, nor is it the new technologies we’ve learnt along the way. It’s the fact that we did all that while supporting each other and creating a great working environment where everyone is happy to show up to work in the morning. We are one big family, we share our successes, get through challenges together and manage to have fun along the way. This feeling isn’t isolated within my team, it's something that's visible across the whole business and it's achieved because the management team allow people to influence the work culture that they are part of and acts on the feedback it receives - something not always the case within other companies. Many of the creative initiatives are driven by our wonderful People Team, including the Penguin Project which helped shape company values that truly represent OpenPayd's employees (I was really glad to be a part of this initiative). We are still a young business, constantly evolving, and we are always looking for fresh ideas on how to improve.
To summarise, I joined OpenPayd because of the company vision and stayed for the amazing people. If you are proactive, know your tech, love turning ideas into actions and are a team-player – then the OpenPayd tech team is the perfect place for you. So, Embrace the Journey and get ready to Make Your Mark!