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Software Engineering at Tillo - there's more to it than coding

Posted on 13 January 2023 Read time 4 mins
Author Sophia Whitham

At Tillo, we know there’s much more to software engineering than simply coding. Over the last few months, we’ve been posting a series of social media posts highlighting some of the lesser-known parts of being an engineer at Tillo.

In case you missed them, here they are. 

1. Our sprint retrospectives  🏃🏽‍♂️💨

At Tillo, we follow an agile approach to software development. We start every day with a scrum and work in iterations known as sprints. After every sprint, we host a sprint retrospective which is essentially just a team meeting.

"A Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint"

Scrum.Org


In a sprint retrospect, we evaluate what went well in each sprint and where we could improve for next time. We also use this time to voice any questions and regroup as a team before we begin the next iteration. 

Check out this interview with Tillo Scrum Master Greg Youngman for an insider look at Tillo’s agile methodology. 

2. Our weekly 5-a-Slide 🎤

As our software engineering team grew, we noticed that the same few people were the only ones talking in our weekly kick-off calls. 

With the team getting ever larger, we were worried about losing the close-knit feel that everyone at Tillo is extremely proud of, so we introduced a 5-a-Slide.

5-a-Slide is a chance for anyone on the engineering team to spend 2-3 minutes and a maximum of five slides talking about a topic they’re passionate about.

Almost overnight, the dynamic of our weekly kick-off call changed, and we also got to learn a bit more about the hobbies, passions, and interests of the team outside of work. 

3. Our engineering Book Club 📚

What could be better than a book club? Well, a software engineering book club, of course!

Our Book Club gives Tillo’s technical teams an opportunity for shared learning and collective training

📖

 

Those who take part in Book Club are encouraged to read around subjects that are relevant to their work and then discuss them together with the group, helping to identify new approaches to solving problems and learning plenty of new things along the way. 

4. Our code culture ✍️

In our experience, engineers are happiest when they can do more with less effort. At Tillo, everyone is committed to a consistent and predictable approach, one that the whole team understands. We call this our Code Culture, and it makes us more productive by reducing cognitive load. 

With the Tillo team growing all the time, our code culture has been extremely important. Not only is Code Culture great for us as a business, but it makes our engineers happy too, and happy engineers tend to stick around! 

5. Our approach to internal documentation 🗂

Love it or hate it, documentation plays a big part in what we do at Tillo. It helps us with day-to-day asynchronous communication when onboarding new members and sharing knowledge across our ever-expanding company.

When documentation is clear, concise, and consistent, it's no longer a chore to write and maintain and instead becomes the tool engineers always intended it to be

📑

 

Historically, internal documentation has earned itself a reputation for being confusing at best, which is why we’ve put a lot of thought into our documentation process to ensure it helps our engineering team rather than hinders them. 

6. Our personal development hours 🚀

Personal development is incredibly important. If our engineers don’t feel as though they’re being challenged and aren't given the opportunity to improve their skills, then it's easy for them to lose motivation.

While some aspects of personal development are self-led, as a business, Tillo too has a responsibility to help our engineers become the best version of themselves, whether that be professionally or personally.

One of the ways we do this is by providing all our employees with dedicated Personal Development hours each month. These Personal Development hours give each employee a chance to grow on company time, whether that's studying for an accreditation related to your role or working to become a certified dive instructor.

7. Our approach to personal projects 👩🏾‍💻

We don’t know about you, but at Tillo, we all like to tinker, and many members of the engineering team, our VP Michael Norris included, have several personal projects they're working on alongside their day-to-day roles.

We actively encourage the team to work on personal projects and love seeing what they get up to outside of work 

🔎

 

Not only are personal projects a valuable learning opportunity for software engineers, but they also give them a chance to work through something unrelated to their work, and, ultimately, this tends to improve their problem-solving when they're back in the workplace. 

8. Our Internal Tech Conference 📣

In 2022, we launched our internal Tillo Tech Conference! 

Tillo’s Tech Conference is an incredible opportunity to celebrate and learn all about the inner workings of Tillo's Engineering Team. While they often sit behind the scenes of Tillo, the Engineering Team was finally placed center stage, sharing their experiences, successes, and big ideas for the future. 

We’re hoping to make our internal tech conference an annual event, and you can check out the highlights from this year’s Tillo Tech Conference in this video:

 

9. Our dedicated Engineering Hub ⚙️

Software engineers are such an integral part of Tillo that we've given them their very own home on the website - The Engineering Hub. 

The Engineering Hub is a fantastic resource, both internally and externally, giving new hires a sense of what it's like to interview and be an engineer at Tillo and providing our clients with the information they need to connect with Tillo's API.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to head over to the Engineering Hub and read through some of the blog posts we have there. 

10. Our Future Tillo Academy 🎓

One of our goals for 2023 is to start a Tillo Academy. No one is born an experienced software engineer; we all have to start somewhere, and what better place to learn and grow as an engineer than amongst a team of supportive peers? 

In the Tillo Academy, engineers with little or no experience will have a chance to join our fast-growing engineering team, where they'll be given the support and guidance they need to hone their skills. 

In time, we hope to extend the Tillo Academy beyond engineering, helping other departments to find and grow new talent. 

Keep your eyes on our Engineering Hub for more information about the Tillo Acadamy coming next year.

 

So there you have it. We hope you can see that there’s definitely more to software engineering at Tillo than coding.

If you’re looking to get into engineering yourself or are a software engineer looking for a new role, then be sure to check out our careers page. 



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