We want you to get to know us.
Moving company, industry, or role can be life changing. So obviously you want to make sure it’s the right fit. So what makes up that decision? Why is PassFort the right fit for you?
We’ve previously talked about the value of our product - we’re establishing trust in the digital economy. Its impact in transforming how people and organisations build relationships online is profound, and you can read more about it here.
We also can’t talk about our company values enough - Trust, Empowerment, Growth. Our people live them and it’s critical they live in you if you want to join us. You can see more about our values and how we defined them here.
But beyond this, we know that it’s the people in the company that make up a big part of your decision. Will they inspire you? Can they teach you something?
Meet Will Monk - Software Engineer
Tell us about your role
I am a software engineer, who enjoys working across the stack. Most of the engineering team at PassFort fit under a somewhat loose term of “full—stack” developers. Here at PassFort the title allows me to work in areas that I’m interested in, that fall across all layers of our internal stack. I come from more of a front-end focussed background, which means I'm constantly looking at ways we can provide a better product for our customers!
What’s been your favourite project so far and why?
Recently I worked on our new notifications feature. At its heart the PassFort portal is a collaborative tool for onboarding and monitoring new customers. We implemented the functionality to allow our users to be updated about what their colleagues were doing, which is quite important for a tool like PassFort!
This project was a good example of how we thought about iterative product delivery, and how we could get aspects of the feature into customers' hands without doing a "big-bang" release. Initially we released the front-end in a kind of disabled state which began working as soon as they had a notification. Working this way allowed us to test things in production without having to blanket feature-switch it on for internal users.
From an engineering perspective this was the first project I worked on where the service was built from scratch in Rust, which was really great experience! Static typing is becoming a very important part of the way we build new products here at PassFort - it fits particularly well with how well-defined-data is such a large part of our engineering lives.
What does a typical day look like?
Working times are very flexible, so you will see people arriving any time between 8am and 11am. Each day we have a standup, which currently consists of the whole product team, where we gather to talk briefly about the current status of various pieces of work that are in progress. Ideally we'd use this time to uncover anything that isn't running as expected, and find any issues in work streams that are dependent on each other.
We are generally very meeting light, with the exception of small groups occasionally gathering to talk through an upcoming epic that requires a few people from the product and engineering teams to break down what work would need to be done. If these kind of meetings need to happen, we try to keep them to the morning - really they are a great opportunity to get involved with the design part of delivery, and have a say about how things are done.
Lunchtime is guaranteed to be great! Our office is bang in the middle of Brick Lane and Old Spitalfields Market, meaning there is a whole array of different food stalls, trucks, and restaurants with cuisine from all over the world. On Fridays we all take time to work on personal development initiatives which are self-driven things you would like to improve on. This ends with Friday Wins, when we take time to share what is happening in different areas of the business, as well as thank and congratulate each other on events of the week.
Often on Friday evenings you'll find us in a pub in Shoreditch enjoying a few beers, and the surrounding area!
How would you describe our Engineering culture?
Product has traditionally been the business' main focus. We are building very important tooling for our clients - generally speaking we are a core part of each of them gaining new customers. Because of this we have to provide robust and quality software - and so that is reflected in our culture around engineering. There is very much a focus on correctness in what we do, combined with a bit of pragmatism.
I think we are all aware that PassFort is still very much a startup, and for growth, customer success and happiness are key - which is where the pragmatism fits in. In general this means that while we all want to build the most beautiful and perfect solutions, sometime we just have to ship a quick fix for a customer.
As part of delivering projects to customers, you can expect to (at this point in time) work with another developer, and with our UX designer Dave, for a short period of time. We are starting to embody the concept of full cycle engineering. This is partly out of necessity (due to team size), but has also created a solid foundation for us as a team going forward.
What do our values mean to you day to day?
As previously mentioned, pragmatism sometimes falls in to our engineering process, so because of this we have to trust each other to make the correct decision from a tech as well as business perspective. Among our team we are also trusted by each other to make the right decisions without anyone watching; if something needs to be improved, there is a net benefit to the company, and you think it's the right thing to do, then it is encouraged. Our culture of openness means we can make these decisions, but can also be challenged on them - these are the kinds of things that help us grow as a team, and make sure that we are all aligned with our vision.
On the flip side of this - if you find yourself in a situation where you’re not entirely sure what the best thing to do is, other people from the team will always be there to help, advise, or just generally act a sounding board. This is key to helping individual members of the team grow and learn.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying?
What are you waiting for?!
Seriously though - I really believe PassFort is a great place to work. Prior to PassFort I was working in a consultant capacity and was completely missing the ownership aspect of software delivery. Since I joined just over a year ago, I have been able to get back in to the full cycle process of building products for users. From a technology point of view, I do feel like I’ve been given the opportunity to learn more than at many previous roles - which is what I love, and have really relished.
We’re on the lookout for some great full stack developers to join us - take a look in more detail here.