There are so many companies out there that want experience but aren’t willing to give it. However,...
From Support to Software Development in 10 months | #WorkingAt10to8
“We take career progression seriously.” – An often overused cliche. But at 10to8, we really do try to make our employees happy, satisfied, and help them get to where they want to. That’s why we carry out regular performance and employee satisfaction reviews and openly talk about where people see themselves in five, ten, or a million years – be it within or outside of 10to8.
In this interview, you will hear from James Kemp, who joined our company as a Customer Service representative and is now moving into our Software Development Team.
Tell us a bit about your background and why you joined 10to8.
The pandemic gave so many of us a lot of time to think about what we’d like to do when we eventually get back to work. For me, having worked in sales for 25 years it was a big choice to change direction and start to re-focus on what I really enjoy doing, which is working with people and working in tech.
I decided to study for a tech degree during lockdown to finally get some official qualifications in software development which has been a passion of mine since I was 10 years old. I remember programming on a Sinclair Spectrum with my father. I enjoyed learning the basics of programming, and making a computer actually do what I wanted it to do.
How was the interview and onboarding process?
During my initial interview for a tech support role, there was a lot of conversation about my hobbies and what I like to do outside of work. I really liked that the people who might become my managers took an interest in me as a person too. It’s good to see more and more companies hiring for cultural fit as well as skills.
I’ve always liked to write code. For around 30 years I’ve played around writing lots of little games and tools for my own interest and to help certain parts of jobs that were monotonous and could use some level of automation. I’d always hoped to move into the Engineering Team at some point but knew there was a lot of work to be done before I was ready for that.
How did you move over to another team?
10to8 helped me get a great understanding of the 10to8 booking system from day 1 and was always open to conversations about engineering and where I could possibly fit into the team at some point in the future.
I was shown the code at an early stage since I’d shown such an interest in how the product worked from a technical perspective. I was genuinely surprised at the detail I was given on the code and had a lot explained to me that helped in my support role. The experience of the senior engineers is incredible and the fluency in the way they code is very inspiring to watch and also slightly intimidating!
A role opened up as a full-stack engineer and I felt ready to apply after the work I’d been doing in my spare time.
Even though I had really enjoyed my months working with the Support Team and helping our customers with questions, I felt ready to move on and perhaps bring my customer-facing knowledge to the Engineering Team. My at-the-time manager was very supportive and the engineers were welcoming – just like the rest of the business
“James is not the first person to join the Support Team and then move to another role within another team. I’m always looking to hire scalable and enthusiastic talent who will grow with the business. I’m sad to lose a brilliant support rep but glad to see him fulfil his lifelong career goals.” – says Marcel Wundrich, Head of Customer Service.
What are you up to nowadays?
Just 10 months after starting in support, I’m now making the move into the Software Development Team and couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity.
The commitment that the 10to8 team has made to me in order to allow me to grow in my new role and overall career is just fantastic. I’m one of several people who have moved roles within the company and knowing that 10to8 wants to help people grow in the areas their employees are interested in is one of the many reasons the company is so amazing to work for.
“It’s always great to welcome a new team member but there’s something even more to stealing away talent from another manager.” – says Megha Maheshwari, Head of Engineering, – “I’m looking forward to working with James and giving him new challenges every day.”